Talking Innovation at the Professional & Scholarly Publishing (PSP) Conference

2013 Professional & Scholarly Publishing Conference

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) invited Slicebooks to be part of “The Innovators” panel at this year’s Professional & Scholarly Publishing Conference in Washington D.C.  The conference was well attended by STEM publishers despite  travel schedule paranoia due to the monster weather system blanketing New England last week. (Our own flight from D.C to NYC was postponed a day due to the snow storm, so we spent our off day instead at the Smithsonian viewing the Emancipation Proclamation exhibit, Julia Child’s kitchen, the Ruby Slippers and so much more. Time well spent!)

The theme of our presentation at the conference was simple, and more or less echoed by the other Innovation Panel participants.  Today’s users expect choice and flexibility, and content must be made available how and when the user needs it. This is just what Slicebooks is focused on. All of our development and the partnerships we are forming are aimed at making all content available whole, sliced, remixable and accessible immediately from any device. This is as true in educational and journal publishing as it is for trade publishers, and feedback from STEM publishers following the conference indicates that they are on board.


Book Fiesta at Guadalajara Book Expo 2012


A view of the exhibition floor, Guadalajara Book Fair 2012Slicebooks spent the week at the Guadalajara Book Fair introducing our “whole or sliced” retail platform and our slicing and remixing services to STEM  publishers, distributors and educational organizations from throughout Latin America.  This book fair is the largest in Latin America and the 2nd largest in the world after Frankfurt. They expect about 600,000+ visitors to pass through during the 10 days of the fair.

The cultural aspect of this book venue can not be overstated. Mariachis strolling the book fair avenues, art exhibits around every corner.

Here’s the entry into the Guadalajara Book Expo. Chile was the host country.Entry into the Guadalajara Book Expo. Chile was the host country.

For Slicebooks it was both exciting and gratifying to find audiences from a host of Latin American countries (as well as delegations from the US, the UK and Spain) doing emotional backflips after watching demos of our services and retail platform. Giving their book customers the freedom of choosing content whole or sliced, and the ability to easily customize their own ebooks makes obvious sense to them.

Tree of Life made from Mexican chocolate
Tree of Life made from Mexican chocolate

Tree of Life made of Mexican Chocolate at the Guadalajara Book Fair 2012
While not all are yet ready to immediately make the digital leap (Costa Rica University Presses, for example, are looking at a 2 year process of moving to digital) they easily agreed that the transition to making their content available to their customers “whole, sliced and remixable” is a natural next step. We are excited about helping them break on through.

 libros y leopardos (books & leopards) at the Guadalajara Book Fair 2012

Libros y leopardos (books & leopards) at the Guadalajara Book Fair 2012

Launching at the Frankfurt Book Fair

See Slicebooks at the Frankfurt Book FairWe just launched our new beta edition of Slicebooks and are demoing it at the Frankfurt Book Fair for the next 5 days.  This event expects about 240,000 visitors (!) to pass through.  There are 8 different  large and spread out halls for visitors to navigate, and fortunately there are shuttle buses and a well placed train station near Hall 8 where our booth sits in the Digital Innovation Hot Spot. Tomorrow we present on the Hot Spot stage. If last year is any indication we expect to have a crowd of curious publishers from around the world stopping by.

We have found that the pace of the digital publishing revolution varies country to country. Publishers face a sometimes overwhelming number of choices as they scramble to plan a digital strategy for the short and long term and are often looking for just the easy, quick and common sense solution that Slicebooks presents.

You only have to wander a few of these huge halls to get a sense of the many millions of non-fiction books that are out there in the world. We often make the point that, just as consumers have been able to grab a slice of music for years and create their own playlists, they ought to be able to grab a slice out of any one of those millions of books  with a couple of clicks. The new Slicebooks, which is free for publishers to try, makes it easy as bangers and mash (yes, we are working from an Irish pub tonight) for publishers to slice and remix their entire catalogs in no time at all. We’ll be showing them how really easy it is all week.

Slicebooks at BEA 2012

Just finished the 3 day Book Expo America (BEA) event, where we demoed Slicebooks for hundreds of publishers, authors and others interested in the potential of digital content.

We found that, after viewing our 5 minute demo, educators and those in academic publishing, health and medical publishers, small and medium innovative publishers, teachers, trainers – these groups jumped for joy at the possibilities Slicebooks offers them.

On the other hand, some of the biggest NY publishers remain cautious, non committal, sometimes aloof, even afraid of the notion of repurposing their content in this way. I will post a longer article about this later, but it is curious that those with the largest content backlists, who stand to gain the most by giving customers easy, searchable access to their content on a micro level,  remain unconvinced. Many reasons for this, but from a consumer point of view it remains frustrating. I asked the head of digital content from one major publisher how I could easily obtain a chapter from any one of their many thousands of backlist titles. She said she really does not know, and that it would probably take some time.



Why should publishers slice & remix? 9 great reasons.

Book publishing has been around for hundreds of years, and publishers as a rule are often a careful bunch. They do not jump jump into new technologies easily -after all, the original design has worked pretty well for a long, long time. But the challenges and opportunities of the digital age have forced them to take some leaps more swiftly than they are accustomed.

