I was the happy and grateful recipient of a scholarship to this annual conference that precedes Book Expo America. (As if three days of book talk weren't enough, we then had the opportunity to become lost in the cavernous Javits Center and the second largest book event in the world.) What did I learn in those three days? I'm still sifting through my notes, still sorting business cards and session handouts. But there were two clear messages I brought back from New York.
- First, no one is quite sure where the industry is going, but they are sure that ebooks and ebook readers will continue to be the fastest growing segment of publishing.
- Second, that the people who are afraid of losing any printed book sales (by offering ebook versions, because of ebook sharing, and the like) will miss the enormous opportunities that exist when an industry is a state of change.
After listening to presentations about ebooks and Google Book Search, I've concluded that it's really no different from any other business. You can either be a person who worries about getting every dollar you are entitled to, or you can be a person who first asks, "What can I do for this person? How can I best communicate with them? What can I tell them, how can I help?"
Which one do you think will end up with the healthier business and bank account?