Publishers Forum Berlin: IT Goes Center Stage. And LAST CALL for early bird rate

Announcing the next set of details on the Publishers’ Forum Berlin programm and agenda, as the Early Bird discounted reggistration closes nxt Monday (February 2, 2015).

How can large and medium-sized publishing houses adapt or upgrade their IT infrastructure to manage requirements that are rapidly increasing in complexity, and how can they finance such changes?
This is the crucial question facing management at almost every publishing house today. And the acclerating pace of innovation is exacerbating a decision making process already balancing day-to-day requirements and forward-looking strategy.

It’s a question of highly practical requirements:

Can – and should – books at trade publishers be produced right from the database? Does it make sense commercially to offer single chapters for purchase? Should the production and targeted mailing of the catalog of new publications be part of a single workflow (delivered either lavishly printed or in various electronic formats depending on customer preference)? And should it then include the dispatch of text samples and advance reading copies (printed or digital; PDF, Kindle Mobipocket or EPUB) to media outlets and booksellers, document the feedback and provide the results in a useful form to marketing and sales?

But answers to questions regarding the integration and practical use of user data are also pending. The keywords are: direct-to-consumer, social-media marketing and, still, multi-channel sales.

In most cases, the much-discussed subject of Big Data mutates for publishers into small data; into fragmented, heterogeneous data, whose analysis and the resulting knowledge are not always easy for marketing and sales to apply. Are innovative technologies such as semantic systems also interesting to small and medium-sized publishing houses?

And, at the end, fundamental, organizational decisions have to be made: where is the lead? Do previously autonomous business units have to become more centralized – “for the sake of the IT”?

The theme “IT Goes Center Stage” is bringing a slew of top speakers to the Publishers’ Forum 2015, who, in keynote presentations, compact podium debattes, and practice-focused workshops, will “roll out” a uniquely board range of experiences and “lessons learned” for application in publishing practice.

To mention just a few names in advance:

Volker Smid, CIO of the Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, Matt Turner, CTO of the database specialist MarkLogic and Steve Odart, CEO of Ixxus, a leader in the area of publishing and media integration.

Case studies on the integration of innovative IT solutions in organizations and process will be the focus of several workshops with catalytic figures who are well-known to the German-speaking publishing world, including Florian Geuppert (CEO, BoD), Beate Kuckertz (CEO, dotbooks and venusbooks), Christian Damke (CEO, Open Publishing), Heiko Beier (CEO, Moresophy), and the Akademie der deutschen Medien (German Media Academy).

Find all the details on the programm and speakers at

Publishers’ Forum 2015: Driving the successful transformation of publishing through the right strategic decisions

Proudly announcing more and more details about Publishers’ Forum on April 27 & 28, 2015 in Berlin.

These topics and speakers have been announced earlier today:

At the end of April 2015, the Publishers’ Forum will illuminate two current, strategic challenges in publishing enterprises:

  • Which approaches to financing and which investment tools provide optimal support for innovation strategies in publishing?
  • Which specific challenges are making IT decisions play a more and more central role in all strategic processes?

Well-known speakers from leading German and international publishing companies will share insights into their decision-making practices:
The book business is growing in complexity. More and more often, publishers are delivering their content in different media and formats via an increasing array of channels – both via booksellers and direct to the consumer. In the course of this development, Edel transformed itself from a music distributor to a publically traded media company. Timo Steinberg, Edel CFO and COO, will illuminate the specific challenges that accompanied this transformation and the prospects that it opened up for the medium-sized company.

Clearly, there is a varied portfolio of investment strategies available to decision-makers, each applicable to a different undertaking: whether the plan involves organic growth on the basis of the existing company structure, securing new business segments, or acquisitions or strategic partnerships, successful business development demands carefully consideration of the options and models.

On the CEO Day of the Publishers’ Forum, speakers with a broad range of backgrounds and experience in financing strategies will offer practical orientation with analysis of the market conditions and specific case studies. Aljoscha Walser will analyze various instruments and their fields of application.

The theme “Money and Strategy” continues on Tuesday with a look at prospects in newly emerging business segments as well as in fundamental waves of innovation which are looming on the horizon. David Worlock of the UK and US-based consulting company, Outsell, highlights how the “Internet of Things” is rapidly gaining relevance for the media industry.

