Northern exposure

The Book Publishers Association of Alberta (BPAA) is holding its annual conference this weekend. During yesterday's opening session, I presented an overview of the metadata research we conducted on behalf of the Book Industry Study Group and Booknet Canada.

I was followed by Brian O'Donnell, director of business and international development at Access Copyright. O'Donnell explained how recent legislative and court rulings in Canada could sharply curtail publisher sales in the K-12 market.

Glenn Rollans, a partner at Brush Education, described educational market research he had conducted for the Association of Canadian Publishers. Like O'Donnell, Rollans expressed concern about the long-term viability of publishers in markets for which the government allows certain exceptions to unlimited reproduction.

In the afternoon, Kevin Franco of Enthrill teamed with Erin Creasey of ECW Press to talk about eBook marketing best practices. Franco talked about the roll-out of Enthrill's point of sale eBook card program, while Creasey offered a range of promotional tests that ECW Press had tried with several major digital retailers.

The day ended with a presentation from Susan Renouf, currently the chair of eBound Canada. Renouf described how eBound, several Canadian publishers and a number of public libraries have joined forces to seek a mutually beneficial way to sell and lend digital content. In her view, success here could make Canada a model in eBook lending.

Today's sessions include an update on BookNet Canada from Noah Genner, its CEO. A panel discussion of the state of the Canadian trade publishing market concludes the conference.

This is the second time I've joined a BPAA event. Many of the association's members are smaller publishers, but they all have a keen interest in understanding and preparing to meet the challenges of book publishing, locally and beyond the Canadian market.

A bit of disclosure: As part of an advisory board, I periodically offer my perspective on various issues to (Alberta-based) Kevin Franco and the Enthrill management team. His participation was arranged without my involvement, and he didn't see this post before it was published.

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.