Where were the publishers?

I wasn’t able to go to BEA this year, so my online stalking of every attendee and panel confernce has been relentless. So far lots of slides and podcasts and enough video to keep me from running down the street mad. But one trend I started noticing a few weeks ago were the lack of publishers sitting in on all the great panel discussions. With panels titled: The Concierge and the Bouncer: The End of the Supply Chain and the Beginning of the True Book Culture and even Jumping Off a Cliff: How Publishers Can Succeed Online, one would think a publisher would be on stage… but no. Lots of authors and technology commentary, but not a lot about workflows and editorial processes that actually get a finished product in front of customers.

So I was glad to see Yen’s post about this today and even more excited to see some of the groups online that she highlighted. I’m familiar with all she mentioned and would only add a few of the discussions over at the Book Blogs ning site and the discussions at O’Reilly’s TOC community (also a ning site). And if you’re on Twitter the #followreader back-and-forth every Thursday are fantastic!

Someone on Twitter also said that they left BEA more pumped than ever, which is great news. Publishers need to adapt quickly if want to be able to continue adding value to an author’s work. And industry events like BEA and TOC are just the places to hear how… if the right people get to speak.

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