Home is where the bookstore is

January 29th, 2012 by Anna von Veh § 1 comment § permalink

I’ve just read the piece, ‘The Bookstore’s Last Stand’ in the Business Day section of The New York Times. It struck me that there was a kind of wishful thinking for the ‘good old days’ of print. The article says ‘not many publishers want ebooks to dominate print books’; they may not have a choice. (On the other hand, as has been argued extensively at various publishing conferences, it doesn’t have to be a choice between ebooks and print.)

Yes, the bookstore has been critical for the so-called ‘browsing effect’ of the physical book. This was indeed essential in an industry that existed in print only, and in a world where print was the currency of content. » Read the rest of this entry «

Thoughts on Frankfurt

October 20th, 2011 by Anna von Veh § 0 comments § permalink

I spent a wonderful week in Frankfurt. It started off with my presentation (Improvising Madly: Agile Workflows and Integrated Digital Strategy) at the Tools of Change Conference on the Tuesday and ended with a perfect day on the Friday exploring the Museum of Modern Art, the cafes next to the River Main, and walking along the river bank under a beautiful crisp, blue sky.

The TOC conference was great, although I didn’t get to see many of the presentations due to the four tracks running at the same time. The keynote speakers were inspiring, and I most enjoyed the 5-minute ignite sessions and the conversation between Brian O’Leary and Alistair Horne, moderated by Sheila Bounford. I met many interesting people, including Sanders Kleinfeld from O’Reilly who confirmed for me yet again that the tech world needs more Philosophy and Arts graduates (I’m biased); my LinkedIn friend, Bill Kasdorf; and Helmut von Berg, of Klopotek, who organises an annual Publishers’ Forum in Berlin. Kat Meyer, the conference chair, was a wonder and managed everything with apparent ease, although I know that belied the incredible effort and work behind the scenes.

My thanks in particular go to Brian O’Leary who joined me for my presentation when my co-presenter, Mike, due to unforseen circumstances, wasn’t able to make it to Frankfurt. Brian, as everyone knows, is a considerate, thoughtful and wonderfully intelligent speaker on all aspects of content strategy and more.

In the days in between TOC and my last day, I visited the Frankfurt Book Fair, which was a wonder to behold. Once again, I met inspiring people working at the frontiers of digital publishing, and had great conversations. I stopped by the New Zealand stand and had such a rush of love when I saw that little patch of home.

It is good to be back, jetlag hardly made an appearance, and I’m good to go!

Off to Frankfurt and an update

October 4th, 2011 by Anna von Veh § 0 comments § permalink

I am delighted to have been invited to co-present a session on agile workflows and integrated digital strategy at O’Reilly’s Tools of Change Conference in Frankfurt. Here is a link to an interview with my co-presenter, Mike McNamara, and me that was published today on O’Reilly radar: The agile upside of XML.

I’m working at a software company for the next few months, so my blog posts are likely to be few and far between for a while. Zirk will continue to post his literary musings, and his latest novel, No-Brainer, which is being designed by Sarah at Book Design, will be available from Amazon soon. Update to follow.


Follow-up post to ‘Why publishers need an integrated digital strategy’

July 13th, 2011 by Anna von Veh § 0 comments § permalink

My recent post received comments from Aramanc Consulting (thanks Aramanc), who also offered four principles for establishing an agile publishing program. One of Aramanc’s general comments was that it is difficult to understand “why publishers/production companies see ‘digital’ as a separate entity”, and why they still rely on using the PDF as the basis for a digital workflow. I consider these comments tangentially in this post. » Read the rest of this entry «

Why publishers need an integrated digital strategy

July 12th, 2011 by Anna von Veh § 2 comments § permalink

Recently, I’ve seen a couple of posts advocating that publishing companies should establish separate digital units that are given relative freedom to do their own thing; the implication being that the rest of the business carries on largely as before. I don’t agree with this approach, and here’s why. » Read the rest of this entry «