Our five takeaways from Digital Book World

Lauren Stewart, BookNet Office Manager and in-house Leslie Knope, attended the Digital Book World Conference + Expo this week. Here are five things she learned about data, mobile marketing, and the inevitable takeover of HTML5.

1. Hilary Mason, CEO and founder of Fast Forward Labs, on tools: think critically about the tools you use to examine data. Take, for example, Google Analytics. Daily site visits are represented as a daily tick, with days connected by a line. This suggests a function is behind the activity, where a day’s click is reliant on the previous day, which is not true. It should actually be a bar graph! This was likely an arbitrary decision made by a programmer without a stats background and can’t be reversed.

2. Barry Eisler, author of The Detachment, on the session title “Should Amazon be Constrained and Can They Be?”: do you think Amazon asked themselves “Should New York [Publishing] be Constrained and Can They Be?”

3. Keith Moerer, director of Apple’s iBooks Store, announced that the iBooks store is averaging a million new customers a week since the launch of iOS8. iBooks is now preinstalled and provides 10 free, high-quality books (from established publishers as well as independent authors) to introduce users to iBooks.

4. What’s next for mobile? What was evident was a growing awareness among speakers and attendees of the consumer shift to mobile and the need for the publishing industry to grapple with this. Kristin Fassler, Director of Marketing at the Random House division of Penguin Random House, said mobile has eroded any barriers in the purchasing cycle. You can buy any book at any time from a device in your pocket; there’s no gap to purchase. Pavan Arora, Chief Innovation Officer at Aptara, said marketers will have to use mobile as it’s meant to be used; the next level will be understanding the user experience in order to distribute content appropriately. And then? Shift thinking of the concept of “mobile” as distinct from the smartphone.

5. What we’re all waiting for: HTML5. The what, when, where, why, and how have yet to be addressed.

Bonus takeaway: This Nielsen presentation that shows the impact of ebook sales on print sales in the US and UK.