All posts by Letizia Sechi

09 Feb

IfBookThen 2012: a recap


On Storify you can find a conference and a Workshop recap. The presentations are on our speaker’s profile and on Slideshare. In the next days we will publish official videos and photos.


Comments (English)

  • Another lesson from the digital trail: the Italians are shy about speaking in public » Idea Logical Company
  • An e-book in Italy » FutureBook
  • International print sales retreat—but US e-books ‘slowing’ » The Bookseller
  • Spanish firm mulls European book consortium » DW

Comments (Italian)

  • Cari editori, ultima chiamata “Ebook non sono minaccia” »
  • Il futuro dei libri, ora »
  • Editoria digitale: 5 startup di frontiera »
  • Ma l’e-book ha già fatto boom » L’Espresso
  • L’invasione degli eBook » GQ
  • Self publishing, venti titoli tra i 100 bestseller di Amazon »
  • «Leggere? Un’esperienza più intima del sesso». Il convegno «If book then» a Milano » EHI BOOK! – Corriere della Sera Blog
  • Hai un romanzo nel cassetto? Pubblicalo da te » Vanity Fair
  • L’editoria tra complessità e oscurità »
  • If Book Then, il futuro dell’editoria digitale: a proposito di ebook, self publishing, social reading »
  • If Book Then. Nove keywords per spiegare il futuro dell’editoria » 24letture
  • Milano, a lezione dagli editori (nativi) digitali » Storia Continua
  • IfBookThen 2012 » Bibliotecari non bibliofili!
  • L’Elefante e l’Editoria: le 7 lezioni di If Book Then » Youcanprint
  • Noi non abbiamo la sfera di cristallo » Selfpublishing Lab
  • If Book Then 2012, ovvero cosa può imparare l’editoria da un decennio di musica digitale » Mondidigitali
  • The New Relationship Author-Publisher-Reader » Storify curato da Storia Continua
  • 7 Lessons Learned by a Native Digital Publisher » Storify curato da Storia Continua
  • Ipse dixit… sentito a If Book Then » Pianeta Ebook

Expectations (before the conference)

  • Il libro perfetto per il lettore perfetto » La Lettura
  • Ebook, fenomeno in espansione a Milano una conferenza internazionale »
  • Tablet e Kindle a quota 900mila e arriva l’ebook in prestito »
  • IfBookThen alle porte. Ferrario: è il momento di fare networking » 01net
  • If Book Then porta in Italia il dibattito sugli eBook » Pianetaebook
  • IfBookThen, la seconda edizione dell’evento internazionale dedicato al futuro dell’editoria » Pubblicità Italia
  • Libri a costo zero Il futuro negli ebook » La Provincia di Como

Special thanks to: @apogeonline, @edizpiemme@nascpublish, @futurodeilibri, @ciaosonoferlo, @trustinart, @lukealb, @appuntidicarta, @Ledizioni, @aut_aut, @corsiminimumfax, @pubzine, @mgiacomello (Italian), @philipdsjones, @Porter_Anderson, @DonLinn (English), @sposth (German), @boezeman (Dutch), @javiercelaya, @SPalazzi, @aormaechea@IPEditorial @JulietaLionetti, (Spanish) and to all those we surely forgot to mention.

04 Jan

Hot Topics: Piracy

Publishing Industry is discussing about piracy: as digital is becoming more and more important, publishers have to face issues that other industries know quite well since years. But is piracy an issue or can we consider it like a possibility?

This is certainly not a brand new idea. E-book piracy may have unexpected benefits for publishers, said Dan Misener in April 2011. In an interesting dialogue with the publishing consultant Brian O’Leary, Misener concluded: «So, if book publishers want to avoid some of the piracy issues that have plagued the music, movie, and television industries, what should they do? It seems to me that they need to better understand the real impact of piracy. They need to understand the motivations behind piracy, and they need to address the appetites of underserved customers.» There’s an important distinction to point out, O’Leary said: the one between «instances of e-book piracy (the number of pirated e-book files available for download) and the impact of e-book piracy (the actual effect on the business of publishing).» They are related, but different.

It was June when on The Next Web they asked: Does e-book piracy really matter? Going from best-selling apps to best-selling books they said: «E-books are by no means new, and our guess is if there was going to be an explosive increase in pirated e-book bestsellers – it would have happened by now.» Moreover, they made a disinction, too: «Pirated e-books will probably continue to be available in two main types. Books that are tied in closely to blockbuster movies like Twilight, or so-called spam books, where anyone can access royalty-free content, such as Wikipedia articles, and re-use them any way they want. Consumer awareness is the most important tool that can be used in the battle against spam books. A simple Google search can often lead readers to the exact same content online for free.»

What about today, now.

