Saturday, January 29, 2011

FutureBook: A Digital Blog From Europe In Association With The Bookseller

FutureBook, A Manifesto In Five

Welcome to FutureBook (in association with The Bookseller), a website dedicated to discussing how the digital revolution will re-shape publishing in the 21st Century.


First, you should notice the text in parenthesis. We created FutureBook to run side by side next to our main site, as a bespoke area dedicated to digital. Though The Bookseller will continue to cover digital (and in all sorts of interesting new ways), we also want to be part of that conversation. We hope FutureBook will give us that space.

Second, we want the conversation to be as vibrant and broad as possible, and have therefore invited a number of collaborators and friends to share their thoughts online regularly. We have asked for unfiltered blogs: if you cannot contribute beyond the company line that is fine, but we feel the digital
conversation is too important to be left in the hands of corp comms. We don't necessarily need to know, for example, when Apple signs with Random House, but we do need to have the discussion on why the 'agency model' may not always be best.

Third, with so much digital thinking coming from the US, we want to create a counterpoint: a place where the UK and wider European book trade can meet to talk through their own needs and ideas. We are not anti-US (far from it), but the conversation that is already happening in the US also needs to find a home on this side of the Atlantic.

Fourth, we want to meet. The Bookseller already hosts an annual digital conference (it even provides the name for this blog), but we will also be arranging regular meet-ups for those who want to take the conversation offline.

Last, it should be enjoyable. The book is not dead, but the printed world is changing. There is a huge amount going on under the wire, from book videos to social networking sites just about books. There is nothing to suggest that the vibrancy and talent that has transformed publishing in the last
thirty years will not continue to underpin it for the next decades: and we want to reflect that.

So here we are, part community forum, part sounding board. It is a place where anyone from industry insiders to digital enthusiasts can report, learn, debate and investigate the future of the book.

Welcome to the conversation.



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