I attended the Futurebook Innovation Workshop today. The half day conference featured panels, speakers and Q&A focused on inspirational projects being created by the leaders of digital publishing in the UK.
Refreshingly, this wasn’t a series of lectures. It moved beyond the ‘change your business model or perish’ preaching that we’ve heard many times and I think the industry (in the UK at least) now understands. Instead, we were treated to a host of projects, ideas and new thinking from app developers and digital publishers.
If the workshop was lacking in anything, it would have been been good to hear more metrics attached to the ideas that were shared. There were some glossy and, presumably, costly projects on show and I for one was left wondering who was actually making money here. Also, the extent of the programme was such that there was little to no time for questions after each session. Nonetheless, from short format ebooks to multimedia storytelling, augmented reality poetry (yes, really) to the new Unbound crowdfunded imprint, the day was packed with ideas.
It was the kind of conference that inspired you to think as much as giving a set of actions to apply when back in the office. With that in mind, these are my first areas of inspiration from the day:
- Test more in the field of long form journalism/short ebooks at lower price points.
- Think more about enhancement with audio. We talk much more about video than audio, but there were two sessions that covered sound.
- Test the use of QR codes in books as a tool to better engage the reader and take them into a further enhancement of the experience online.
- Form strong partnerships, Innovate and focus on quality for success in enhanced and app projects.
- Resist the pressure for the race to the bottom on price, particularly when it comes to the 59p app.
- There is plenty of great product out there, successful marketing is key.
- Keep pushing for greater & deeper analytics. Invest in the resource to apply knowledge from this data.
That’s only a flavour really, plenty of other food for thought from the projects presented. I hope that those who presented will be brave enough, and allowed, to share more sales data in time.