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E-books revisited: where are we now?

University College London, 11 May 2011, 10.00 to 17.00

The uptake of e-book readers has suddenly proliferated and 2010 has proved to be a milestone year for a consumer led boom in e-books and e-readers. Amazon reported that sales of Kindle editions of paperbacks have outstripped paperbacks in the US for the first time and the Apple iPad has also become ubiquitous for anyone wanting a general purpose notepad, leading to any number of imitations, many of which can serve as very effective reading devices. Moreover, all are coming with increasingly high levels of connectivity, moving them into the realms of general purpose computing. Whilst there are few figures that illustrate this growth, the sheer presence of these technologies on the street suggest that portable eBook readers have finally arrived.

What does that imply for publishers, libraries, and booksellers etc., all of whom are again being threatened by an emerging business model? E-books and E-content 2011 will return to its traditional theme of the e-book and explore these technologies, the associated services and the possible impact on the traditional businesses of publications and their exploitation. Should libraries start supplying e-books as downloads as some are? Should publishers seek out new formats and markets for publications? Where does it leave library suppliers? And what about academia, where every student may soon have an electronic notepad and fail to understand why their course material isnít already in e-format.

Speakers will include Hannah Perrett, the Director of Digital Partnership Sales at Cambridge University Press, Martin Palmer from Essex County Library, Jude Norris from
Dawson Books, Dr Sian Harris, the Editor of Research Information, and a speaker from the public library and industry e-book supply company Overdrive.

James Macfarlane of Easynet Solutions will cover the process of e-book production, standards and e-reader issues whilst Nickey Whitsed, Director of Libraries for the Open University will look at how they are using e-readers in an academic context and in particular she will talk about and demo the OU's interactive e-books for iPad.

Thus the team of expert speakers will address these critical questions interspersed with open discussions on futures and industry impact. The meeting will be chaired by Nick Canty of UCL and who was most recently Publishing Director of the academic press of a major professional institution and John Akeroyd, Research Fellow at UCL.

As always the event will be of interest to all professions associated with the information and digital publishing sectors, including publishers, librarians and booksellers.

Registration fee: £110 per delegate

Venue: The Gustave Tuck lecture theatre, with registration and reception in the South Cloisters. Both venues are in the Wilkins Building, Gower Street.
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