June 5, 2010

"The Value of a Book" - CEO Panel Discussion from BookExpo America on Book TV Available Online

Today, there was a great panel discussion on CSPAN2's BookTV that's available in its entirety online at the BookTV site.  Brought together to discuss "the Value of a Book," some of the biggest in the publishing industry gathered together to talk about the future of books and book publishing.  Including author compensation.

There were talks about the Cloud.  There were talks about making books more enticing, and mention was made of the vellum used in the new Steve Martin novel that's coming out in the fall entitled An Object of Beauty.  We're to expect a very physically beautiful book here, according to the panel.  But will that help sell the contents? 

Scott Turow made a point that I've been thinking for years now: why did the ebook get introduced as a simultaneous product with the newly released hardback?  Readers expect paperbacks to follow months after the hardback, why not follow a similar path for the ebook?  Good question, I think.

Panel Members - Cream of the Crop

Brick and mortar bookstores were represented here, as well as agents, authors, publishers, etc.:
  1. Jonathan Galassi - President, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  2. Bob Miller - Group publisher, Workman Publishing and founder of Hyperion
  3. Esther Newberg -  Executive Vice President, International Creative Management (literary agency)
  4. Skip Prichard - President and CEO, Ingram Content Group Inc. ( book wholesaler)
  5. David Shanks - CEO, Penguin Group (USA), Inc.
  6. Oren Teicher - CEO, American Booksellers Association
  7. Scott Turow - author, attorney, president of Author's Guild

Was a Consensus Reached?  No.
No definitive answers were found.  It was nice to hear what appeared to be genuine concern for paying writers what they're worth for the work that they do. 

Go listen.  It's fascinating and important, whether you're a reader or writer.
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