The launch of the recent Futurebook monthly events should tell the organisers of book fairs that the demand and thirst for knowledge for information on digital publishing under one roof is great. Bar Chocolate in Soho was packed to the rafters on Thursday evening, so much so that many spilled onto the street outside for room, air and a place to network.
Many thanks to Sam Missingham from the Bookseller for having the foresight to organise the event and I look forward to attending future meetings. It is clear that the industry needs an organised digital book fair to discuss many of the topics buzzing around the ether in a small bar in Soho. For now the regular ‘Book to the Future’ meetings can suffices in terms of an exchange of knowledge, it is also clear that The London Book Fair (LBF) might not be the vehicle for such an event. For the past three years the LBF has pandered to the old guard with just a cursory nod toward digital publishing.
I think we need something new, something organised from outside the mainstream. The establishment have had their chance to embrace digital and some of them are doing a great job with it while others are content to bury their heads in the sand. It would be great of course to have the full support of the proactive embracers of new publishing technology for a Digital London eBook Fair.
Publishing needs to move forward and examine all the opportunities open to it in terms of delivering content. From augmented reality to fully immersive and interactive eBooks. A forum to showcase technology and discuss the future book is needed. I know it would be hugely popular.