Tech Forum and ebookcraft: we've got sessions!

We gave you 8 reasons you shouldn't miss Tech Forum and ebookcraft, but we still have more things to announce! Since early-bird pricing has been extended for another week (to Jan. 31, don't miss out!) we wanted to give you a little taste of some of our favourite workshops and sessions from Tech Forum and ebookcraft to get your excitement flowing! 

Ebookcraft workshops (March 30, 2016)

All the things you're not supposed to be able to do with ebooks (and some things you actually can't)
Hosted by Derrick Schultz

The next generation of ebook creators are already familiar with the latest techniques and want to make the things most people can’t - and they want to do it efficiently. Join Derrick Schultz, an expert in what you can and cannot get away with in ebook design and development, in a discovery of the bold and the beautiful of exhilarating ebook design and pick up tips and tricks to:

  • manage your CSS better using SASS;
  • simplify your InDesign exports via scripting;
  • create animations and interactivity using CSS and javascript (with an emphasis on reflowable books);
  • create reusable scripts and patterns;
  • manage themes and night modes;
  • and target various devices.

And, don't worry: you'll learn how to ensure your next-gen ebooks degrade gracefully on devices that don’t support these crazy things.

The CMS workflow in book publishing: Who, where, and why?
Hosted by Colleen Cunningham

Publishers now prepare books for multiple platforms simultaneously. A content management system (CMS) allows for this but the whole story does not stop there. It takes a team of editors, print designers, and ebook developers actively engaged in implementing, troubleshooting, and maintaining the CMS workflow to maximize its rewards of efficiency and profitability. Join Colleen Cunningham as she explains the skills the CMS workflow requires of your role and what successes, problem-tunities, and opportunities to be prepared for. This workshop is for anyone who wants to prepare themselves for being hired in a CMS workflow or if you already work in a CMS and want to sharpen your skillset.

Matrix revolutions: ebook indexing
Hosted by Pilar Wyman

This workshop provides an overview of ebook indexing, including indexing for EPUBs, alternative ebook formats, and for content that will be output in multiple formats, like print, PDF, HTML, XML, and more. Pilar will introduce matrix tools for decision-making regarding ebook indexing processes and general workflow decisions. She will also lead the group through various role-playing scenarios, as they work together to resolve them with the help of the matrices.

Check out even more ebookcraft workshops here

Ebookcraft main day (March 31, 2016)

When nothing ever goes out of print: Maintaining backlist ebooks
Hosted by Teresa Elsey

When ebooks make a publisher's dream of never having books go out of print become a reality, what editorial, production, and technical obstacles arise? Of the ebooks that Teresa's group at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt releases each month, something like two-thirds are updates of existing ebooks rather than new ebooks. Besides the technology advances that affect the quality of those earlier conversions, those backlist ebooks aren't getting any more semantic, aren't getting any more legal, aren't getting any more accurate, and have increasingly irrelevant metadata. What challenges and questions arise when books turn into software and ebooks don't go away after you've made them? 

CSS3 animation and artful storytelling: Adding value to children's ebooks
Hosted by Kris Vetter

While publishers are trying to take advantage of the newest EPUB capabilities to make children’s ebooks more engaging, there is a flood of gimmicky, ill-conceived use of CSS3 animation. When animation hides under the guise of adding “value" to a book, but merely allows an illustration to wiggle or bounce without contextual meaning, it falls flat on the audience and wastes development money with little added return. Books that successfully uses CSS3 animation are a joint effort between editorial and development to merge textual, visual, and auditory experiences to increase a child’s understanding of the text. Just as ebooks shouldn’t be an afterthought to print books, CSS3 animation shouldn’t be an afterthought to storytelling.

What if? A practical implementation of the EPUB+WEB vision
Hosted by Dave Cramer and Tzviya Siegman

What if we could start over with EPUB, without worrying about backward compatibility? What would an ebook format look like? Could we make it simpler, more powerful, less maddening? Enter the "simplest possible ebook format," a thought experiment, a specification, a straw-person, a way of thinking about how to move ebooks forward, a utopian vision of the future. Join Dave Cramer and Tzviya Siegman, and take a break from the frustrating life of an ebook developer. Let's stop venting on Twitter, take off our "Wizard of Workarounds" hats, and forget for a moment that all those reading systems are mangling and crippling our beautiful files. Let's talk design goals, the browser as reading system, and how modern web technology might apply to ebooks. Let's start at zero.

