Tech Forum & ebookcraft speakers: Round three!

Welcome back potential and confirmed Tech Forum and/or ebookcraft attendees! We're announcing more great speakers and sessions for our conference today. The session topics range from selling diverse lists to the evolution of ebook apps to building pre-pub buzz for forthcoming books; and the speakers are industry experts.

We announced a first round of speakers back in November and a second round in January. We've also been publishing some excellent guest blog posts from many of those speakers to help you get excited for all the learning you'll do at Tech Forum and ebookcraft! 

Check out our newly announced speakers and sessions below!

Tech Forum 2017 sessions and speakers

Building Your Dream Toolkit

Mary Alice Elcock is the VP Content for Shelfie, 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 over 2,000 publishers with 500,000 ebooks and 25,000 audiobooks, including HarperCollins, Hachette, and Macmillan. She loves working at the crossroads of publishing and technology and is excited to see what new developments the future holds.

Repurposing Content

Franco Alvarado is an ebook developer and print book designer in the Boston area. He previously worked at F+W Media, developing Adams Media’s CMS workflow, optimized for content licensing and repurposing. He has also led the production teams at several literary magazines, most recently the SFF magazine, Strangelet. He is currently Project Manager of Reference Works at Brill.

Jordan Bass is the executive editor of McSweeney’s Publishing, where he’s helped to edit and design dozens of books, both fiction and non-fiction, since 2004.

Rachel Di Salle is Senior Manager, Content Governance at Rogers Media. She is responsible for establishing governance for all forms of content across all distribution platforms including taxonomy, meta data standards, retention policy, copyright, and distribution rights. In her four years at Rogers, she has worked with content brands like Maclean’s, Chatelaine, Today’s Parent, MoneySense, and Canadian Business to leverage evergreen content for ebook programs and digitization projects providing value-added content to subscribers.

Rachel has close to 20 years of experience in the publishing industry with a background in ebook production, book design, prepress, and web design, and has consulted with some of Canada’s top publishers to develop best practices for multi-platform publishing.

Veronica Thompson is the Manager of the Design Studio at Inkling. She and her team create bespoke, responsive, web templates for Inkling’s customers and help to make content look great at scale. Before Inkling, Veronica was a Design Fellow at Chronicle Books and got a Masters in digital design at Emerson College. In her spare time you can find her running a lifestyle blog and making many, many, paper flowers.

Kris Vetter Tomes is the Digital Production Coordinator for children’s publisher Lerner Publishing Group, where she focuses on best practices in print and digital workflow, creation of digital book products, and repurposing existing content. She is also a freelance ebook developer for publishers throughout North America.

The Success of a Book: Building Pre-Pub Discoverability & Buzz

Michelle Melski is a Publicist at Dundurn Press, a leading independent publisher offering Canadian books from every corner of the country. She is always on the lookout for ways to streamline the publicity process. Michelle has worked in marketing and publicity at Second Story Press, ECW Press, and Fitzhenry & Whiteside Publishers.

Kristina Radke is the International Account Director at NetGalley, a service that helps books succeed thanks to a powerful and growing community of book advocates. Over 300 publishers and hundreds of indie authors worldwide are using NetGalley to generate early buzz about their books. She previously worked on the marketing team at HarperTeen, and earned her M.S. in Publishing from NYU in 2010.

Founder and Creative Director of DigiWriting Book Marketing Agency#CanLitPit, and the Stratford Writers FestivalHeidi Sander is passionate about writing, publishing, and all things related to literature. She applies her thorough literary knowledge to every event that she creates and each marketing and social media strategy that she and her team develops for clients, both authors and small publishers. Heidi also offers private consultations to authors, publishers, and literary festival and event organizers.

Her extensive literary background is deeply entrenched in writing, both as an author and journalist, and the founder of Blue Moon Publishers. Enthusiastic about meaningful collaborations and partnerships, Heidi actively supports literary initiatives and literacy charities.

Lisa Marie Smith is Digital Project Manager at James Lorimer & Company in Toronto where she is responsible for several new web-based initiatives, metadata creation and dissemination, and digital marketing. She previously worked as Digital Content Manager at the University of Ottawa Press where she focused on improving the digital publishing program through backlist conversion and metadata enhancements, partnerships, and open access initiatives. At UOP she was also responsible for ONIX dissemination, email marketing, design, and ebook production and distribution. She started out in digital publishing as an intern on the PubOps team at Kobo.

