Digital Book World 2012

In her New York Bookwoman column, “Greenberg on Book PR & Marketing in the Information Age,” Susannah Greenberg discusses her experiences at this year’s Digital Book World conference.

Digital Book World, or DBW, hosts an annual trade expo and conference for the book industry all about eBooks, enhanced eBooks, and apps.  This is only the third year of the show and pre-event registration figures were over 1,100 attendees from more than 450 companies. The show featured workshops, presentations and discussions on producing, distributing and marketing digital books. I attended the opening day, checking out exhibitors’ wares and demonstrations by vendors, as well as the cocktail party, and the second annual Publishing Innovation Awards ceremony.

The Innovation Award winners were noteworthy for being a blend of traditional book publishers, including Grand Central, Atria, John Wiley, and Random House, to those from completely outside the book industry, such as, the Automobile Association of America, and Robot Media. For more information on this year’s winners: Jay-Z, Big-Six publishers and others win Publishing Innovation Awards.

The primary thing being sold to publishers at the expo, and publishers were the main targeted consumer, was authoring tools to create eBooks: web-based, cloud-based, some boasting that only minimal or no knowledge of eBook coding was needed, even for creating fully featured eBooks with hyperlinks and video, and nearly all of them combined the eBook creation tool with a means of immediate distribution to the online marketplace. Hence the term ‘epublishing platform’ might be more accurate than ‘authoring tool.’ For the full list of exhibitors, visit the Digital Book World website.

Two demonstrations of epublishing platforms/authoring tools which I attended were Demibooks, and Vook. Demibooks presented Composer for interactive book apps, Silkscreen for enhanced HTML5 apps, and Storytime, a reader app for children’s books.  All three are available in Apple’s App Store.  A demo of a Silkscreen-produced YA book, The Survivors by Amanda Harvard, featured characters with their own Twitter feeds, music and video.

Vook‘s epublishing platform offers end-to-end, cloud-based eBook creation, distribution and sales tracking services.  Vook’s Matthew Cavnar demonstrated that with Vook’s authoring tool, an eBook could be created and distributed in 15 minutes and proceeded to build an eBook as we watched. The platform allows the author to add video, audio, hyperlinks and more, with no coding required, then take the book to the marketplace, with choices of marketplaces and channels of distribution.  Some of their partners include NBC, which on the first day of the expo announced its new eBook division; Perseus Book Group; Harvard Business Review; Simon & Schuster; Janklow & Nesbit; and Woman’s Day.

Susannah at DBW My special thanks to BiblioCrunch who gave me complimentary mints and took time to explain their product to me. They offer an epublishing platform that allows the user to “write once, publish anywhere, in any format, any e-Reader.”   They had a nifty pr tactic of photographing those who stopped by their booth and tweeting out their pictures. Here I am at their booth!

Thanks also to Copia, a store and a social community for eBooks, available for PC, Mac and in Apple’s App Store.  I chatted with them about their products, some of them very useful for public relations, which is my special interest.  Copia hosts online book groups and was a major sponsor of WNBA’s National Reading Group Month 2011.

Susannah Greenberg is president of Susannah Greenberg Public Relations,, and Publicity Chair of the Women’s National Book Association, NYC Chapter. Susannah recently launched her own radio show Book Buzz with Susannah Greenberg: All About Books, on

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  1. Great column. I’m definitely going next year!

  2. DBW sounded like so much fun! The technology and innovation is incredible, especially considering that just a couple years back it was barely a blip on the publishing radar. The technology coming to eBooks is especially exciting. I’m working with my mom on her upcoming women’s fiction launch. We just got to preview the Kindle edition and it was cool to see hyperlinks to her websites. Talk about going beyond the page!

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