Last Saturday I gave up the warm sunny half of the weekend to attend BookCampTO, an unconference on the future of Publishing. It was worth the sacrifice, if only to be surrounded by such passionate, enthusiastic, smart people for the day. It reminds me how much people love working in this industry, and I’m proud to be part of it.
For the most part, the day truly was in the spirit of the unconference: lots of contribution from the attendees, and a free flow of information. There was just one session I attended that was blatantly self promotional, but I won’t name names. I didn’t attend much of the e-book stream, but the consensus among the smart people I chatted with between sessions is that content is content, and we need to deliver it in whatever form people want it. This is an opportunity: it’s not without challenges, but it’s not the end of the world.
A couple of highlights for me were the sessions on The Role of the Publisher, and Who are the Curators. In the curators session we had an interesting conversation about branding and Publishers. There was a difference of opinion in the room about whether or not the people who buy books care or even know who the publisher is. Should we put all of our resources into building the author’s brand, or should we be paying more attention to building our brand. How does this differ between a large publisher and a small one? The people in the room had opinions, but we’re not the general public: we’re spending a sunny summer Saturday at an event called Book Camp for chrissakes.
So my friends, I want to hear from you: do you ever base your book buying decision on the Publisher? Are you aware who publishes the books you’re reading? Do you give a shit? How do you decide which books to buy? Let me know!