Friday, April 17, 2009

What is the IDPF and what goes on.

For all who have never been to an IDPF (International Digital Publishing Forum), let me give a little summary of how it works.

The event in held every year in New York City. The venue does not really change as New York is the home of The Publishers. It has always been one day only but this year there is a workshop the day prior.

Who goes? This is where the publishers, content providers, eBook Reader manufacturers, format providers, and more all get together. It is not like CES (which is kind of like a joyful party). This is more serious and toned down. It is a day of speeches from the people that are shaping our industry. Here you will find Adam Smith from Google speaking on their 500,000 free eBooks library, Nick Bogaty speaking about Adobe Digital Editions, and the high ups from Kindle and Sony talking about new innovations we may or may not see. There are small 6 by 3 tables in the break room where some manufacturers show their wares. Pastries and coffees and juices overflow and a lot of business gets done in casual conversation. Stats and figures about the industry will be coming forth and DRM will always be discussed. Michael Smith will again talk about the need to discuss epub and how all should adopt it as a format.

A lot of decisions will be made as a result of the conference and meetings will abound both in the IDPF and around it. For the first time ever, Fictionwise will be there and I imagine will speak about Barnes & Noble buying them and about eReader as a format.

Astak will be there showing their latest devices and gaining feedback and making alliances. Some will possibly find the proceedings perhaps "stuffy" and controlled. But, this is where a lot of plans and views are made public. Old enemies and new friends will meet and discuss how they may work together. It is kind of like the State of the Industry and what can be done better to promote it.

It isn't exactly FUN... it is business. I thought that perhaps many might wonder what this conference is all about and how it impacts what we love.

1 comment:

  1. Robert, I'm going to ask a favor. You'd do this anyway, but it's in both our best interests. Please make sure these people understand that all ebook readers are NOT Kindles!! And please make sure they understand that nothing except a Kindle can access Amazon's selections, so if the publishers release ONLY to Amazon, they are alienating potential customers. I am convinced that no one on the publishing end of things understands this. I spent 20 minutes on the phone with St.Martin's Press yesterday, being shunted from department to department, and I never did find anyone who had a clue what I was talking about. They finally pointed me to their textbook site, which was not at all what I was trying to make them understand.


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