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Sunday, March 15 • 3:30pm - 6:00pm
How Digital Can Shape the Future of Print Books

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ATTENTION: This session requires advance signup to attend. For Online Schedule: Please utilize the RSVP link below the description to reserve your seat. For SXSW GO App: Use the RSVP 'Find a Timeslot' link. You must have a SXSW Interactive, Gold, or Platinum badge to attend, and, you must have an activated SXsocial account (social.sxsw.com) to reserve a seat. If you have any issues with signing up, please email support@sxsw.com. VERY IMPORTANT: Because of the limited space, we recommend you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the published start time of this session. If you have not checked in at the room you RSVPed for at least five minutes prior to the session start time, you may lose your seat to an attendee in the waiting list line.
We welcome people from all sorts of disciplines (from design to coding to copy writing, and many more) but being an avid reader will help.
What to Bring:
A pen and a device for taking notes, other materials will be provided, and their favourite book (optional).
The session will use Penguin Random House's yourfry.com collaborative storytelling project as a jumping-off point to explore the technical and commercial potential for print books that are supported, transformed and subverted by digital technologies.
Penguin Random House UK Digital Publisher Dan Franklin will run the workshop with Jon Rogers, chair in creative technology at the University of Dundee.
The workshop will focus on, and workshop, how participants can make digitally-enhanced print books: the book has gone digital, what happens when digital goes back into print?
This will be achieved through paper prototyping as well as discussion and demonstration of conductive ink technology in books, using a live working example from the yourfry project.
It will have a practical focus, but also pull back to explore the commercial and creative application of these emergent forms to the book publishing industry as it continues to undergo its digital transformation.
Key Takeaways:
-strategies and approaches to understand the life of a book and integrate the time spent reading it within the context of a reader’s life and their physical surroundings.
-the theoretical and business challenges that the publishing industry and authors are navigating in a maturing digital marketplace co-existent with print.
-a framework for the key ethical and creative questions (and hopefully some answers) around tracking books and how they are being consumed.
PART 1 - the book has gone digital, what happens when digital feeds back into print? (Introduction, 30 mins)
Intros from Dan Franklin and Jon Rogers of 7-10 mins each setting the context of the panel, DF from a Penguin Random House perspective and JR on his work, including the yourfry submission and how it prompted this panel.
Leave room for questions about the context of what we are doing and make it clear we are looking for interaction.
Purpose: to set scene that this an open, welcoming forum for ideas from all kinds of disciplines to input
Outcome: the audience is informed of the business and theoretical/practitioner context for the workshop
PART 2 - what kind of relationship do you have with books? (Icebeaker, 30 mins)
The workshop is split into groups of 4-5 where they are asked to share their favourite books and then ask each other the following questions:
What memories do you associate with the book?
Do you have strong attachment to the book if it is a physical object?
Where does this book live?
Does the place it lives have a personality?
How does this personality connect with you?
Purpose: to get the group introduced to each other and interacting and to begin sharing their experiences of books, whilst introducing the core themes of digital/physical connectedness, memory and identity
Outcome: the ice is broken and the core themes of the workshop are established
PART 3 - So, what's the story? A day in the lifetime of a book. (30 mins, making session)
This practical part of the workshop will address what scenarios books live in and how technology can help connect a life together with a book, fro marginalia to social effects.
We will set context with video from a chef such as Jamie Oliver and Yotam Ottolenghi about how they want their readers to access digital assets that they have stored in a physical book and demo how their use of cookery books has been transformed by digital.
Also will show the an experiment undertaken by Oxfam to show how interaction with a digitally enhanced physical item can create a rarity and rare experiences.
Workshop will split into groups and be given materials in form of stickers, card, sheets of paper to prototype a book of scenarios and how a book is situated within its context.
We will directly ask the audience if they know of new technologies to reduce friction or enhance the interplay of the book with its use in context of daily life.
Purpose: to identify the challenges and opportunities of seeing books and stories in the context of our lives and seek to understand how they can be made more connected and integral
Outcome: several prototype scenarios that can guide us to understand the life of a book in our lives and what could be created to solve the inherent problems
PART 4 - who's book is it anyway? (30 mins – discussion and making)
Starting with an introduction to one of the greatest (supposedly) unread books of all time, A Brief History of a Time by Stephen Hawking (and maybe an introduction from him) DF will go on to describe the ebook analytics project he is working on to start a conversation about reader data and books, and the total lack of data we get on reading of physical books.
We will ask the group to work on ideas for how we could track this - a magic bookmark that knows where you've got to and how long the sessions should be? - and also importantly ask whether we should track this data. How might it improve or distort editorial decisions if we knew and how would we track it.
Purpose: to share the challenges of analysing ebook reader data and investigate if it is possible to track a book once it leaves a shop and how far a reader has progressed through it.
Outcome: theories and ideas on how to achieve it and also an ethical decision about whether we should.
Part 5 - what have we learnt and how should we go forward? (30 mins)
Wrap up and debrief on the sessions and hand-outs of free notebooks.

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avatar for Daniel Franklin

Daniel Franklin

Digital Publisher, Penguin Random House UK
I am Digital Publisher at Penguin Random House UK, part of the world's largest trade publishing house. I work across all of the company's adult publishing divisions, commissioning work in various digital formats with a remit for direct-to-digital publishing. I am a senior member of... Read More →
avatar for Jon Rogers

Jon Rogers

Professor, University of Dundee
Professor Jon Rogers holds a personal chair in creative technology at the University of Dundee. His work explores the human intersection between digital technologies and the design of physical of things. He balances playful technologies with citizenship to find new ways to connect... Read More →

Sunday March 15, 2015 3:30pm - 6:00pm CDT
JW Marriott Room 306