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TLP’s London Book Fair digital round-up

We’re really excited to be heading to the London Book Fair tomorrow. So much so, we’ve gone and rounded-up some of the best events exploring the intersection between books and technology…


The Quantum Publishing Innovation Award: The Finalists Present

14th March, 11:30

Olympia Room, Grand Hall

The shortlisted finalists from the Quantum Innovation Award entries present in quick-fire fashion to a panel of judges: Philip Jones (The Bookseller), Paul Twelftree (Ixxus), Molly Barton (freelance)

Nick Brackenbury will present NearStreet, a local e-commerce platform helping shoppers to buy anything from shops nearby. Benjamin Hudson of Taylor and Francis will present Cartoon Abstracts, a fun new way of visualising academic research. Ashleigh Gardner will present Wattpad, a global platform for original stories, where people everywhere can participate and collaborate on content through comments, messages, and multimedia. Vicky Drummond of Cambridge University Press will present Cambridge Core, a new academic platform from Cambridge University Press that brings together book and journal content onto a single platform. Nick Marsh will present Lost My Name, a marvellously unusual, award-winning start-up that plays in the intersection between storytelling and technology.

The event will be chaired by Anna Lewis from Completely Novel.


The Visual Life of Campaigns

14th March, 14:30

Olympia Room, Grand Hall

A joint event from the Book Marketing Society and Publishers Publicity Circle.

What is the trick to creating emotive and memorable campaign moments that spark a narrative in the reader’s imagination long before they open a book?

In this session, industry experts will take a comprehensive look at the importance of visual language in the digital age, and demonstrate how books are more relevant than ever as ready-made sources of sensorial content. How is the trend for immersion in content and the dominance of imagery being used to engage audiences? And how can we translate this into new ways of bringing more readers to the book?

The panel, chaired by Preena Gadher (Managing Director, Riot Communications), will see Julia Kingsford (Director, Kingsford Campbell literary agency), Jack Smyth (Designer, Simon & Schuster) and Naomi Bacon (freelance consultant) bring together a wealth of examples and practical ideas spanning social media and advertising, retailing, visual language, pop-ups and immersive events.


Checking in on the Road to Digital Transformation

14th March, 14:30

The Faculty

By 2020, Gartner estimates 75% of businesses will be digital or have digital business transformations underway.  However, only 30% of those efforts will be successful.  Heading down the road to digital transformation can feel like travelling without a guide or a map.  For a fix on the publishing industry’s latest digital transformation location, hear a panel of analysts and executives review the findings of a groundbreaking survey of leading publishers in the UK and around the world.  How far have we come? Is this a race? Who’s ahead? Will the journey ever end?

With Max Gabriel, Chief Technology Officer, Taylor & Francis; Valentina Kalk, Director, Brookings Institution Press; David Worlock, Digital Strategist and Advisor, and Christopher Kenneally, Director, Business Development, Copyright Clearance Center.


A Career in Publishing: How to Achieve Success

14th March, 16:00

Olympia Room, Grand Hall

What are the challenges facing women today in the book industry, at a time that has seen a rolling back of women in the top positions?  In an industry that’s dominated by women why is it still a challenge for women to be the CEO of a company.

Looking for inspiration to develop your career and set you apart from the rest?

Need ideas and tips on how you can overcome those tricky conversations or situations?

Are you considering a career in publishing and looking for guidance? Or already in a job and thinking about a change of direction?

With Denise Johnstone-Burt, Publisher at Walker Books, and Catherine Clarke,  Agent and MD at Felicity Bryan Associates; Rebecca Lewis-Oakes, Managing Editor for Fiction at Egmont; Miriam Robinson,  Associate Director at The Literary Platform and programme director for The Bookseller’s Marketing & Publicity Conference; and Anne Perry, Editor at Hodder & Stoughton.


The Kraken Wakes: The Interactive Game

15th March, 13:00

Cross-Media Collection

The story of how Pollinger and To Play For came together and created the deal to bring John Wyndham’s sci-fi classic, The Kraken Wakes, to life as an interactive video game using the latest artificial intelligence and chatbot technology.

With Guy Gadney, Founder of To Play For.


The Future of Illustrated Publishing: Is the Model Broken? Is Print on Demand a Threat, an Opportunity or Dead End?

15th March, 14.00

Olympia Room, Grand Hall

Since the days of Paul Hamlyn, the illustrated book business has been sustained by large print runs offsetting high unit costs compared to fiction etc. As retailers order lower quantities, and co-editions with overseas publishers become rarer, is there a role for affordable colour POD printing, or is that an impractical pipe dream? Is there a long-term future for illustrated publishing outside the bespoke high-RRP short run or the giant conglomerate? The panel is intended to look at the various challenges facing illustrated children’s, trade and promotional book publishers (many of which also affect other industry sectors) and explore potential solutions or pitfalls. The intention is to make this as practical as possible, with concrete numbers rather than concepts.

With Ebury m.d. Rebecca Smart; Quarto director of publishing operations, James Carey and Lost My Name vice-president of product, Nick Marsh.


