Friday, April 1, 2011


This is an exciting new time for the children's book world. There are so many new digital forms for delivering storytelling to children. I was pleased to see O'Reilly create the first TOC Bologna, bringing together digital pioneers from around the globe. Kudos go to Kat Meyer from O'Reilly and co-curator Neal Hoskins publisher, Winged Chariot, for making this happen.

I've started collecting a list of articles about TOC BOLOGNA & THE BOLOGNA BOOK FAIR 2011 for interested digital book builders who didn't attend.

Here are the official quotes defining the conferences via PUBLISHING PERSPECTIVES.

"O’Reilly’s Tools of Change for Publishing events have helped define the agenda for publishers seeking to understand the impact of digital and mobile technology on reading and the business of publishing. The mobile web is driving fundamental changes in modes of reading and sharing, and few audiences will adopt those new modes more quickly than digital natives coming of age immersed in that mobile web. We’re thrilled to be working with the Bologna Children’s Book Fair to bring the TOC message to the children’s book industry." - Andrew Savikas, VP Digital Initiatives at O'Reilly Media

"The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is the top meeting place for the children’s book industry. We are delighted to be working with O’Reilly Media on this new conference. We aim to offer a lively and profitable debate on the issues that the industry is facing. It is fantastic to start 2011 with a conference about the digital book world so that we can explore the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead." 
- Robertta Chinni, Project Manager for the Bologna Book Fair

Storytime Goes Digital: Assessing the Children's E-Book and App Market at TOC Bologna
"When Donnini made that statement, the makers of the Nursery Rhymes with StoryTime app chirpily tweeted to say “we sell that in a day.”  Great –- this is heartening to hear -– but the Nursery Rhymes app was created by developers sitting wholly outside of the publishing industry (not to mention the fact that their app is in English, a market with a vast head start over the Italian one — which doesn’t yet have the Kindle — and where Mondadori operates). Still, somewhere along the line publishers need to work out what these developers without any prior publishing experience are doing right. "
" - Publishing Perspectives

Bologna 2011: Back To Business at a Buoyant Fair
As far as discussions of e-book rights during meetings, Disney rights director Molly Kong reported, "No one brought up digital and I didn't ask about it. It inserts itself at the contract stage." E-rights are currently "a legal minefield," said Allen & Unwin rights director Angela Namoi. "E-books have been made corporate. U.S. publishers are assuming they have e-book rights, which puts the onus back on us, and it's taking a long time to do contracts." - Publishers Weekly

'Do Not Spend Too Much Money'- App Talk at Bologna TOC
Delegates from 27 countries were present, and yesterday's event (Sunday 27 March) also had an international following via Twitter. The straightest talking of the day came from Mondadori m.d. Laura Donnini, who said the publisher had sold just 2,000 copies of its most successful app. She warned: "You cannot break even if you spend €20,000 or €40,000 on your app with developers. Do not spend too much money." - FUTUREeBOOK

Bologna 2011: Surveying the Digital Landscape fro 'Generation Angry Birds'
In an afternoon keynote, illustrator and Cambridge School of Art professor Martin Salisbury said that with emerging technology such as e-books and apps, “The people who embrace it first are seduced by the technology rather than what you can do with it. But eventually the artists figure out a way to make the technology work for them. We’re in that phase where everyone’s floundering around talking about the medium and not the content.” - Publishers Weekly

"The opportunities for digital selling and marketing are already huge. One in four books – and one in five children’s books – in the UK is sold via an internet-only retailer (and Amazon is much the largest of these) so digital selling is a real and growing fact of life. Websites, electronic marketing and social media have opened up a way for publishers, who have traditionally “handed off” relationships with readers and book-buyers to retailers, to communicate directly with their consumers in a two-way conversation, and we have seen the development of the “consumer critic” – blog and rate-and-review website-enabled people whose opinion is trusted by other consumers, perhaps more than they trust the voice of the professional critic." - Kate Wilson, NOSY CROW
Nosy Crow Inks German, French App Publishing Pacts
"U.K-based Nosy Crow has closed deals to publish its apps in France and Germany. Through the deal, with German house Carlsen and French house Gallimard, a number of the company's story book apps will be released in the European countries. The first app to be released by both Carlsen and Gallimard will be the Three Little Pigs app." -Publishers Weekly

Article from David Maybury about TOC Bologna 2011 here.
TOC Bologna 2011
"Josh Koppel from Scrollmotion highlighted what encompasses my own take from the conference: publishers should invest in content and not in technology. (Not sure that I agree entirely but while the technology is still as unsettled as it is, anyone investing should make it as universal as possible – avoid proprietary platforms and focus on HTML5 based products). " -David Maybury

An interview from THE LITERARY PLATFORM with Jacob Lewis, TOC Bologna 2011 Speaker here.
A Figment of Their Imagination
"TLP: When did Figment launch?
JL: Figment launched on December 6, 2010. We had run a prototype for the preceding five months, which had about 500 users. Since we’ve launched, the site has more than 28,000 registered users and over 55,000 pieces of writing, from poetry to multi-chaptered novels." -Miranda West, THE LITERARY PLATFORM

If you know of any other relevant articles, please leave them in the comments or tweet me @cynthiajabar and I'll add them to the list. Thanks & enjoy the read!

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