Afterwards, we turn to innovations and expanded business models which are already successful today. Rüdiger Schmidt will use the example of new production technologies to demonstrate how their reach can extend as far as the conception of books, through the customization of titles for title audiences for example, and how they can generate completely new product ideas. Marcello Vena reports how he equips the entire value chain to handle digital strategies for book and media groups. Revenues from rights and licenses are often neglected and underestimated areas of growth for publishers – so argues Michael Healey from the international perspective of the US-based Copyright Clearance Center. Finally, Nathan Hull uses the example of the Danish flat-rate provider Mofibo to demonstrate how much more innovation is necessary in subscription models than just the conversion of one-off book sales to recurrent revenues.

All these strategies and innovations have a central factor in common: digital technologies are the fulcrum and lever. IT decisions take center stage in almost every strategy.

Don’t miss to be a part of the exciting conversations at Publishers’ Forum (early bird rates available until February 2, 2015).

Macmillan & Springer merge: Can family owned publishing and private equity together re-invent the business of publishing ?

Two of the largest science publishing groups in the world, Macmillan and Springer Media, have announced to merge.  The resulting global player will have combined revenues of €1.5 bn, 13,000 employees – and the ambition to become the fourth biggest STM and Education publisher (after Pearson, Reed Elsevier and Wolters Kluwer).

But wait a minute, isn’t Holtzbrinck, Macmillan’s parent company, which will have the upper hand in the merger with a stake of 53 percent, a family owned business, while Springer is controlled by Private Equity?

Or, as Ewald Wagenbach, of Springer’s controling BC Partners, phrases it, “a strategic milestone in the more than 150 year history of both businesses and shows how family businesses and private equity can work together”.

It will be more than just interesting for science publishers and for scientists, whose papers are published by the new powerhouse, how the 19th century of learned societies, the 20th century of academic publishing, and the 21st century of publishing in global networks of content production and distribution will find common ground, and a joint perspective!

We will look at it more closely in this year’s update of the Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry (for release in June)! Stay tuned.

Enough is enough! Being Charlie Hebdo: Arab (Muslim) publishers included.

Totally shocked, and frozen, by the news of the murder at Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, I feel a little solace in these two quotes, reported by the International Publishers Association, from two relevant professional organizations in the Arab world:

¨Assem Shalaby, President of the Arab Publishers Association condemned “this ‎vicious attack that contravenes the principles of Islam and the message of its prophet.”


“This is a horrible crime committed against humanity, freedom of expression, Islam and Muslims” said Ibrahim El Moallem, Chairman of Dar El Shorouk, the largest Arab book publisher. “It is an attack against civilization.” 

We must all (!) cry out: Enough is enough.

Publishers’ Forum to announce first list of speakers for 2015.

A first announcement of speakers to the Publishers’ Forum on April 27 & 28, 2015 introduces a mix of senior international and German publishing executives, a literary agent, and an award winning author, as well as expert voices for discussing new audiences to the book business.

Featured names include Jacob Dalborg, CEO of Bonnier Books, Lance Fensterman, Senior executive VP of ReedPOP and head of New York Comic Con, Nathan Hull, formerly Penguin, and now with Danish Mofibo, Michael Bhaskar of Profile Books, UK,  Wolfgang Ferchl, publisher at Knaus (Random House Germany), literary agent Karin  Graf (Graf & Graf), Jo Lendle, publisher at Hanser, and author and winner of the Ingeborg Bachmann Preis, Kathrin Passig.

Find out more at

How high ebook prices challenge ebook growth. The New York Times confronts PWC’s overoptimistic predictions with our pricing analysis

In its new “Global entertainment and media outlook 2014 – 2018“, PriceWaterhouseCooper (PWC) predicts ebook growth patterns not only for the US (expeciting digital to outgrow print by 2017), but also for a number of European markets. Strangely, France, of all countries, is expected to produce a significant upward curve in ebook sales, similar to Spain, while Germany would lag behind even Italy. Some observers simply likened such predictions to the proverbial tea leaf reading.

