Conference Wrap Up, Part 2 – London Book Fair

In March and April, the NetGalley team attended the Audio Publishers Association Conference (APAC), London Book Fair, Festival des Livres Paris (Paris Book Festival), Leipziger Buchmesse (Leipzig Book Fair), and the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) annual meeting. This month (May), we—along with our Firebrand Group colleagues—look forward to the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Publishing University, Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) Leadership Summit, and Publishers Weekly U.S. Book Show. Scroll to the end of this article to set up a meeting with our teams!

Read Part 1 of our Conference Wrap Up here, covering APAC.

NetGalley and other Firebrand Group team members at the London Book Fiar

London Book Fair (LBF): 

London Book Fair may be known for its International Rights Centre, but it’s safe to say that the whole conference was buzzing with energy, from the Sustainability Lounge to the Technology Theatre (which was just a few feet away from our booth). The Fair was busier than in 2022, with a generally positive outlook and mood among attendees. 

It was exciting to hear about our clients’ efforts to engage with new and diverse audiences. Influencer campaigns were at the top of the list, with publishers sharing more about the ways they are identifying influencers who would make good partners. We heard about influencer databases some marketers are tapping into, as well as a more manual approach via active engagement in the social media spaces where these influencers live. Publishers are leaning into more social engagement using CTAs that drive to their social channels, and are creating and incorporating more media (audio and video) that plugs nicely into these platforms. 

At a high level, we had conversations about tracking the full customer journey. Identifying where a reader is first engaged, and following them through the path to purchase is a top priority for the heads of marketing and communications across many of the large publishers. As we learned in the “Role of Technology in Publishing” session, data is the bedrock of publishing today. NetGalley’s data, especially for pre-pub titles, continues to be an important part of that journey—from initial discovery to request, from download to review, and even pre-order or buy now.** 

The panelists emphasized the importance of gathering, analyzing, and using data, while pointing out the need to make that data available to all divisions and departments. But making it available isn’t enough—they stressed that it is equally important to help teams develop a better understanding of how data can be used to maximize effective strategies. We’re always happy to talk about data, so let us know if you’d like to hear more about your NetGalley reports.

The panel also discussed the potential opportunities and risks of AI in publishing, including optimizing content for specific audiences, proof-reading, fact-checking, translation, and even cross-referencing international rights. Some of the publishers we spoke to told us of their recent experiments with AI, testing its limits to write marketing copy, or even whole books, with an eye to understanding its limitations. In all cases, they felt secure that AI is not coming for anyone’s jobs (yet).

Number of publishers we sat down with during LBF: 14

**Here’s more information about NetGalley Reporting and Data.

Thank you to the nearly 60 publishers we’ve met with at these spring conferences! It’s always a pleasure to speak with the passionate members of our client community, and we’ve been inspired by our conversations. 

Read our next installment, covering the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) Annual Meeting!

Find us here in May:

  • May 5-6: IBPA Publishing University
    • Meet with Kristina Radke (VP of Business Growth & Engagement) and Katie Versluis (Customer Success Manager), NetGalley
    • concierge [at]
  • May 9-10: ECPA Leadership Summit
    • Meet with Joshua Tallent, Director of Sales and Education, Firebrand Technologies
    • info [at]
  • May 23-25: Publishers Weekly U.S. Book Show
    • We are thrilled to sponsor this event. Find us at the NetGalley Pub Hub!

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