Minding the Gap: Advanced Sales Strategies for Diverse Lists

Tan Light joined the Literary Press Group of Canada as Sales Manager in early 2013 after five years with Random House of Canada. In this role, Tan manages all aspects of the LPG’s Sales Force Project, which includes working closely with the Canadian Manda Group, who represent 38 of the LPG’s member publishers, in order to develop seasonal catalogues and sales conference events. Additionally, Tan contributes content to the LPG’s digital project,

John Toews is the Event Coordinator at McNally Robinson Booksellers, Canada’s largest independent bookstore, located in Winnipeg, Treaty One territory. In that capacity he is responsible for hundreds of author events and musical performances annually. He was granted Honorary Membership in the League of Canadian Poets in 2015.

Léonicka Valcius is a Toronto-based publishing professional who advocates for equity and inclusion in Canadian publishing and literature. She is the founder of DiverseCanLit, and Chair of the Festival of Literary Diversity’s Board of Directors. She previously worked at Scholastic Book Fairs as a book buyer and marketer. Léonicka is currently a Title Analyst on the Online and Digital Sales team at Penguin Random House Canada. Follow her work at and on Twitter at @leonicka.

Readers Will Listen: Audiobooks and the Sound of Sales

Ian Small has over 10 years of leadership experience in the audiobook industry and is passionate about all things books and tech. He began his career with Simply Audiobooks, the market leader for online audiobook CD rental. Since then, he’s spent the past five years focusing his skills in strategy and analytics towards guiding the successful launch and growth of A subscription-style audiobook service app, is currently accessible in 150 different countries and is the most widely available audiobook service in the connected car space. Ian lives with his wife and two sons near Toronto, where he is involved in the Young Presidents Organization and local economic development initiatives.

ebookcraft 2017 main day sessions and speakers

Ebook Apps from the Inside Out

Micah Bowers is Founder and CEO of Bluefire, where he helps businesses and institutions worldwide deploy mobile applications, server software, and cloud services for the distribution and consumption of ebooks and other forms of digital publications. Micah also serves on the board of the Readium Foundation, an open source software organization collaboratively developing technology to accelerate the adoption of EPUB 3 and the open web platform by the digital publishing industry.

E-Production Without Borders: Next steps and blue sky possibilities for the eprdctn pro

Baldur Bjarnason has been a web developer for 20 years, with experience in interactive media, academia, blogs, ecommerce, catalogs, web services, and more. Most recently he worked on digital book production and analytics in the publishing industry. Baldur writes about books and technology at Baldur’s Notes.

A veteran of the format wars, Jenny Bullough spent 20 years in the publishing trenches before pivoting to content marketing. As Senior Digital Content Strategist for Cineplex, she leads the creation of written and video content for the website, YouTube channel, and other properties across the Cineplex Entertainment experience. She pronounces GIF with a hard G.

Derrick Schultz is a designer, developer, and artist working at the intersections of technology and storytelling. He is currently Lead Product Designer at The New York Times. Derrick collaborates with a team of designers, technologists, and newsroom staff to create the best user experience for Times readers. Prior to his work at NYT, Derrick was a designer and developer at Atavist, Atavist Books, and Open Air Publishing where he created genre-bending and award-winning digital reading products.

Joshua Tallent, the Director of Outreach and Education at Firebrand Technologies, is dedicated to helping publishers around the world create better books. In addition to heading up training and outreach efforts within Firebrand, Joshua serves on multiple industry committees and working groups and teaches at publishing conferences year-round. He also leads the development of FlightDeck, the most robust EPUB quality assurance tool available.

Check out our speakers page for a full list of all the Tech Forum and ebookcraft speakers, panelists, and workshop leaders. We're going to continue to post guest blogs from many of our speakers, so keep coming back to our Tech Forum and ebookcraft news page to see what's new. And we're close to releasing the full schedule, so check back frequently for updates!

Lastly, if you don't already have your ticket, you should register now!