Lately two ‘top-15-twitters-in-digital-publishing’ lists have been sent around twitter; one from Maria Schneider at Mashable and another from Hugh McGuire at BookOven. Below are the lists for your edification. Perhaps BookNet will make a list too but it would be impossible to limit it just to 15—but then again you could just go to tech forum 2010 or any of the emerging bookcamps to know what we think.
@jafurtado: The Human News Feed. José Afonso Furtado, Portuguese university prof and Director of the Gulbenkian Foundation, has been called the “Associated Press” of digital books. His twitter stream catches just about every major event, announcement, and interesting blog post about the future of publishing before anyone else. Essential reading for anyone wanting to keep tabs on new developments in digital and books.
@booksquare: Defender of the Reader. Kassia Krozser writes the BookSquare blog, and is a passionate defender of “the reader” in the debates about the future of books. She was one corner of the sadly-demised Quartet Press. Not sure what she’ll be up to next, but she’s always worth reading, if only to remind everyone in publishing that in the end, it’s the readers who matter most.
@eoinpurcell: The Small Publisher: Eoin Purcell is a driving force behind digital publishing in Ireland, and a and thoughtful blogger about the changes as seen from the inside of the industry.
@liza: The Queen of epub: Liza Daly is doing more interesting work in pushing the future of books than just about anyone I know.
@andrewsavikas: Vice President of the Future, Now: Andrew Savikas is the VP of Digital at O’Reilly Media, the most digitally innovative publisher in the world (followed by Harlequin). Andrew preaches the successful future of digital, from the perspective of the “canary in the coal mine:” O’Reilly looks now like most (surviving) publishing houses will look in ten years, and many of the questions we all have are being answered as we speak by Andrew and the folks at O’Reilly.
@mdash: The Off-Centre Thinker: Mark Bertils is a Toronto blogger who continues to write some of the most incisive posts about what publishing will look like in the next decade. Mark always seems to come from a fresh angle, and poses questions no one else seems to be asking.
@mikecane: The Crazy Uncle: Mike Cane is the crazy uncle of ebooks and digital publishing. He’s offensive and opinionated, but his analysis is usually spot-on, and I suspect that beneath that ALL-CAPS exterior, there’s a heart of gold, as long as you aren’t a traditional publisher or DRM advocate.
@katmeyer: The Perfect Hostess: If Mike Cane is the crazy uncle, Kat Meyer is the perfect hostess guiding you through the future of books. Another corner of the missed-before-it-arrived Quartet, Kat’s mission is connecting readers, publishers and writers together, and finding new ways to use the web to do it.
@brianoleary: He Who Knoweth What DRM Hath Wrought: Brian O’Leary seems to be the only guy in the universe who has asked, and tried to answer that all-important question: “Well, what is the impact of DRM?” He didn’t just start writing moralist screeds—as everyone else on either side of the question seems to do—he actually studied empirical data. But is anyone listening? Not yet, it seems. But it ain’t all Digital Rights Management & data with Brian: he’s also among the more entertaining pub-mates in the digital book game.
@danwagstaff: The Book Fetishist: Dan Wagstaff, of Canadian book distributor Raincoast Books, has one of the prettiest blogs about books: Casual Optimist. He occasionally takes to task the self-anointed digital punditry (me included) for not being sufficiently knowledgeable about the actual constraints of running a small publishing house.
@stml: The Mad Genius: Brit James Bridle should be celebrated high-and-low for his brilliant experimentations in the future of publishing, but he seems to fly under the radar of the mainstream. James is behind such initiatives as: Bookkake, Bkkeepr, BookSeer, BookCampLondon, the first Tweet Book.
@naypinya: The Radical Librarian: Peter Brantley, Director of the Internet Archive, is the best kind of librarian: he defends access above all else, embracing technology as a means for people to get, and interact with text in new ways. He’s also picked a public fight with Google’s book project, arguing in favour of what might be called the bookish public option. Some call him “the most powerful man in publishing.”
@ljndawson: The Trusted Advisor: Laura Dawson, a consultant who works with writers, publishers, big companies, and little guys. She seems to get just about everything going on in publishing.
