The Good and (and some Bad) of TOC Frankfurt Coverage

The session from TOC Frankfurt that seems to have generated the most interest in the trade press here at Frankfurt is the one from Brian O’Leary discussing the research he’s been doing on the connection between p2p filesharing activity and book sales. I’m glad to see that, and I hope it persuades some other publishers to join in the research.

Today’s Bookseller includes a piece titled Improved TOC to Return in 2010 by Catherine Neilan that takes issue with the program from Tuesday’s event. Without a hint of irony, Pan Macmillan’s Sara Lloyd, after noting that she’d been a keynote speaker here in Frankfurt and in New York, said that trade publishers weren’t represented.

There is no shortage of events and platforms for mass-market trade publishers to talk about and amongst themselves. (Though I’ll note that there were speakers from Random House, HarperCollins, PanMacmillan, Wiley, Cengage, and Hachette in 2009’s New York program.) There are many at those houses doing interesting and innovative things, and while it’s great to hear from them, TOC is also about expanding that conversation to include voices from outside the traditional publishing circles.

And while Catherine reports that “No one from O’Reilly could be reached for comment,” I can say with certainty that no one tried to reach anyone from O’Reilly at either the email address or phone number listed on every page of the TOC Frankfurt website.

I’m disappointed that some of those from organizations that already have a loud and powerful voice in the industry like Pan Macmillan, Random House, and the Bookseller would choose to criticize TOC for not giving them even more say.