FutureBook14 conference – my favourite bits

What is the future of the publishing industry? That’s one of the questions the FutureBook conference (full disclosure: run by my employers) aims to answer. This year it was as much about looking outside the industry as it was about looking internally, with appearances from speakers from Tumblr, YouTube and more. Here are my nine favourite bits from this year’s conference, some serious, some not so…

1. Humans eating humans (sort of)
The fabulous Carla Busazi, chief content officer @WGSN – “If you don’t cannibalise own business, someone else will.”

2. Zoella, Zoella, Zoella
Penguin Random House UK’s CEO, Tom Weldon, made a bold statement, that Zoella’s book Girl Online will be number one at Christmas. We can check this one in just a few weeks.


3. The Princess Bride
Orion’s digital marketing director Marissa Hussey won in the presentation stakes, by including a slide which referenced one of the greatest films from the 1980s – The Princess Bride


4.  £465,000
Headline’s Ben Willis jokingly answers the million dollar question ‘what is the right salary for a publishing job?’

5. More money, money, money
Freelance marketer Crystal Mahey-Morgan got a spontaneous round of applause after her comments on pay in publishing: “When talking about new voices, we have to make sure we’re not producing entry barriers because of low pay.”

6.  Bad language
“There should be a swear jar for phrase ‘Spotify for e-books'” – Joe Lennon from ePubDirect has a point.

7.  Diversity
This year’s FutureBook conference featured pitches from the team’s at the first ever FutureBook Hack, and the best things about the teams was just how diverse they are – showing that if publishing becomes more diverse, that diversity will bring with it new ideas.

8. Erotica
Michael Tamblyn promised his speech this year wouldn’t include references to paranormal shapeshifting erotica. If you don’t know what he’s talking about, you need to watch this…



9. No time
So much great chat and so many great ideas meant there was no time at the end for questions, a message conference organiser/guru Alice Ryan had to convey to Michael Tamblyn via new and old media…

And there was plenty more besides. Catch up with what went on in full here.
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