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  • Goa, India


Day I : 16-09-2011

09:00: Welcome Address

09:30 – 11:00 : Where Are Digital Books Headed?

This session will analyse the influence digital books have had on the publishing industry and clear the cobwebs on what should be an ideal strategy for delivering electronic content to readers while incorporating other business functions into such a strategy. Similarly, with the proliferation of e-Readers and e-Book formats, reader expectations have changed forcing publishers to think hard on what digital strategies should be adopted. The questions the panel will answer during the session include:

  • How can reader expectations vis-à-vis the content and presentation in digital books be met?
  • What challenges have publishers experienced while formulating a strategy for digital books? Has it lived up to their expectations?
  • What can publishers expect from the next iteration of device improvements?
  • How can we see more of Indian languages in digital form?
  • How have the sales and marketing functions changed in the context of digital books?
  • What is the impact of digital books on libraries?
  • How have financial expectations changed with respect to digital book sales?

11:00 – 11:30: Tea

11:45 – 13:00 : Workshop on Academic Writing

13:00 – 14:00 : Lunch

14:15 – 16:15 : Future of Independent Publishing

The globalisation of publishing and its domination by a handful of conglomerates in the global North have had a ripple effect on small and medium publishers everywhere. This is true even in India. With economic liberalization, indigenous publishers are being pushed to the margins by multinational corporate publishing houses, and this impact is being felt in all sectors of book publishing including the educational market. In a related development, corporate houses are increasingly entering the wholesale and retail book trade, with chain stores that, typically, cater to mass market books or tie them up with other merchandise such as stationery, toys, audio/video CDs, DVDs, etc.
This panel proposes to discuss the implications of these developments on small and medium-sized independent publishers in India. Some of the questions it hopes to address are:

  • What are the alternative publishing and marketing strategies that independents in the book trade have evolved in the current context of Indian publishing?
  • What are the new opportunities and challenges that are faced by them in the context of an increasing tendency towards corporatisation?
  • How effective are some of the alternative forms of collaboration and partnership that are being practised by independent publishers?

16:30 – 17:00 : Tea Break

17:15 – 18:45 : Book Marketing in the Age of Social Media

The emergence of social media, and the proliferation of channels that allow it, has created much confusion over how these various avenues can be used efficiently so that readers can be reached, their reading tastes deciphered and the appropriate book marketed to them. While many publishing houses have devoted resources to social media marketing, there seems to be still no consensus on how to tackle this phenomenon. There is also little clarity on how these new avenues should be balanced with the old, or on how reader loyalty can be maintained. This session will try to find the answers to the lingering questions:

  • Have the rules of book marketing changed with the advent of social media marketing?
  • Has the book marketer’s job profile changed?
  • Has social media marketing been hyped up a lot? Are there limitations to social media marketing?
  • Have other, previously used marketing methods, lost their relevance?
  • How do publishers manage multi-channel book selling?
  • How has the proliferation of bookstores, in various formats, changed the equation?

20:00: “Future technologies that bridge the divide: Making good in the absence of a supply chain”, presentations by UK & Indian entrepreneurs.

20:45: Dinner

Day II: 17-09-2011

09:00 – 10:30: Publishing houses of the future

The many changes that have swept the publishing industry thus far, notably the emergence of alternate forms of publishing and social media marketing, have led traditional publishers to rethink their strategies so that they can remain nimble enough and develop the levels of expertise needed to incorporate these changes. Questions abound. Have publishing houses leveraged the benefits of technology that might help them improve their business? Within the business, has there been a shift in emphasis on marketing? Must certain business functions be outsourced? This session will take a look behind the scenes and try to understand how publishing houses have reinvented themselves to cope with the new landscape while also charting a course forward.

10:30 – 11:00 : Tea

11:00 – 12:30 : The Impact of Alternate Publishing

With the advent of alternate forms of publishing, many things, considered sacred till now, like the importance of good editing, are being considered as optional. The role of the traditional publisher has transformed and its relevance itself questioned. Others speak of the publisher’s role changing from one of a gatekeeper to one of a curator. The economics of publishing also is changing, thanks to the ever growing need to experiment with different forms and genres, reach out to a niche audience and invest in diverse marketing channels, all of which alternate publishing models can achieve with élan. This session will examine the nature of self-publishing, blogging and other alternate publishing models that have emerged recently and assess their impact, if any, on traditional publishing.

12:30 – 13:45 : Workshop on Social Media Marketing

14:00 – 15:00: Lunch

15:00 – 16:30: Copyright issues in Publishing

This session will examine issues related to the recent amendment suggested to the copyright law and its implications on publishers of various hues, especially in cross-border trades as it relates to the sale of digital books and sale of books through online bookstores. The session is also designed to educate the audience on the possible impact of these amendments so that the necessary measures can be taken to counter any impact.

16:30 – 17:00 : Tea Break

17:00 – 18:30 : Managing the translation market

More than ever before, publishing houses are now seeing the wisdom in reaching out to readers of Indian languages. Such a step has proved beneficial to both, the publisher and the reader. How does the future hold for the translation market? This session will seek to build a sustainable mechanism for trading rights within Indian publishers, one that will encourage of the development of translators and good translations and facilitate the proper marketing of translated works. The session will also discuss strategies that publishers of books in Indian languages should adopt for delivering digital books.

18:30 – 19:00 : Vote of Thanks and Conclusion