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  • Digital Book World Recap

    Digital Book World 2024 marked our third visit to the conference and our second time with a booth and a banner and a strong company presence. We spoke on panels, live demoed the platform twice (creating a styled eBook in just over five minutes), and had the usual variety of encouraging meetings, new connections and oddball observations—most notably the impressive quality of distribution company representative’s side projects. I’ve long had Scott Simpson’s Twitter stream and blog bookmarked, this year I learned Kobo’s Mark Lefebvre is working on a werewolf-in-New York novel, appropriately titled A Canadian Werewolf in New York.

    Interestingly, this year I found myself most engaged when learning about projects like Mark’s or discussing what people were doing creatively, like seeing Michael Fabiano and Peter Costanzo fresh from the NBC Publishing announcement, or stopping conversion company reps to look at their sample ePub 3 files. Walking the vendor hall or peeking in on panels, I got the sense that the technology for content creation is falling into place. The tools exist, the ways to create digital books and create them at scale. What we need now is the will to put those tools to use and start producing new titles and new experiences (hats off to NBC here).

    I’m reading the David Foster Wallace road-trip/bio Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, and it resonated with my experience at Digital Book World. The conference is a place where bookish tech people and techish book people learn about new platforms and files and metadata tactics. But ultimately we’re all going to end up being ourselves, and those selves are in most cases people who like books. And what we want, what gets us, is new experiences—the mental pyrotechnics the technology is making easier to deliver.

    This year’s DBW drove home that  the tools exist—including ours. Last year I heard everyone talking about “experimenting,” I didn’t hear that phrase so much this year. People know digital books work. Now’s the time to make more and better books—better styled books, better formatted books, better looking books, unexpected books and books from unexpected sources.

    Next year? It’s all going to be about marketing.

    eBooks (and Vook) everywhere

    Apple’s iBooks 2 and iBooks Author announcement ahead of next week’s Digital Book World lit up eBook discussions like a bonfire of paper books or, you know, End User License Agreements—which is exactly what many commenters seemed to want to make of Apple’s EULA for iBooks Author, which requires books created with the application to be sold exclusively through iBooks.

    EULA brouhaha aside — Apple’s an innovative company, a valued distribution partner and we think they’ve made a sharp tool.  There’s more than enough room for other eBook creation platforms (like us!) to co-exist with what Apple’s developed. We’re agnostic in who we serve; they’re a grand cathedral—though more like Osaka’s Church of the Light than a gothic Chartres.

    Content holders are going to need platforms to create files that can be accessed by a multitude of devices and readers, both those existing now and those yet to come. Vook’s already delivering this service, and our output file types and feature sets will grow ever more robust.

    We’ve been featured in articles and interviews this week, both giving our take on the Apple announcement and talking about what we’re building. Here’s a quick round up of the Vook press coverage for those keeping score.

    Vook in eBook Newser: We defend publishers, which isn’t too surprising—some of our best friends are publishers.


    Vook in GigaOm: We give some perspective on the iBooks Author announcement.


    Vook in Digital Book World: We deploy the phrase “barbed wire gardens”.


    Look for us next week at Digital Book World!

    Digital Book World Recap

    Greetings Everyone,

    Vook just returned from three days at Digital Book World – and we’ve got some exciting news that you may have caught in a recent Publisher’s Weekly blurb.

    The first item in our string of great news is that Vook’s staff is expanding, and as the new Acquisitions B2B Marketing Manager @ Vook starting today, I am very excited to inform you about all the latest news and developments at the publishing industry’s leading digital publishing house.

    As also stated in Publishers Weekly, Head of Acquisitions Matthew Cavnar unveiled MotherVook at Digital Book World this week—a new, innovative product that will allow publishing houses to create enhanced eBooks for every platform, including the Apple App Store, Apple iBookstore, and Amazon’s Kindle App. You’ll be able to also reach a lot of new distribution channels while retaining all intellectual property rights to your content. With the prediction of more than 15 million iPads to be sold this year alone, MotherVook will help you stay ahead of the competition in a growing market.

    If you’re interested in learning more about MotherVook and how it can help enhance just plain text by giving them a life of their own, please contact Matthew@vook.com.

    I look forward to blogging with you, and I welcome your comments.

    Warm regards,


    Acquisitions B2B Marketing Manager @ Vook

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