Guy LeCharles GonzalezMike ShatzkinNext week, the two-day Digital Book World conference gets underway in New York City at a moment when – for better or for worse – the digital tide may become a tsunami for the book publishing world. Ahead of the first-time conference, Chris Kenneally spoke with Conference Chair and industry pundit Mike Shatzkin of the Idea Logical Company and his DBW colleague Guy LeCharles Gonzalez for a special preview.

“Publishers have great tools to compete, but they can only succeed if they know what the game is,” Shatzkin observes, stressing that this new game for publishers – identifying audiences – isn’t as obvious as it sounds.

Gonzales, a poet, F+W executive, and DBW blogger, adds, “The year 2010 will undoubtedly be the year of ‘e,’ but it’s not going to stand for e-book; it will stand for experimentation. Experimentation with contracts, rights, formats and distribution channels; experimentation that will certainly include e-books, but not only e-books.”

DBW speakers scheduled to appear include many recent Beyond the Book guests, including Michael Cader of Publishers’ Lunch; Sourcebooks CEO Dominique Raccah; and Peter Clifton of FiledBy.

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