A Day of Innovation on the Future of the Book
8 December 2011 | Watershed, Bristol

Publish! brings together key thinkers and doers to give thought-provoking talks and present show and tells of recent work, giving you insights into what has and hasn’t worked in innovation and business growth. It kicks off with a briefing on the current state of the industry and long-term trends; features a debate on strategies around innovation, risk and long-term rewards; and concludes on models that can help you make innovation happen.

The programme is subject to changes. More presenters to be announced.

Welcome and Introduction: Nico Macdonald, Media Futures
and Tracey Guiry, Cyprus Well
Introduction and Talks: Innovation and The Book
A briefing on the current state of the industry and long-term trends.

Chair: Nico Macdonald, Media Futures
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  • Unwrapping the Future: William Higham, Managing Director, The Next Big Thing, describes the trends shaping the future of publishing
  • Opening the Present: Alastair Horne, @pressfuturist and Future of Publishing Report author, looks at both the challenges and opportunities the industry currently faces
  • Walking the Talk: Michael Kowalski, CEO, Contentment, presents the development of an app-based e-book, showing innovation in practice
Coffee break and networking
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Talks and Show and Tells: Making Money from Digital
In this session publishers present ‘show and tells’ sharing their lessons and how they are – or aren’t – generating revenue.

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  • Anna Lewis, co-founder of Valobox, presents a new business model in which writers make money directly from audiences
  • Meg Geldens, CFO of Touch Press, demonstrates the much-celebrated The Waste Land app created with Faber & Faber
  • Charles Catton, Publishing Manager at Amber Books, discusses its successes with titles such as Bodies of Evidence
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Filmed interviews
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Panel: Pioneers or Playing it Safe?
Publishers face conflicting need to take risks (experimenting with potential break-throughs, innovation, lateral thinking) and to concentrate on revenue (retaining cashflow, ensuring commercial successes, avoiding cannibalisation of existing businesses). When should they choose to play safe and when should they take risks? How can the risks of new product development be reduced? And what innovation strategies have been successful around digital publishing?

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Talks and Show and Tells: Inventing the future
As well as looking at how we make money from digital, it is also important we remain ambitious and excited by the possibilities for publishing – and prepare accordingly.

Chair: ADAM GORDON, Future Savvy
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  • Dave Addey, Managing Director of Agant Ltd., which created Malcolm Tucker: The Missing Phone, showcasing a new form of app-based storytelling
  • Chris Book, Start Up CEO at Bardowl, who is pioneering a subscription service for audiobooks
  • Matt Marsh, Founder of Firsthand Experience, describes his novel research methods for Plastic Logic’s e-reader
Tea break and networking
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Talks and Show and Tells: How to Innovate
How can we put all these ideas into practice? In How to Innovate we investigate the models that can help you make innovation happen, including labs, hackdays and ‘20% time’.

Chair: PAUL Squires, Perera
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  • Tom Abba, Lecturer, MA Media: Practice & Culture, University of the West of England, speaks about academic-led innovation, and artistic and experiential models of research
  • David Burton, Head of Innovation at RedWeb, explains how they create environments for rapid innovation for publishers such as Random House
  • Mike Phillips, Director of i-DAT at Plymouth University, talks about how the University is informing innovation in the publishing sector and beyond
Summing up and Announcements
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