Breaking Ground: International Showcases Celebrating British Diversity in Literature

15th March, 14:30

Gallery Suite, Room 2, Grand Hall Gallery

2017 marks a time of change across the world as borders close and barriers go up. Yet populations continue to move and to diversify communities and societies around the globe. And, while those in the arts have been among the first to recognise the opportunities this brings, the publishing industry has struggled to keep up with such changes within British society.

Speaking Volumes Live Literature Productions’ 2017-18 initiative, the Arts Council England-funded Breaking Ground project, sheds light on how it makes social, political and economic sense to back UK writers of colour and to put them centre stage. Taking British black, Asian and minority ethnic artists to Europe as well as making samples of their work available in translation, Breaking Ground offers the chance to build international networks and connections and to develop writers’ careers across borders and languages.

This panel, featuring Speaking Volumes and three diverse writers, offers a fascinating insight as to why publishing needs to be more inclusive and how that can be achieved in today’s climate. There will also be free copies of the accompanying Breaking Ground brochure, which highlights 200 contemporary British writers of colour, including many up-and-coming voices who are not yet published. #BreakGround2017

With Sharmilla Beezmohun, Co-Director, Speaking Volumes Live; Literature Productions; Caleb Femi, Poet; Colin Grant, Author; Nick Makoha, Poet and Razia Iqbal, Journalist and presenter, BBC.


EdTech Exchange: Meet the Innovators (Part One)

15th March, 14:30

Theatre @ Tech

Hear from three of the most exciting start-ups in the EdTech sector: Bibblio, Blippar, and Kortext.

Mads Holmen, founder of Bibblio, a content recommendation platform for non-fiction content, presents “From content to digital experiences”

Colum Elliott-Kelly from Blippar, the world’s leading augmented reality platform, presents “How augmented reality turns the physical page into a digital education portal”

James Gray CEO of Kortext presents “Digital content growth aligns with institution’s priorities”


Reimagining Book Concepts for Digital Audiences: How Grief is The Thing With Feathers inspired a virtual reality story

15th March, 15:15

Theatre @ Tech

Ben James brings installation and experience design together with emerging technologies to create narrative-led environments. Anna Kiernan has a background in publishing and researches reading communities.

After reading Grief is The Thing With Feathers, Anna and Ben decided to bring together their very different skill-sets to explore the narrative digital potential for grief.

The outcome is, ‘And the memory fills all space’, a VR experience designed in collaboration with Charles Harrop-Griffiths, which is intended to reframe how we understand and communicate grief.

The immersive process of taking a journey through grief via virtual reality is just one way that a book concept can engage different audiences. Potentially, VR might appeal to hard-to-reach readers and provide a gateway for engaging with literary texts via a non-literary context (VR). VR could also provide exciting opportunities for promoting new titles.


East Meets West on Mobile Storytelling Platforms

16th March, 10:00

Cross-Media Collection

The West has watched China’s mobile reading phenomenon with interest. Particularly, the Chinese readers who now read self-published serialised stories on mobile devices through platforms such as Tencent, and before that, literature platforms such as Qidian and Cloudary. These readers are paying for stories in new and interesting ways: for additional excerpts of their favourite stories, they’re making micro-payments through their phones. For many years, Wattpad has been the closest equivalent in the West for serialised mobile content, but the business model has always been slightly different to the Chinese model. It’s only now that we’re starting to see genuine Western equivalents…

We’ll be hearing from Singing Grass Communications’ Alicia Liu; Teseo’s Octavio Kulesz; Radish Fiction’s Suengyoon Lee and oolipo’s James Pullin. They’ll get to the heart of whether readers in the East and the West respond in similar or distinct ways when it comes to the consumption of mobile stories. Chaired by The Literary Platform’s CEO & Founder, Sophie Rochester.


Accessing the Publishing Market in China

16th March, 13:00

International Business Lounge

As the world’s largest economy, the publishing market in China offers a huge potential for the creative industry in the UK. Alicia Liu from Singing Grass hosts a forum with leading experts from China to discuss how to access the market through import and export, rights trading, joint venture, online retail and how to seize the opportunity of the rapid growth of the children’s book market in China.

With Ge Qingwen, President and editor-in-chief, Phoenix Fine Arts Publishing Ltd;

Fan Xiaohong, Vice President, Foreign Language Teaching and Research Publishing House; Michelle Zhao, Director, Overseas Content Department, Digital Development Center, China National Publications Import & Export (Group) Corporation (CNPIEC) and Alicia Liu, Managing Director, Singing Grass Communications.


Taking Storytelling off the Page: The Next Chapter

16th March, 13.00

Cross Media Collection

Creator of The Witcher Andrzej Sapkowski in conversation with Nicholas Lovell, author of The Curve, on the part storytelling plays in his multi-format, bestselling series.


How to Publish a Vlogstar

16th March, 14.30

Cross Media Collection

After the first rush of the eye-popping sales from the likes of Zoe “Zoella” Sugg [pictured] and Alfie Deyes, we are arguably entering a second, more mature phase of YouTuber publishing. How can publishers continue to harness vloggers’ rabid fanbases? Agents, publishers and “sex-positive” YouTuber Hannah Witton—whose book Doing It (Wren & Rook) is out next month—share their thoughts. The event will be chaired by Curtis Brown agent Gordon Wise, who has vlogger KSI and YouTube collective The Sidemen on his client roster.

For all events, take a look at The London Book Fair’s website here.

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