Tech Forum & ebookcraft 2017: First speakers announced!

Hold onto your hats, this is your first look at the awesome speakers that are confirmed for this year's Tech Forum & ebookcraft conference. If you've been on the fence about buying a ticket (seems unlikely) this will definitely push you right into the checkout cart. Plus, you still get an early-bird discount. Don't wait until the next round of fantastic speaker announcements because these early-bird prices won't stick around! 

Let's get right into it!

Tech Forum 2017 sessions and speakers

Tech Forum is an annual conference that focuses on digital developments in the book publishing industry. As the largest tech-focused professional development event in the Canadian publishing industry, it provides hundreds of book professionals with the opportunity to learn, debate, network, and glimpse the future of our industry. In 2017, Tech Forum will take place in Toronto on Friday, March 24.


Mining for Gold: How Wattpad uses data and discovery to spot the next bestseller


Ashleigh Gardner: As Head of Partnerships for Wattpad Studios, Ashleigh Gardner creates meaningful promotional and editorial partnerships with the publishing, advertising, and entertainment industries. She also helps manage the Wattpad Stars program, launched in 2015. The program helps Wattpad writers take their skills to the next level, and gives publishing and brand partners an opportunity to tap into an international roster of digital influencers with massive audiences on and off Wattpad.

Before joining Wattpad, Ashleigh was director of content management at Kobo, where she focused on expanding Kobo’s existing catalogue, while developing new ebook stores in international markets. Prior to Kobo, she was manager of digital development at Dundurn Press.


Demystifying the Inner Workings of Amazon Keywords


Erica Leeman is the Metadata Associate at The MIT Press, where she is in charge of educating the Press about the importance of metadata and establishing best practices to help it become a more metadata-informed publisher. She has lately been focused on implementing best practices for keywords and creating a new internal subject taxonomy. She holds an MLIS from Simmons College and is now bringing her LIS experience to the metadata challenges within scholarly publishing. Follow her on Twitter @ericalleeman, or connect with her on LinkedIn.


Bionic Bookselling

Nathan Maharaj is the Senior Director of Merchandising for Kobo, where he manages a globe-spanning team of booksellers.




ebookcraft 2017 main day sessions and speakers

ebookcraft is our conference within a conference for the ebook production community, featuring in-depth demonstrations and insightful talks from the industry’s leading experts. The main conference day will take place in Toronto on Thursday, March 23, with an optional workshop day for the #eprdctn crowd on Wednesday, March 22.


Beyond Good and Evil: The Nuts and Bolts of DRM


Dave Cramer has been making eBooks for 15 years, and complaining about ebook standards for nearly as long. He was co-editor of the IDPF specification on fixed-layout eBooks, but in recent years has become heavily involved with the W3C and web standards, editing several specs for the CSS Working Group and writing “Requirements for Latin Text Layout and Pagination” for the Digital Publishing Interest Group. When not doing standards work, Dave writes XSL, works on typesetting with HTML+CSS, hunts for interesting information in mountains of XML files, and skis up and down literal mountains, preferably in Canada. He dreams of bringing the rich history of print design and typography to ebooks and the web. Follow him on Twitter: @dauwhe.


In the Trenches with Accessible EPUB: Tales from the Publishing Front Lines


Charles LaPierre, Technical Lead, DIAGRAM, and Born Accessible. Charles has over 20 years development experience and has been a pioneer in accessible product development since 1993. In 2000, Charles transitioned over to Benetech where he co-developed a human rights information system for its Human Rights Program and developed accessible tools for Benetech’s digital library for people with print disabilities, Bookshare.

Charles invented an accessible GPS system for the visually impaired which he started while at Carleton University in Ottawa. Charles is also the CTO of Sendero Group a company he co-founded, which brought to market his GPS invention, that is used worldwide.

Charles has a Bachelors and Masters degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Systems from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

Charles currently co-chairs the accessibility Task Force for the W3C’s Digital Publishing Interest Group, as well as co-chairs the accessibility Task Force for the IDPF’s new EPUB 3.1 specification where he helped write the new Accessibility 1.0 Specification for Conformance and Discovery along with the accompanying EPUB Accessibility Techniques document.


How I Built an Automated Ebook Production Platform—and You Can, Too!

Nellie McKesson likes solving problems. Based in New York, she currently spends her days trying to find technological or workflow solutions for the publishing industry, combining her past experience in print and digital book production and design with her knowledge of digital workflows and programming. She has meandered through various roles in the publishing industry, starting out in journal publishing, then tackling tech publishing and authoring platforms at O'Reilly Media (where she pioneered an HMTL/CSS-centric workflow and was part of the team that wrote the HTMLBook spec), and now rethinking trade publishing tools and workflows at Macmillan Publishers. Nellie went to school for philosophy, and plays the drums in an artsy metal band. Follow her on Twitter, @nelliemckesson, or visit her website.


ebookcraft workshops


Beyond Ebooks: Making Apps with HTML, CSS, and Javascript

Nick Barreto is the co-founder and technology director of Canelo, the London-based digital publisher. Prior to that, he worked in digital departments of various large publishing companies. His focus is on using technology in innovative ways of producing, distributing, and marketing books. Follow him on Twitter: @nickbarreto.


Leveraging InDesign for All Its Worth


Ron Bilodeau is the Production & Design Specialist for O'Reilly Media, Inc. He is using InDesign to develop seamless workflows to easily export print- and web-ready PDFs, as well as ePub and Mobi digital book formats, from the same source files. In addition to his InDesign work, Ron is also working with the O'Reilly Atlas team where he is developing custom stylesheets for this new and exciting (fully automated) digital publishing platform.


Ebooks, Beta Testing, and the Apocalypse


Jiminy Panoz is a freelancer who has been helping French publishers make the transition to digital for the last five years. In addition to ebook conversion, he has conducted QA audits, managed interactive projects, built custom tools, and designed tailored workflows for his clients. He’s also the creator and maintainer of open-source projects dedicated to ebooks, including the blitz framework. Follow him on Twitter, @jiminypan, connect on LinkedIn, visit his website (in French), or his Medium page (in English).


Now that you've seen how much you'll miss out on if you miss Tech Forum & ebookcraft 2017, what are you waiting for? Register today!