Key Takeaways From The Recently Concluded DBW Conference 2017


The recently concluded Digital Book World Conference in New York is a marquee event for the global publishing and digital content industry. For digital content industry DBW conference is the melting pot of information on trends and leadership thoughts every year. Attending the event in NY all three days I had some insightful observations and key meetings with industry leaders and business partners. I present to you a quick rundown on key takeaways on some of the latest buzz at DBW 2017.

The event was divided in four tracks – Editorial Acquisitions + Development, Production + Distribution, Marketing + Sales, and Data Analysis + Reporting. The key take aways are summarised as following.


Nobody has a crystal ball to predict the future. But, data analytics has become so much advanced that we can at least find trends which are more reliable. All the numbers shown at the DBW’s different analysis have one common theme – online sales is growing across different categories of publishers. eBook is growing – particularly in the adult fiction/ non-fiction category and education.


In the context of production and distribution, publishers need to focus more on this to better manage the flow of content right from the author file all the way to the reader consuming the content. Workflow systems help in automation, tracking, transparency and ultimately the control on flow of content.

Embracing Complexity

Talking about thriving in a world of multi-product, multi-format and multi-platform, I believe it should be seen as an opportunity. Being able to monetize your content through multiple formats it can take and using multiple channels is always good for a publisher. Delivering the content the way your readers want it (be it print, pdf, epub or video etc.) and where they want is best for the publishing industry as a whole.

It’s All About Customers

How to think Print + Platform + Product – one of the major points to take away from DBW 2017 is  looking at the content outside of the book perspective. Looking at it as a content that can take multiple shapes (which can be delivered and monetized in different formats). Print book – eBook – Free Content – Content extract from a blog post or a magazine article – Learning materials (online courses, offline reading, assessments etc.) – Webinars (live and on-demand) – Workshops or any other format depending on the type of content. Content is being seen or need to be seen in this perspective and not just as content for a book.

What is more important here is the delivery channels. Current retailers might not be able to deliver all of these formats (at-least the ones that can be delivered digitally).  Publishers need to have or develop their own delivery channel to take advantage of the content.

This in particular validates the philosophy behind evolution of our iPublishCentral solution from an eBook delivery Platform into a comprehensive Reading to Learning Platform. We also believe in the fact that one size does not fit all, so we made it modular. Publishers can pick and choose the modules that they need and keep augmenting as the business grows.

Taking Control of Your Channel

This is a topic on the inventory management and how the publisher need to ensure that the book is available at all times in all platforms they are selling through. In an age of Amazons where the readers looking at your book see the recommendations – “You may also like this book” Publishers may lose on the sales if the book is not available to be shipped out. This is particularly important in a print book world of trade publishing in an aggregated retail model.

And then there were topics that revolved around delivery channels, formats, metadata management and about increasing eBook sales.

Through its iPublishCentral platform and associated services, Impelsys has advocated digital content delivery and helped publishers sell & deliver content directly through their own platform. iPublishCentral also helps publishers having their own catalog or eCommerce site by plugging in their award-winning  reader technology to deliver the content (both online and offline).

By: Jagadish C U, Sales Manager, Impelsys Inc.