– Why I’m attending the Yale University Book Publishing and Digital Course

It’s almost hard to believe that in just over a weeks time I’ll be on my way to New Haven Connecticut to attend the Yale University Publishing Course on Book Publishing and Digital: Leadership Strategies in a Time of Transition!

“…like an Intensive mini-MBA in Publishing.” Joseph Galarneau, Chief Operating Officer, Newsweek.

In March this year I received an email from a friend I went to school with in Brussels (who runs a publishing company and magazine media company in Sao Paulo Brazil) with a link to the course saying “Anna, you should look into this…. “   I immediately replied saying of course I’d LOVE to go, but all the reasons it would be impossible!  But over the next few days I found myself thinking what if it WAS possible? Wouldn’t it be great to spend a week with leaders and innovators in Publishing and meet people from all around the world equally passionate about the changes occurring in our industry?

There has been rapid progression in the Australian publishing industry in Digital Publishing, but we still have a long way to go. I want to understand and learn what we can apply to our market and in particular what business models are likely to be most effective.

“The Yale Publishing course is a great opportunity to get to speak with professionals from the book industry from around the world, to do so in a relaxed environment… be inspired by the wonderful speakers….about the industry and all the changes…” Charles Melcher, Founder, Melcher Media (who produced Al Gore’s Interactive Book Our Choice)

The Australian market lags behind the US with product and technology launches. We are battling major brand online players and the price and tax advantages they receive compared to local players. We need to focus on the business models that create maximum revenue to allow further investment and experimentation. I’m hoping to gain knowledge about the key strategic areas of skills and workflow transformation that will help Australian publishing in these times.

“We have to learn how to adapt and tell stories in a multi-media way and really need to learn how to sell directly to consumers and build communities around our authors and our titles.” Charles Melcher, Founder, Melcher Media.

Smaller publishers have been challenged in adapting to changes required for digital publishing, due to limited resources and investment ability. The ‘digital-disruption’ means a complete re-think of their current workflows and practices and many are struggling to know how to progress. I would like to work with small publishers in business planning for publishing to a variety of digital outputs.

I want to know what are the most important strategic areas for digital marketing? What innovations are worthy of small publishers’ time? With limited everything, where is it is best to focus their time and resources?

And in a year when Digital Book World’s Inaugural Publishing Innovation Award winners were mostly non-publishers, how can Book Publishers ensure they remain major players in the developing Ebook and Book App market?

I’m very excited about what I will hear and hope to share a lot of it with you through this blog, Twitter (@digireado) and other avenues!

If there was one thing you wanted to learn from this course, what would it be?

If you’d like to see what some of the participants from last year had to say you can view this video.

You may also like to read the following posts:

Article in Bookseller and Publisher October 2011 edition about the Yale course.

Yale Publishing Course and Small Publishers

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