metro mama

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

BookCampTO '09

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!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Almost 100% word of mouth. Don't normally care who the publisher is either. There are a couple rare cases where I have a low opinion of certain imprints though and will only buy the books on sale/cheap.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Abraham said...

I choose basically by loyalty to author and word of mouth from people I trust (from a book perspective).

I do think there is room for publishers to carve out more of a name for themselves and become a reader's "publisher of choice".

But I am in PR, so I think there is room for any organization to build profile through effective communmication.



11:51 AM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

For most of my life, I couldn't have told you who published the books I read. Now, because I am much more interested in such things, I do notice. But even so it makes no difference when it comes to handing over my money. I'm either interested in the book or the author or both. The publisher isn't a factor.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I had no idea who published anything until you got your job. I think I knew Margaret Atwood's publisher bc I had seen it mentioned in articles about her but we would all buy her books no matter who was publishing them.

I am very bad about judging books by their cover. If I don't go for a recommendation I usually pick up a book in indigo (gah big bookseller) and read the first few pages to see if it grabs me.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:08 PM  
Blogger No Mother Earth said...

I could care less who published the book...BUT if two publishers released the same book, I will pick the book based on whose cover I like better. And the way the pages feel. And if the font is not too annoyingly large or small. (And I specifically won't buy a book with a movie tie-in cover. I will go out of my way to find one that doesn't have that cover.)

2:00 PM  
Blogger Margo said...

I do care about publishers, but I wouldn't not buy an author or a specific book simply because I don't think highly of the publisher. In that scenario, I might try to find the book used. However, I do think I would be more likely to buy a book from a publisher I admire without knowing anything about it simply because I admire/trust the taste/politics/mission of their team. It's obviously easier to do this with small houses-- I find I do it a lot with Coach House. I also might make assumptions about a book/author I'm not familar with based on which publisher they've chosen (or been forced to "choose"). But I guess I'm not the general public, either.

3:27 PM  

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