We’re always looking for new ways to share our stories with you!

Lee here, and I’m excited  that I’ll be heading out to New York for the 2016 Digital Book World Conference + Expo, #DBW16, March 7-9, 2016.

#DBW16 banner

It’s all about publishing’s “digital transformation” and how we can be innovative and have our stories make an impact whether they’re on the page, the screen, the audiobook, or something that hasn’t even been invented yet!

Two of the innovative companies Little Pickle Press is already teaming up with will be at the conference, Hummingbird and Enthrill, so I asked Steven Blake Mettee of Hummingbird and Kevin Franco of Enthrill to each do a quick interview for this blog.

Happily, they both said yes!

StephenBMettee

Stephen Blake Mettee of Hummingbird

Stephen Blake Mettee is the president and chief visionary officer of Hummingbird Digital Media an e-book retailing start-up destined to disrupt the e-book retailing oligopoly. He founded independent presses Quill Driver Books and The Write Thought. During his time at the helm of QDB, Mettee shepherded two titles into Book-of-the-Month Club selections and one onto the New York Times bestseller list. One QDB title was cited in a Supreme Court decision.

He served two years as chairperson of The Independent Book Publishers Association.

Lee: You’ll be one of the speakers on a panel, “New Paths for Direct Sales.” Can you encapsulate Hummingbird’s innovative approach?

Stephen: Anyone can have their own branded and curated e-book and audiobook storefront from which they can sell the titles from more than 2,700 publishers—including their own titles if they’re a publisher. No hurdles or costs are involved. The program is turnkey; it’s as easy as setting up a Facebook page and works to produce sales 24/7/365.

Lee: At lot of people see the ongoing digital changes to publishing as intimidating—change is difficult, and this change seems constant. What’s your advice on transforming that focus to look for the opportunities in all the change?

Stephen: Don’t fear change, embrace it. Don’t reinvent the wheel, look at what others are doing and copy their best practices.

Lee: What do you most look forward to about attending the 2016 Digital Book World Conference + Expo?

Stephen: We’re excited about exposing Hummingbird Digital Media’s unique platform to an industry audience of one thousand plus.

Thanks, Stephen!

KevinFranco

Kevin Franco of Enthrill

Kevin Franco is co-founder and CEO of Enthrill, a digital content distribution company proliferating the distribution and sales of ebooks for publishers world-wide. Enthrill is based in Western Canada, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Enthrill’s copyright protection software delivers ebooks into the native app or platform which the consumer has already chosen as their default reader. Enthrill developed the online and in store ebook program for Walmart Canada and is working with many large retail chains in expanding the points of sale for ebooks.

Lee: One of the conference focuses (and the panel you’ll be on) is “New Paths for Direct Sales.” Can you encapsulate Enthrill’s innovative approach?

Kevin: Focused on building alternate paths to market, Enthrill has paved the way, developing new direct sales for publishers. Some of these include bulk/corporate sales, author download cards and physical retail gift cards distributed through Walmart, Safeway, Sears, Toy’s R Us and many other major retailers. The platform Enthrill created utilizes PackaDRM, the key to delivering content into any device, including e-inks. This new copyright protection software opens up the possibilities for publishers so they can sell ebooks in as many different ways as they can sell print books – with no restrictions placed upon them.

Lee: At lot of people see the ongoing digital changes to publishing as intimidating—change is difficult, and this change seems constant. What’s your advice on transforming that focus to look for the opportunities in all the change?

Kevin: The direct to device (D2D) market, which is what ebook sales is largely comprised of has plateaued and growth in this area is likely to remain slow now that the market has established its settling point on ebook penetration. We see a massive opportunity for publishers to expand their sales in many ways that they are currently unable to access fully, such as B2B sales, bulk, corporate, gifting, educational and via online retailers. We estimate this to be a $4 billion white space of uncharted territory, waiting for the right tool for publishers to access, and we believe we’ve created that tool.

Lee: What do you most look forward to about attending the 2016 Digital Book World Conference + Expo?

Kevin: For me personally, this event puts me face to face with book people. The book industry hosts the most passionate people when it comes to what they produce. Helping to proliferate distribution for publishers and expand the network of people that enjoy books drives our entire team. Digital Book World helps attendees learn about advancements in the industry such as alternate sales channels and new production and distribution tools.

Thanks, Kevin!

If you’ll be at the conference, say hello! And if you’d like to register, #DBW16 is offering a discount on registration: Use the code SCBWI5 to get 5 percent off.

If you want to know more about #DBW16, you can check out my post about the Author Earnings website and Launch Kids here, as well as five more pre-conference interviews (with Christopher Kenneally, Peter Hildeck-Smith,  Jane Friedman, Kristen McLean and Lorraine Shanley) here.

And you can follow along on social media with the hashtag #DBW16.

Thanks for letting me share,

Lee

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *