Position paper proposal for the Eighth International Conference on the Book. In 2010, the Conference is to be held at the University of St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland from 6-8 November 2010
my paper will have this title
Post-desktop publishing: future books in an era of ubiquitous digitality. The Implications of intelligent and pervasive book forms.
The Book Conference will provide a forum for participants in the book publishing industry, librarians, researchers and teachers from around the world to discuss the past, present and future of the book, and with it, other key aspects of the information society, including publishing, libraries, information systems, literacy and education.
in fact it's worth quoting from last years conference as the themes are so relevant, although I'm coming at it from the point of view of writing and reading more than selling, obviously:
Digital technologies are not mere tools applied to stable phenomena. Instead, they are essential factors in the creation of a new space — the digital sphere. Although the digital sphere shares many characteristics with traditional productive and social realms, it also introduces mechanisms and possibilities that make it profoundly distinct.
The digital sphere provides novel opportunities and challenges to the publishing industry, raising key questions about the ways in which publishing and related sectors might be accommodated. This panel will serve as a forum for the examination of these possibilities through a consideration of key questions, such as:
Is the book publishing industry in better shape than the music industry, and therefore better equipped to cope with digital downloading?
What does social media mean for book publishing?
Is the ‘long tail’ approach to sales and distribution just fashionable hype, or can it lead to increased profits? If yes, for whom?
Is downloading of greater interest to publishers than Print on Demand?
How big of a problem is piracy? Is it an inevitable fact of life or a profound threat?
And, more generally, what is the publisher’s role in the digital sphere? What is the key to success in this realm?
The description of conference talking circles is a useful model as well