Harry Friedman, on Huffington Post, tells us why he is not worried by ebook piracy. Even if «It’s tough enough to make a living as an independent writer without some modern day Captain Hook hauling a skull and crossbones up over your work and stealing it from you», he’s not worried for ebook authors because of two things: he believes that readers like to reward a good author’s work and that piracy can be a chance to be discovered, for an independent writer. Obscurity it’s a quite bigger issue than piracy, it seems.

On the other side, as reported by Mercy Pilkington, Piracy Drives One Noted Author to Early Retirement: «Spanish author Lucía Etxebarria, whose works have won the highly prestigious Planeta and Primavera awards, has declared she is done with publishing, at least for now. She places the blame squarely on ebook piracy of her works.» But other authors think different: «”The way I see it is that if people read a freebie version of one of my books, and they like it, perhaps it might encourage them to buy a hard copy of it, or investigate other titles of mine that aren’t available for free,” said sci-fi author Storm Constantine». And some publisher, too.

What is actually difficult to get about piracy are numbers. «While it’s simple to assess the instances of piracy for a given publisher or series of titles, getting accurate numbers for the entire industry is much harder», remebered O’Leary, who did researches for O’Reilly Media.


We will be talking at IfBookThen about piracy with Timo Boezeman, digital publisher and non-fiction editor for A.W. Bruna Publishers. In a series of articles he wrote for FutureBook, Boezeman states clearly his position, starting with titles. Fighting piracy is the dumbest thing you can do, he remembers to publishers last April: it will cost them not only time and money, but their image, too. And supposes that there are three reasons to pirate an ebook, not all tied to the idea to get something for free: convenience, speed and availability.

More: «Another common misconception is that every download is a missed sale. Most downloaders never even had the slightest urge to buy your product. So forget them, don’t even pay one second of your attention to them, but focus for the full 100% on the (potential) buyers that do want your product. That is the one and only good strategy.»

In October he goes deeper about preconditions that lead people to pirate an ebook or to buy one. «To my opinion, the main three are: title selection (as complete as possible), pricing (a good price, relative to the other flavours (editions) the product is available in) and convenience (don’t bully the consumer and make the purchase as simple as possible). If you meet those preconditions, then the legal alternatives will work out. If you don’t, or not optimal, they will barely make any chance.» Read Piracy and the three preconditions, the full article.


IfBookThen speaker profile
@boezeman on Twitter
O’Reilly Radar » Jenn Webb’s interview: Mindset over matter
FutureBook » Boezeman’s articles


ReadWriteWeb » Survey Finds E-Book Piracy Occurs Among a Surprising Demographic (May 2011)
Results of the Digital Entertainment Survey: one in eight women over age 35 who owns an e-reader admits to having downloaded an illegal version of an e-book.

Teleread » Is Amazon worried about ebook piracy? (October 2011)
«If Tobold wants to find people worried over e-book piracy, he should probably talk to the publishers. Historically, they’ve been the ones pushing for stronger DRM, more protection, and one format per sale.»

40k » The 99-Cent Debate (December 2011)
«It worries me that we are letting the wrong motives control pricing. The music industry did that while fighting Napster and resisting ITunes and lost the battle. If we are more reasonable from the start but yet all work together to set fair prices, not greedy ones but fair ones, we will all be better off in the long run.» » Laurence Kaye vs Laurence Kaye: the pirate and the lawyer in conversation (January 2012)
Olivia Solon asked to the leader of the Pirate Party and to a lawyer specialising in digital law and intellectual property a series of questions about copyright, government policies, tools and business models for digital publishers.

03 Jan

Hot Topics: Reading Experience

Peter Meyers, author and digital book producer, will be speaking at IfBookThen about how technology can be used to create a friendly reading experience, and how new tools can influence and change our creativity. Discover more about his research reading the recent Breaking the Page preview.

I’ve studied hundreds of recent publishing experiments, comparing them all to what I’ve learned during a 20-plus year career as writer, editor, and publisher. My goal: distill best-practice principles and spotlight model examples. I want to help authors understand how to use the digital canvas to convey their best ideas, and how to do so in a reader-friendly way. As app book tinkering flourishes, and as EPUB 3 emerges as an equally rich alternative, the time felt right for a look at the difference between what can and what should be done in digital book-land. That’s my mission in “Breaking the Page.”


Sometimes one screen isn’t enough
Is using multiple screens a possibility for digital reading? «How do stories & presentations change when you use more than one screen?»

» More

What we could do with really big touchscreens
«Will big touchscreen displays—bigger than tablets—usher in new kinds of creative composition?» How can our creativity change with a really big composition space?

» More

Links on the side
Are hyperlinks a distraction that makes harder to focus on author’s writing?