@mtamblyn: The BookSeller: Michael Tamblyn, is VP of Sales and Shortcovers, a digital book reading platform and bookstore (owned by Canada’s big retailer, Indigo). Always thoughtful and energetic, and you have to cheer for the little guy, eh, in the context of the big gorilla in the digital book retail space.
@anjelajames: The Editor: Angela James is an editor who is “passionate about digital publishing.” That just about sums it up.
Name: Richard Nash
Who: Indie publisher, formerly of Soft Skull Press who is launching an innovative new social publishing startup called Cursor.
Why: Nash consistently offers a contrarian point-of-view and doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to challenging traditional publishing.
Name: Michael Hyatt
Who: CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers and a prolific blogger who covers the intersection of traditional publishing and social media.
Why: Hyatt is a unique voice as one of the few publishing CEOs who practices what he preaches by blogging prolifically and doing social media outreach via Twitter and Facebook.
Name: Kevin Smokler
Who: Founder and CEO (his partner is Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine) of BookTour.com, a directory of authors chronicling their live and virtual appearances.
Why: Smokler’s site has attracted enough interest to garner $350,000 from Amazon, making it a rare well-funded publishing-centric startup. He often carries on Twitter conversations with followers about books and the publishing industry.
Name: Nathan Bransford
Who: Literary agent with Curtis Brown, he writes a popular blog and tackles tough subjects such as: “Will writers of the future even need publishers?”
Why: Bransford may be the most popular literary agent on Twitter for his straight-up personable advice about where book publishing is headed.
Name: Dominique Raccah
Who: Publisher of Sourcebooks.
Why: She closely tracks and comments on the quickly evolving digital landscape from a publisher’s perspective and consistently offers smart, relevant tweets and links.
Name: Chris Webb
Who: Publisher, John Wiley and Sons UK.
Why: Webb covers the intersection of tech and book publishing from a publishing geek perspective. His tweets give followers an insider’s look into the evolving world of publishing.
Name: Garrett Kiely
Who: Director of the University of Chicago Press.
Why: Kiely closely follows and opines on digital books, copyright issues and the latest ebook developments. His unique perspective as the director of a university press offers an interesting take on the changing publishing landscape.
Name: Tim O’Reilly
Who: CEO of O’Reilly Media, a pioneering force in moving publishing into the digital realm.
Why: He tweets both O’Reilly-centric and general e-publishing news. Because O’Reilly has over a million followers, you probably shouldn’t expect intimate conversation. Still, his perspective on the publishing industry as someone who is actively changing it is not to be missed.
Name: Joe Wikert
Who: Publisher at O’Reilly Media.
Why: Wikert often comments on digital advances in the publishing community and he is always on the lookout for new e-publishing business models.
Name: Guy L. Gonzalez
Who: Director of audience development for F+W Media.
Why: Gonzalez routinely finds and shares the best ebook links, and he often stirs up conversation and controversy about the future of publishing on his outspoken Loudpoet blog.
Name: Debbie Stier
Who: Publisher of book imprint, HarperStudio, which publishes popular social media figures, such as Gary Vaynerchuk.
Why: Stier tweets about publishing news and often shares compelling links about the future of the industry as it pertains to both publishers and authors. She also contributes to the HarperStudio blog.
Name: Mark Coker
Who: Founder and CEO of the startup Smashwords.
Why: His groundbreaking e-publishing platform converts Word documents to digital formats and recently partnered with Barnes & Noble and Sony. His tweets are a great source of publishing industry news and information.
Name: Cory Doctorow
Who: Novelist and blogger for BoingBoing.
Why: Doctorow uses his Twitter account to talk about pioneering digital media strategies for writers. He also coined the much-cited digital media call to arms: “An author’s biggest threat isn’t piracy, it’s obscurity.”
Name: Don Linn
Who: A former executive with Taunton Press, Linn recently attempted to launch an ebook publishing imprint, Quartet Press.
Why: Although Quartet quickly fizzled out, Linn closely follows ebook developments and is always one of the first to tweet ebook developments and offer a business perspective.
Name: Hugh McGuire
Who: Founder and CEO of digital startup bookoven.com, an online space to create and publish books.
Why: McGuire is generally considered one to watch for new digital publishing developments, and he often tweets about publishing industry news.