Friday, January 19, 2007

Digitisation Debate Moves Forward

I was pleased be with many leading industry figures this week. Booksellers, wholesalers and publishers gathered to debate the issues raised in the 'Brave New World' report and how the industry can move forward together. The discussion will be disclosed shortly by the BA, along with the resultant actions and I hope that these prove to be decisive and bold steps. The key is obviously action and quick wins and also helping all participate on a level playing field.

The ironic fact was we gathered in Godalming, the 1894 birthplace of the writer Aldous Huxley, who wrote his groundbreaking ‘Brave New World’ in 1932.

In a week when the wholesale world consolidated and Pearson announced their digital content repository strategy, what was clear was that change is happening.

The ABA (American Booksellers Association) has also announced a new Digital Task Force (DTF) who met for the first time on 10th January in New York. The DTF is composed of 10 booksellers and industry professionals and five ABA staff members, and it is charged advising the ABA on developing its digital strategies. Oren Teicher, ABA COO, briefed the team on the Booksellers Association’s ‘Brave New World: Digitisation of Content’ of which the ABA had requested a number of copies for all team members!

By the end of the year 1300 copies of the Brave New world report have been downloaded from the BA site. The report had many contributors and reviewers and was born out of co-operation and has now hopefully provided the springboard for all to move forward together.