The New York Times opted for a more in depth approach to the matter, and compared the PWC Outlook to our analysis of ebook pricing strategies across a half dozen major European ebook markets in the last update to the Global eBook report – and I felt pretty confident, looking at the juxtaposition, that our data analysis is probably a better measure for assessing the growth dynamics, or the limitations of such, in the evolution of key ebook markets. But check out the chart yourself, and make up your mind.


Global eBook Fall 2014 Update: Fresh market data, new insights on ebook pricing, the Amazon debate, and overview on subscription platforms.

The Global eBook report has released a new Fall 2014 update, based on data and trends until September 2014, including

  • The most recent data and debate summaries on ebooks in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Denmark;
  • Comparative tables and charts on ebook market shares in selected international markets, and the Big Five publishing groups;
  • Tracking of highly diverse ebook pricing strategies European main markets;
  • A referenced summary of the Amazon (versus publishers and various author groups), with direct links to key documents;
  • An overview on leading subscription (or flat fee) ebook platforms in the US, Germany, Spain, and Russia, including key data on each initiative.

We will highlight highlights on the most recent findings here in the weeks ahead.

For the full report, look up *Wischenbart* in your favorite ebook platform, and make sure that the blue cover and title details say ¨Fall 2014¨.

Or go to for selected direct links.

Publishers’ Forum in Berlin 2015: Preview lead topics and themes.

How to Re-construct Publishing: Competing Visions, Channels and Audiences”, reads the motto of the next Publishers’ Forum which will take place in Berlin on April 27 and 28, 2015.

Find out about lead topics, and themes, and register to get updates as speakers and sessions will be announced in the weeks and months ahead.

And be sure to secure your ticket at the attractive “Early Bird” rate.

The brand new website of Publishers’ Forum brings you all the information you need.

Join us for the Frankfurt CEO Talks 2014: The Strategist’s Perspective.

A set of three debates with international business leaders will introduce HarperCollins’ new strategies, Brazil’s leading publishing and bookselling group Saraiva and Axel Springer’s digital agenda.

Consolidation in the publishing industry, emerging economies, educational publishing, digital strategies and the globalization of the book business, are the topics in the public interviews presented by Livres Hebdo, with The Bookseller, buchreport, PublishNews Brazil, Publishers Weekly, and the Frankfurt Book Fair Business Club, featuring the Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry 2014.

Understanding the current change of the international book business, as a complex process driven by the forces of globalization, digital transformation, industry consolidation, with new players and strong innovative impulses on an old trade, comes as a challenge.

This year’s Frankfurt CEO Talks will introduce a series of interviews with three preeminent top executives from three outstanding international publishing groups. Initiated by five leading international trade publications, who can dwell upon to date market insights from their Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry, and organized together with the new Frankfurt Business Club, these events will offer a wealth of current information together with unique insights.

The Frankfurt CEO Talks will be held on three consecutive days, to presenting the following topics and guests:

Innovation at a Global Scale: The example of HarperCollins.
Brian Murray
, President and Chief Executive Officer of HarperCollins Publishers, will be the sole speaker on Wednesday, October 8, 2014, from 14:00 to 15:30.

Creating tomorrow’s book and learning environment: The example of Brazil.

Michel Levy, Chief Executive Officer of Saraiva Group, and Mauricio Fanganiello, Managing Director of Saraiva’s Publishing Division, will speak on Thursday, October 9, 2014, from 14:00 to 15:00, about their company’s leading position and give an overview of Brazil’s compelling book and educational market environment.

Publishing at the Speed of Silicon Valley: Axel Springer’s digital agenda.

Christoph Keese, born in 1964, is Executive Vice President of Axel Springer SE, Europe’s largest news publisher, on Friday, October 10, 2014, from 9:30 to 10:30, will shed light on his group’s digital media strategy. This talk will be integrated in the Frankfurt Story Drive conference.

All three CEO Talks will be moderated by Rüdiger Wischenbart, and take place in the Frankfurt Business Club at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Hall 4.  The events on Wednesday and Thursday will be held in hall 4.0, room Europa, the Friday session will take place in hall 4.2., room Dimension.


