With 2 workshops (of 4) into the ReBoot Preparations Tracks, we can report already a load of interesting findings. Overall, it becomes clear on the one side how different the Covid-19 fallout is impacting various markets, segments, and companies, while on the other hand some strong lessons seem to come out across all the observed fields.

Topics of the ReBoot workshops and conference

Nielsen Book shared in the first workshop on consumer trends a wide panorama of how 1HY2020 went in territories so different as UK, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, India and South Africa. How reading, in the UK for instance, was up 7% after the first wave of lockdowns, yet reading overall was down -4%. In Spain meanwhile, reading went up, in particular among consumers between 20 and 35 (male and female).

Additional insights into developments in additional countries allowed to look into the US (down -4.2% y-o-y by now, with educational K-12 at a staggering -30.3%, but adult up +1.8%, and children &YA up 6.3%, AAP Statshots), or Germany (down -6.8% January to July 2020, with a small growth of 1,3% in July; MediaControl/Buchreport).

But across all markets, brick-and-mortar / stationary retail lags significantly behind the total market, due to increasing online sales everywhere. (James Daunt, head of the British Waterstones chain, reported in another conference recently that online sales in his company had been up 1200% (!) during lockdown, and were still up 400% in early summer.)

But not all is about statistics.

In Workshop #02, on “hybrid publishing”, publishers from markets and contexts as different as Argentina and Egypt, Russia, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Brazil or the US reported amazing case stories of Covid-19 initiated innovation at all levels.

The examples reached from the by now iconic independent booksellers cycling to their customers to deliver books, to a pickup of digitization along the entire value chain. Even smaller publishers rush to digital cataloguing systems to facilitate discoverability for their print books online, and set up ebooks and audiobooks (many for the first time) with digital distributors like Bookwire (a sponsor of ReBoot). Even new digital service companies highlight a thriving business in our conversations, sharing specifics with the attendees.

In Slovenia, two major educational publishers opened their digital learning platforms for free during the lockdown. At first, their servers collapsed, but soon could be backed up by idling IT capacities from closed physical shops, to the point that AFTER the lockdown had ended, and access was not free anymore, paid subscriptions went up by 30%.

This matched well with a baseline found across the board in workshop #01: Especially for independents – publishers and retailers alike -, the strongest buzzword spells #community related services.

Not an entirely new concept, of course, but one that got energized enormously during the past half year. New sales strategies emerge from the pandemic, which are community driven, tightly intertwining physical and digital, especially in local contexts.

This is not just in Europe, it is everywhere”, we were told by Nathan Hull of Norwegian BEAT, a digital subscription and à la carte services provider for audiobooks and ebooks, and a sponsor of ReBoot.

Tomás Granados Salina of Grano del Sal, an independent publisher from Mexico, summed it all up: “The future seems to be good – for those who survive.

Recordings from the ReBoot workshops and a detailed written summary will be made available to registered attendants of ReBoot, together with access to forthcoming workshops #03 (“Bookselling” on Friday, Sept 25, 16.00 to 18.00 CET) and workshop #4 (“Suppliers”, with among other digital pioneering publishing software provider KNK, a sponsor of ReBoot, on Tuesday, Sept 29, again 16.00 to 18.00 CET).

And of course, attendants will also participate at the big ReBoot virtual Conference on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, from 13.00 to 19.00 CET).

All details at www.rebootbooks.org and updates on Twitter at @rebootbooks

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Virtual Conference on 13 October 2020
Preparations Tracks in September
The key market lessons we learn for 2021


A fact-finding process virtual conference on rebooting writing, reading and publishing in the post-pandemic world, proposed by Carlo Carrenho, Klaus-Peter Stegen and Rüdiger Wischenbart together with Premium Partner Publishers Weekly.

The virtual conference ReBoot Books, Business and Reading 2020, scheduled for Tuesday, October 13, 2020, will bring together key actors and thought leaders from both large as well as small independent publishing and bookselling organizations, infrastructure providers and innovators to assess the status of the international industry, and share perspectives & strategies for a ‘re-boot’.

The debates will build on a thorough fact-finding process in the Preparations Tracks (mid-August to mid-October 2020), with a rich body of data and case studies on recent market developments and strategic lessons as input for 4 thematic workshops.

Start your participation in the ReBoot process by downloading the detailed brochure below this article and filling out our online research questionnaire

ReBoot singles out 4 thematic pillars where the publishing world will be largely transformed from the immediate impact and subsequent fallout of the Covid-19 crisis.
• Consumers: Keeping eyes and ears on books.
• Publishers: Running virtual operations;
• Suppliers: Building hybrid & cross-media fulfillment process;
• Bookselling: Bringing books to consumers;

Each pillar will be explored in the Preparations Tracks in a ca. 2-hour online workshop, on Sept. 17, 18, 24 & 25.

Registration to ReBoot will allow participation in the Preparations Tracks, the workshops and the online ReBoot conference pus access to the documentation for a flat fee of 149 euros.

Sharing your insights through the online questionnaire is open to all interested book professionals.

Sponsors are invited to actively participate with a contribution of 5,000 euros from the beginning of the ReBoot process with the Preparations Tracks all the way to the conference proper, bringing their respective value propositions directly to the attention of participants.

For all details about the ReBoot agenda / registration / the research questionnaire / sponsorship opportunities, go to www.rebootbooks.org – updates at @rebootbooks

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