At the Tools of Change conference for 2013, to paraphrase William Gibson, the future is already here – and it was pretty evenly distributed among the many panels and workshops. Publishers and their technology vendors were focused this week on conversion and contraction, distortion and distraction. Conference sponsors O’Reilly Media brought to the New York Marriott Marquis enough futurists for a science-fiction convention. But the TOC mission wasn’t fantasy; it came down to the hard facts of dollars and digital disruption.
“As O’Reilly founder Tim O’Reilly made much of in his keynote address, fear of the future among publishers is abating,” Andrew Albanese, senior writer, Publishers Weekly, tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “A word used here a lot was equilibrium.”
Albanese also previews his own PW interview with literary agent Sterling Lord, who has published a memoir of his half century in the book business, recalling his work for Jack Kerouac and Jimmy Breslin, among many others.
Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.