Schedules for Tech Forum and ebookcraft are up!

Are you getting excited for Tech Forum and ebookcraft? We certainly are! The full schedules for both conferences are live, along with the workshop schedule. Check out the session descriptions and speaker bios of the people who are going to pump you full of inspiration and valuable insight in just under a month's time. Here are some highlights:

  • Keeping up with Digital Natives
    You may think you've got a handle on the millennial demographic and their general habits and buying preferences, but do you really understand them? Do you know what their priorities are, what brands they gravitate towards, or how to tailor your strategies to attract and retain them as customers? Drawing from recent market research, Ipsos SVP Mary Beth Barbour delves deep into the mind, habits, and predilections of the millennial consumer to deliver actionable insights and data-driven answers to these questions.

  • Everything You Wanted to Ask a Retailer About Pricing But Your Legal Department was Afraid to Ask
    As the agency pricing model continues to become the norm Ryan O’Sullivan, Kobo’s Director of Content Analytics and Pricing, reveals learnings from Kobo’s experiences as an international retailer. We will explore a wide range of fundamentals from the price elasticity of ebooks to the competitive pricing landscape. Ryan will look at how traditional models based on traditional cycles are costing retailers and publishers alike. We will explore how digital opens up new opportunities to tailor pricing strategies around engagement, and customer segmentation. Attendees will walk away understanding the importance and building blocks of a robust strategy built around product life cycles and promotional activities.

  • Tech as Equalizer: We Read Too
    Following a stint at Tiltfactor, a game design lab for social change, Kaya Thomas developed We Read Too, the iOS app that showcases hundreds of children's and young adult fiction books written by and for people of colour, with over 4,000 downloads to date. A passionate reader, Kaya will share her motivations for creating the app and opportunities for the publishing community to reach audiences of colour.

  • Ebook Accessibility: Why, How, and What For
    Stevie Wonder says so, so let's do it. Accessibility shouldn't be an afterthought in the ebook production process, but built into the content from the ground-up to ensure seamless user experiences that allow anyone to connect with the books they want to read. This session will include lots ofhere's-how-to-do-itinformation, including: semantics, navigation, and tools; building an accessible ebook from within InDesign; detailed steps for sparkling up a post-export EPUB; writing alt text; building a page-list; and QA.

And check out these just-announced speakers:

Chantal Restivo-Alessi is Chief Digital Officer and Executive Vice President, International for HarperCollins Publishers, leading the overall global digital strategy and foreign language publishing program for the company. She works with each division around the world to manage commercial relationships with new and existing digital partners, grow digital revenues, and oversee the company’s developing foreign language publishing program. She is also a member of the company’s executive committee. She was appointed Chief Digital Officer in May 2012, and expanded her role to Executive Vice President, International in April 2015.

Since joining HarperCollins, Restivo-Alessi has pioneered the use of new digital sales channels, signing numerous deals with new distributors, such as subscription services Scribd and Oyster. In addition, she led the launch of the company’s e-commerce platform on

Restivo-Alessi has extensive expertise in strategy development and execution, has held numerous senior strategy positions, and has more than 20 years of international media management experience.

Mary Beth Barbour is Senior Vice President at Ipsos and works with a broad range of clients in the technology, media, and telco service sectors. Her latest adventures in research have a strong focus on media behaviour within the new realm of multi-screen behaviour. With 20 years of experience in this industry, Mary Beth has been involved on both the buyer and supplier side of marketing research, working for two regional market research suppliers in Atlantic Canada, and having spent the last 14 years + with Ipsos, the largest and most recognized research suppliers in the country.

Veronica Simmonds is the publicist at Coach House Books. She creates and implements imaginative publicity and marketing plans for each of their 16 to 18 titles per year, and supports a backlist of nearly 300 books – all on a shoestring. When she's not liaising with press or planning a launch, she hosts a weird podcast called Braidio where she braids hair live on air. Her personal twitter is @VeeSimmonds.

Mary Alice Elcock is VP of Content at BitLit, creators of the Shelfie app, where she negotiates with publishers to make their titles available through the app. In the last three years, she has grown the Shelfie catalogue to 1,300 publishers with 250,000 ebooks and 20,000 audiobooks, including HarperCollins, Hachette, and Macmillan. She loves working at the crossroads of publishing and technology, and can't wait to see what the next five years have in store.

Inmar Givoni is VP of Big Data at Kobo where she leads her team in applying machine learning and big data techniques to improve and optimize ecommerce, customer satisfaction, and CRM for e-reading. Inmar received her PhD in 2011 from the University of Toronto, specializing in Machine Learning, and was a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge. Prior to joining Kobo, she worked at Microsoft Research and Altera. She is the author of numerous top-tier academic publications and patents, and is a regular speaker at many big data, analytics, and machine learning events.

Todd Lawton and Jeff LeBlanc started Out of Print Clothing in 2010, the ‘books on shirts’ NYC-based brand with a celebrity following. Their mission: to redefine the way books bring people together. To spread the joy of reading, Out of Print's one-for-one giveback has donated more than 1.7 million books to communities in need. Their latest venture is Litsy, a free, literary social community iOS app.

There will also be sessions presented by your favourite members of the BookNet Canada staff. If you want to see a new product featured, discover valuable research insights, or keep up with evolving industry standards check out one (or all) of the BookNet track sessions, with presentations from:

Pamela Millar heads customer relations and BNC Research, and is responsible for the publication of studies including The Canadian Book Market and The Canadian Book Consumer. She began building her knowledge in the Canadian book industry in a Hamilton bookstore. After completing a Bachelor’s degree in political science, Pamela held a number of diverse roles including researcher, law librarian, web content developer and Information Architect.

Carol Gordon manages BookNet Canada's CataList project. An alumnus of both book publishing and bookselling, she is excited to be exploring new ways to share information about forthcoming books using online catalogues. Her reading list continues to grow at an alarming rate.

Tim Middleton is a Project Manager & Retailer Liaison at BookNet Canada. With a passion for startup culture, entrepreneurial enterprises, and disruptive technology ignited by a varied career in retail and consumer research, all things bookish remains his first and true love.

Neha Thanki is a Project Manager at BookNet Canada, where her primary projects include: BNC SalesData, a comprehensive market intelligence and sales tracking tool for the Canadian trade print market; and BNC BiblioShare, which helps publishers maintain, improve, and share their bibliographic data. Before joining BookNet, Neha worked in trade sales at Scholastic Canada. If you ever meet her in person, she'll be sure to hassle you into joining her beloved Choir!Choir!Choir!

Tom Richardson is BookNet Canada's Bibliographic Manager and friend to all ONIX producers and users.


Register by March 15 or this might be you.

Register by March 15 or this might be you.

There's little over a week left to register for Tech Forum and ebookcraft. Peruse the full schedules and then click that register button before it's gone—we wouldn't want you to miss out on the ideas, workshops, inspirations, and Tech Forum's 10th anniversary revelry. If you need more convincing we have eight solid reasons why you shouldn't be the only one without a ticket.