There are even more ebookcraft sessions here 

Tech Forum (April 1, 2016)

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction
Hosted by Dan Gardner

Tech Forum will include a keynote talk from Dan Gardner, author of Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail—And Why We Believe Them Anyway and co-author of Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction. This latest book offers the first demonstrably effective way to improve our ability to predict the future, and Dan will be offering key insights for anyone who publishes or sells books.

Tech as equalizer case study: We Read Too
Hosted by Kaya Thomas

Kaya's interest in technology began during the winter of 2014, and she began working at Tiltfactor, a game design lab for social change. In August 2014, she developed an iOS application called We Read Too. We Read Too is a book resource application that showcases a directory of hundreds of children's and young adult fiction books written by and for people of colour. Currently, We Read Too’s directory contains over 600 books and the app has over 4,000 downloads.

Panel: Encouraging grassroots innovation at a legacy publisher
Featuring Teresa ElseyLaura BradyMeghan MacDonald, Erin Mallory and Chantal Restivo-Alessi

When you're working at a big publisher, what kinds of innovation can you introduce in ebook/digital processes—while still keeping up with the day-to-day work? And what strategies can you use to make change when it's not just up to you, when it requires influencing your bosses and colleagues, who may be happy with the status quo? Will include examples from Teresa's group at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (including working with an independent programmer to build tools, hackathon participation, award show entries, and more).

There are even more exciting things to see at Tech Forum here

Speaker announcements

The full schedule is still to come, but you can see the full list of announced session descriptions here, and put faces to some of the speaker names with our full list of announced speakers. Speaking of, we have a few more speakers to announce:

Laura Brady

Laura Brady

Laura Brady is an ebook developer and the principal of Brady Type. She consults on workflow, tools, specifications, and production best practices. In her spare time she helps plan ebookcraft and follows the Blue Jays. She also probably tweets too much.

Noah Genner

Noah Genner

Noah Genner has an extensive background in independent bookselling, software and business development. As the leader of BookNet Canada he orchestrates a skilled team of technical, policy-oriented and client-focused staff to provide new data management services and supply-chain initiatives to the Canadian publishing and book retail sectors.

Before working at BookNet Canada, Noah ran his own technology and software development consulting business, servicing a wide range of clients including book publishers and printers. Prior to that, Noah was Director of Software Development for consumer market research leader Compusense, where he oversaw the development of a variety of software projects used by numerous Fortune 500 companies worldwide.

Noah serves on the Board of Directors of the Book Industry Study Group and eBOUND Canada, and is Chair of the ONIX International Steering Committee.

India Amos

India Amos

India Amos has been an e-book developer, managing editor, art director, book designer, compositor, copyeditor, proofreader, webmaster, arts administrator, and bookseller—though probably not all at the same time. She lives in New York City.

John Rodzvilla

John Rodzvilla

John Rodzvilla is currently the Senior Electronic-Publisher-in-Residence in the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College in Boston, MA. He is also working as the Graduate Program Director for the department's new online MFA in Popular Fiction and Publishing. He has been a consultant for Ploughshares Magazine and active in Bookbuilders of Boston. He holds a Masters Degree in Library and Information Science from Simmons College.

Nick Ruffilo

Nick Ruffilo

Nick Ruffilo is the Commerce Technology Manager of Ingram, working directly on  Nick has been a web developer for more than 15 years and is an Invited Expert on the W3C Digital Publishing workgroup.  Additionally, he teaches web-based video game development every Tuesday night at 9:30pm Eastern live at  In addition to writing code, he is also the author of "Zen of Technology: Stress Free Email."

Champagne Choquer

Champagne Choquer

Champagne Choquer has been an ebook developer since 2011 when she completed her Master's of Publishing thesis on ebook design. In addition to being well-versed in ebook production and all of the trials and tribulations that come with it, she's also a self-proclaimed font nerd. She has researched font formats, type rendering and web fonts thoroughly and is more than a bit obsessed when it comes to managing her font library. Champagne is a book designer and ebook developer, and has worked with Pressbooks Publishing since 2014. 

You could register for Tech Forum and ebookcraft anytime before March 15, 2016. It's entirely up to you. But we wouldn't want you to regret missing out on all the savings. To avoid being left out in the cold, reserve your spot  before Jan. 31!