About the guest speakers:

Brian Murray is President and Chief Executive Officer of HarperCollins Publishers. HarperCollins is one of the world’s largest English-language publisher of consumer books, and has publishing operations in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and India. More than 3,000 new titles are published each year, by 60 branded imprints across all major English language markets. Since being appointed CEO, in 2008, Murray has led the transformation of HarperCollins from a traditional print publishing company to a dynamic print and digital publishing company generating $200M in digital revenues. Most recently, Brian Murray led the purchase of Harlequin, the internationally leading publisher of romance fiction, the latest in a series of acquisitions under his stewardship. HarperCollins being a subsidiary of News Corporation, its book publishing activities are immersed in a broader context of a leading global group that includes diversified media, news, education, and information services.

Michel Levy is the Chief Executive Officer of Saraiva Group, which comprises the largest Brazilian bookstore chain with 114 stores, a leading book e-commerce operation with its own e-book platform, a highly profitable publishing house that operates across all major educational fields, including K12, high education and vocational, and also a growing school system. Levy has broad experience in the technology and telecommunications industries. In the 80s, he founded and ran the CompuMarketing Group, which operated in the IT and software distribution areas. He served as the operations director of BCP Telecomunicacões, and managing director of the paging company of Motorola in Brazil. Before being appointed CEO of Microsoft Brazil in October 2006, where he stayed until 2013, Levy held the position of COO of TIM, one of Brazil’s largest mobile phone operators. Levy has earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of São Paulo, and a Master’s Degree from Stanford University.

Mauricio Fanganiello is the Managing Director of Saraiva’s Publishing Division, which publishes around 500 titles per year and is an important content supplier to the Brazilian Ministry of Education. Saraiva operates across all educational fields, but it is particularly strong in K12, Law and Business Administration books. It also has a trade imprint. Mauricio majored in Business Administration at the prestigious Fundação Getulio Vargas, where he also continued his post-graduate studies. He started his career in the financial markets working for companies such as Chemical Bank and Itaú Bank. He joined Saraiva in 1997. Before being appointed to his current position, Mauricio worked in several areas inside the Saraiva Group, such as planning, investors relations, business development and digital content. He certainly is one of the sharpest minds in the Brazilian educational book industry today and has a very broad overview of the educational market.

Christoph Keese, born in 1964, is Executive Vice President of Axel Springer SE, Europe’s largest news publisher and leading digital media company. He leads the effort to transform traditional and print publishing to digital and define Axel Springer’s position in the new ecosystem of quality web media. Prior to his current position, Mr. Keese was Senior Vice President Public Affairs and Investor Relations. He served as editor-in-chief for the leading Sunday newspaper WELT am SONNTAG from May 2004 onwards, acting in parallel as editor-in-chief of news portal WELT ONLINE from 2006 until 2008 as well as heading the Board of Editors of WELT Group. In 2013, he spent six months in Palo Alto, CA, to study Silicon Valley and find new business opportunities for Axel Springer. His new book will be about disruptive change and its impact on our lives. “Silicon Valley – What to expect from the most powerful region in the world” will be published by Random House on September 22, 2014.

“Tendencias globales en el sector editorial 2014″ ¡Descárgalo ahora gratis!

We can proudly announce the release of the Spanish version of our “White Paper on Global Trends in Publishing 2014“, sponsored by and the Frankfurt Book Fair Business Club.

Con el nuevo informe “Tendencias globales en el sector editorial 2014”, el Business Club de la Feria del Libro de Fráncfort ha elaborado una visión conjunta de las actuales novedades y de las fuerzas impulsoras de la transformación de la industria editorial internacional. El autor del informe es el conocido experto de la industria Rüdiger Wischenbart. La versión en español ha sido traducida y adaptada por

Para recibir el libro blanco gratuitamente, regístrate aquí, por favor. Después de confirmar tu dirección de email, recibirás otro correo electrónico con un enlace para descargar el informe “Tendencias globales en el sector editorial 2014”.
Novedad en 2014: El Business Club de la Feria del Libro de Fráncfort.
¿Quieres aprender más sobre las tendencias actuales del mercado global y sobre los cambios que acontecen en la industria? Únete al Business Club hoy mismo.


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