» More


IfBookThen Speaker Profile
A New Kind Of Book
@petermeyers on Twitter
O’Reilly Radar


The Infinite Canvas – Books in Browsers 2011
Joe Wikert’s Interview – Books in Browsers 2011
Mac Slocum’s Interview – TOC 2012

30 Dec

Time for Predictions: 2012 in Publishing

Each year ends with predictions about almost everything, and publishing is not an exception. We picked some of the most interesting analysis read in these days.

No predictions this year; just questions, says Mike Shatzkin: after years spent on predictions it’s time for questions, he says. He has questions for big and small publishers; bookstores (Amazon, B&N, independent ones); agents and authors; the industry itself; last but not least illustrated book publishers. It isn’t a short list and «any honest futurist (and I try to be one) has to admit that questions outnumber answers». And some topics seem to be a trend despite the addressee of the question.

draws three lines: the importance that brick-and-mortar bookstores still have in the industry, imagining an eventual deal between Amazon and B&N; the shift of the discussion about prices on quality; the possibility that one of the big-six publishers will test an e-book subscription program within one of its imprints or one of its categories. Read the full article on PaidContent; see also Highlights of 2011: The Year In Book Publishing, By The Numbers.

FutureBook published a series of short articles, “2012 Digital Perspectives”, to focus on challenges and changes in publishing. Knowing consumers – remembers Martyn Daniels – is one of the best ways to succeed in digital publishing. «Amazon understand consumer demand and behaviour better than most and it is this that aligns them with consumers. We should remember that it was consumers made Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook and it was consumers that walked away from MySpace, Napser, Sony.» Read more: FutureBook 2012 publishing predictions part 1 and part 2.

Jeremy Greenfield lists Ten Bold Predictions for Book Publishing in 2012. Self publishing, literary agents and authors; Amazon, Apple and the Sony’s second life – with Pottermore; an eye to standards with EPUB3: these are the topics you can find in the Digital Book World predictions.


Author Media » Publishing Predictions for 2012.
Questions to several experts across the publishing industry from authors’ point of view: what do they have to expect from the new year?

Write It Forward » Ten Daring Predictions for 2012 from the Indie Author Trenches
Bob Mayer lists his prediction after «two decades in traditional publishing and two years in indie publishing».

Taleist » Self-publishing and ebook predictions for 2012
What the most interesting indie publishing voices think about 2012. Joel Friedlander, Joanna Penn, David Gaughran and many others.

15 Nov

IBT12: Early Bird and Registration

You can now register for IfBookThen 2012: until 15 January 2012 you can take advantage of the Early Bird rate for the Conference, the Rights Workshop or both.

Register for IfBookThen Conference + Rights Workshop at €300 + 21% VAT (€363) and save €242,50.

Register for IfBookThen Conference at €210 + 21% VAT (€254.10) and save €169.40.

Register for Rights Workshop at €110 + 21% VAT (€133.10) and save €48.50.

We look forward to seeing you in Milan!

22 Oct

Do Readers Dream of Electronic Books? An update

On 10 October 2011 at Publishers Launch Frankfurt A.T. Kearney and Bookrepublic presented the updated research Do Readers Dream of Electronic Books?, discussed for the first time last 3 February at IfBookThen 2011. Based on interviews that cover about 80% of the global book market, the research will be updated 2/3 times per year: the next update, before IfBookThen 2012, will be presented at Digital Book World in New York (January 2012).




The Publishers Launch conference in Frankfurt focused on the state of digital publishing around the world, has pointed out that “publishers should not fear e-book pricing or cannibalisation, but agents need to become less “conservative” about what the consumer pays for e-books” as reported by Philip Jones (FutureBook).

“Shatzkin posed questions about the worldwide implications of self-publishing on the eBook price model, the benefits of eReaders versus tablets, and the extent to which new readers are brought into the market because of the more competitive prices of eBooks” summarizes the official Buchmesse blog, noting that “the topic of selling English content in non-English speaking countries was also raised”, while comments from The Booksellers draw the attention on literary agents position.

09 Oct

Waiting for IfBookThen 2012

A.T. KearneyBookrepublic presented at IfBookThen 2011 a research report about the digital transition in European Publishing. We are working to update the research looking forward to IfBookThen 2012: if you are planning to be in Frankfurt, October 10th, we will give a foretaste of the new report during eBooks Around the World, organized by The Publishers Launch Conferences team.

Thanks to Michael Cader, Emily Williams and Mike Shatzkin the “eBooks Around the World” day will be a chance to discuss topics and issues about Digital Publishing in Europe, with

“some additional lines of inquiry around the intrusion of English and the expansion of the global players’ activity which we believe will enhance the already-robust research the Kearney team did before.” [more]


Last year at IfBookThen 2011:

About The Publishers Launch Conferences: