In September, men and women from around the world gathered to discuss and debate the major issues of our time. In spite of language and cultural differences, those assembled sought common ground and to resolve the challenges that threaten to bring chaos. While that describes the United Nations General Assembly – the annual trade show of diplomats – it’s apt as well for the annual Publishing Business Conference & Expo, which met in Manhattan on the same week.
Moving beyond borders is a longstanding ambition of the UN, but only recently, one that the publishing industry might reasonably dream about. Not very long ago, territories and markets were clearly delineated. Crossing from one to the other meant surmounting daunting obstacles. Not so in 2013. And as one would expect, the driving force is technology.
“What we’re seeing in both North America and around the world is that the majority of the people – and there are exceptions to this – are not buying the devices because they want to own an e-reader or they want to own a tablet,” explained Giovanni Mancini, director of product management and head of e-marketing at E Ink. “What they’re really buying into is an experience. They want the experience of reading a book, they want the experience of losing themselves in the story. So, to the extent that a device enables that, that device becomes popular. If the device gets in the way of that, then that device becomes less of a popular adopted device around the world.”
Joining Mancini in a panel discussion moderated by CCC’s Chris Kenneally were Dave Anderson, vice president, vendor management for Kobo, as well as Marcus Woodburn, vice president, digital products at Ingram Content Group.