Not so long ago, conventional wisdom was that the publishing industry was somehow immune to many of the developments that have transformed every other form of media over the past few years. Book publishers held a deep and abiding faith in the power of the printed volume to withstand the insurgency of digital media.
That faith has fractured a bit over the past year as publishers have watched the surprising success of the Kindle and the emergence of the iPhone as a viable digital reading device.
Suddenly publishers are racing to come to terms with their digital future. In recent months we’ve seen publishers delivering iPhone apps, experiment with DRM-free content, and offering free downloads.
If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve seen this exact same transformation take place in nearly every other form of media. From past history we know that once the digital media ball starts rolling, the status quo can change very rapidly. It is, no doubt, an exciting time to watch the publishing industry, but a scary time to actually be part of that industry — unless, of course, you’re open to new business models and a complete reinvention of everything you do.
There’s no better place to watch the future of publishing unfold than at O’Reilly Media’s Tools of Change conference, the annual event that attracts industry professionals, visionaries, and thought leaders.
TOC 09 is scheduled to run from February 9 through 11th in New York City. This year’s event features a full slate of presentations and panel discussions from some of the industry’s leading thinkers, including Tim O’Reilly, Jeff Jarvis, Cory Doctorow, and our own Kassia Krozser, who will be leading the “Smart Women Read eBooks” panel.
The early registration discount ends on December 18th. Sign up by this Thursday to save a few bucks. Better yet, use our Medialoper discount code (TOC09bsq) and you’ll save an additional 15%.
Last year’s conference was sold out, and I have no doubt the same will be true this year. While the economy is bad and companies everywhere are looking to cut expenses, TOC is one of those events that’s just too important for publishers to miss.