The 2012 edition of the Tools of Change for Publishing conference will open its doors on February 13 in New York City.
Since we’re in the home stretch, I rounded up TOC chairs Kat Meyer and Joe Wikert to discuss the major publishing trends and developments that are shaping the conference. Below, you’ll find the five biggest takeaways from our chat. The associated audio podcast contains the full conversation.
1. Publishing is rife with startups
The publishing world is no longer solely the domain of big old organizations. There’s a whole bunch of startups engaged in a variety of publishing experiments. TOC 2012 will feature notable upstarts in the Startup Showcase and throughout the conference program.
2. You’ve got the data, now what do you do with it?
Digital and data go hand-in-hand, and that means publishers — whether they know it or not — are running data-driven businesses. They need to learn how to gather, mine and use all those datasets to their advantage. The practical application of data will be an important theme at the conference.
3. No more ugly ebooks
Those quick and dirty digital conversions won’t cut it anymore. Readers are committing to digital, and now they’re rightfully demanding top-notch ebook / app experiences. It’s time for publishers to meet that demand.
4. Publishing is bigger than books
Book people have something to learn from media people, and media people can learn from book people. Toss in film and music folks, and you’ve got a huge digital knowledge base that can be drawn from and adapted. This year at TOC, there’s a concerted effort to expand “publishing” beyond its narrow and traditional definition.
5. “Change/Forward/Fast” isn’t just a catchy tagline
Agile development began in the software world, but its core attributes of iteration and feedback also apply to publishing. Agile methodologies and applications will be discussed in a variety of TOC sessions.
Again, those are just the takeaways from the interview. The podcast has much more on TOC’s major themes and what you can expect to see. It also includes a “bold prediction” from Joe that, if realized, could completely change the way publishers handle mobile apps and ebooks.