When we talk to publishers about Slicebooks,  they often ask for reasons why they should slice and remix their books. We tend to think the reasons for slicing and remixing content are plentiful and obvious, but we list a few here for those still on the fence.


(or why Slicebooks rocks)

1. BEAT THE INTERNET: When people search the internet for content, they often look for just a slice. Random free content is abundant but often not reliable. Your professionally published slices provide an affordable choice from trusted experts while promoting books and paying the publisher.

2. PUBLISH IN MINUTES, SELL IN MANY WAYS:  In minutes you can upload books, slice them, edit metadata and publish. Slice several books, mix & match slices by topic, author and more to instantly create new custom ebooks. Sell or share on eBookPie or through your own distribution channels.

3. CHOICE RULES!: The Internet has taught us all to expect choice & flexibility. Music customers buy music whole or sliced, and burn playlists of songs from many sources. Use Slicebooks to offer your ebook customers the same flexibility and choice.

4. EVERY TEACHERS DREAM: It’s just a fact that professors commonly photocopy book chapters to manually build custom student guides. Publishers don’t get paid, authors get no royalties. Travelers, trainers and others do the same. Slicing & remixing fills their need – customized content whenever they need it, quickly and easily (and you get paid).

5.  SHORT IS HOT! (ask Amazon): In a recent 14 month span Amazon sold over two million “singles.* Singles are shorter than full-length books but longer than most magazine articles. Sound like intellectual property you already own? Slice and remix to release the valuable singles buried in your backlist and let the world find them.

6. SOAR ON SEARCH ENGINES: The more related items you have for search engines to find, the better your search results. A travel guide sliced into 20 chapters is 20 times more likely to appear in search results. Help your books, brand and sales by effortlessly tapping into the immense power of Internet search.

7. FREE YOUR BACKLIST: How many tens, hundreds, or thousands of backlist content gems do you have buried that could be sliced and sold separately or remixed into new custom books? Slice & remix to find new readers without having to generate new content.

8. FEED DEAL HUNTERS:  Chapters and singles can often be priced in that bargain sweet spot many ebook shoppers are looking for. Use slices to promote your catalog to the world while attracting customers looking for just a slice.

9. RESOURCE SAVER: Slicebooks is so easy that one person in a few minutes can create and publish new, sellable digital content using only your existing ebook files, saving publishers time & resources while greatly expanding your digital catalog.

There are more, like easy metadata creation and editing, swift updating, etc. Visit us for a 5 minute demo of Slicebooks and we’re sure you’ll be convinced.

We’ll be at BookExpo America in New York City June 5-7 in the Digital Zone – booth DZ2125. Stop by for a 5 minute demo.

Slicebooks chosen to present at Digital Show & Tell on June 7

Slicebooks has been chosen to be one of 18 presenters at the annual Digital Show & Tell event on June 7,  sponsored by Book Industry Study Group (BISG).

Digital Show & Tell Event, sponsored by the Book Industry Study Group (BISG)At Digital Show & Tell, developed by BISG with support from the Ebooks, EReaders, Digital Books LinkedIn Group and sponsored by BookExpo America, participants “Speed Date” up and coming projects in the e-book, e-reader, and digital content space.

We’ll make 9 five-minute presentations to 9 different groups. At the end of the presentations, the audience will vote on their favorite.  We’ll be up against some impressive competition so hopefully the network will hold up. Go Slicebooks!

Getting Slicebooks ready for BEA 2012

After a successful private beta (thanks to all the publishers who participated) we have been busy tweaking the Slicebooks user interface based on all the good feedback we received. We plan to release a new and improved Slicebooks in public beta in time for the opening of our booth at BEA 2012 in NYC on June 4. We are particularly excited by our new Remixing UI, which makes it more intuitive for publishers to create custom content by easily mixing & matching all available PDF or ePub content. Those slices can be uploaded from various sources (ebooks, journals, articles) or sliced from eBooks using the Slicebooks slicing tool.

Contact us for an appointment at BEA 2012 from June 5-7 to see how Slicebooks can revolutionize your digital publishing program.

Slicebooks at the Frankfurt Book Fair

Interview with international journalists at Frankfurt Book Fair

International journalists ask questions about Slicebooks at the Frankfurt Book Fair

In October we demonstrated an alpha version of Slicebooks for the first time at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

We started the show on the Sparks Stage  showing Slicebooks on the big screen to a standing-room only crowd. we spent the next 5 days at the eBookPie booth showing publishers, distributors, journalists and authors how quickly they can slice and remix content, edit and export metadata and all the other new digital publishing tools Slicebooks puts at their fingertips.

After so many months of development, it was great to finally unveil Slicebooks to the world and receive so much great feedback. It was great confirmation to see how quickly publishers  understood how Slicebooks could immediately help them accelerate their digital publishing programs. A large publisher from North Carolina has the best comment of the week, saying after she sat through the Slicebooks demo, “I think I’ve died and gone to heaven!”

Slicebooks booth at the Frankfurt Book Fair

Jill demonstrates Slicebooks to publishers at the Frankfurt Book Fair

Now we have to go back, take all that feedback and get Slicebooks ready for beta launch in January. There is still a lot of work to do, but knowing we have a world full of publishers interested in Slicebooks sure helps keep us moving.