A Preview of Digital Book World: An interview with Bradley Metrock

Digital Book World takes place September 10 – 12, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. We are thrilled and grateful to announce that Coko Founder Adam Hyde is on the program. We decided to connect with DBW lead organizer, CEO of Score Publishing Bradley Metrock to learn more about his organization’s work planning and managing the meeting.

Alison: Bradley, could you please tell us all about Digital Book World. I understand it’s a long running conference that has a massive following and an interesting history, but some university press and library publishing folks in our community may be hearing about it for the first time. What can you share? 

Bradley: Digital Book World is the gathering of the wide world of publishing. It’s a place where trade publishing, scholarly publishing, independent publishing, educational publishing, and what we call “corporate publishing” (corporations that aren’t actual publishers at all, but have an internal publishing function), along with all the tech companies that serve them, can come together to learn and network.

Alison: How many years have you been involved with organizing the meeting? 

Bradley: We acquired Digital Book World in late 2017 – this is our second year producing the event. Last year was our first, and attendance was significantly up, and that trend, fortunately, is continuing into this year’s event this fall.

 Alison: How many attendees generally attend DBW and what kinds of roles do that have? What organizations/ org types tend to be most represented? 

Bradley: Last year we had 600 registered attendees and expect nearly 1000 this year – attendees are typically director-level and higher publishing and technology executives, marketers, or strategists. Attendance is generally well-distributed across the spectrum of types of publishing. 

Alison: Tell us about how you select content. Unlike many conferences in the academic publishing space, this is not a conference where proposals seem to be submitted for talks. You reached out to us, so how do you decide who you’d like to invite and what they should present on? 

Bradley: We hand-select all talks for Digital Book World ourselves based on the people and companies doing interesting, provocative work in publishing and technology. We identify the right people, and get out of their way to talk about whatever is top of mind for them.

Alison: What about Coko, Editoria, and Adam Hyde interested you? 

Bradley: I admire the mission to make knowledge more widely available by creating and disseminating tools and infrastructure to do so. We need more of that and publishers, no matter what size or what type of publishing they’re in, have a lot to gain by understanding how organizations like Coko work.

Alison: Could you share a bit about some of the other big talks on the agenda this year? 

Bradley: Lisa Lucas, executive director of the National Book Foundation, is providing the keynote – she is one of publishing’s dynamic young leaders. Audible, Penguin Random House, Kickstarter, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, the US Copyright Office, Simon & Schuster, and many others round out a rich, one-of-a-kind program.

Alison: Thanks very much, Bradley! We are looking forward to Adam’s participation at the meeting!

If you are going to Nashville in September, please let us know if you’d like to set time to meet up. If you’ve not yet registered, Bradley generously shared this promotion code: COKO2019 to anyone wishing to get discounted registration.  Review program or register to attend Digital Book World.

Further reading