March 17, 2012
Both of the panels Calvin was involved with were on Sunday morning. We headed out to the convention center early, finally having amazing luck with the shuttle- it was waiting when we got downstairs at 7:30. Not the usual hour wait.
First panel: Publishing Models: Transforming the Book. Calvin was the organizer for this panel and Rachel Deahl, also of Publishers Weekly, moderated. I have to admit, I was furiously taking pictures, far more than could ever be used, so my notes are practically non-existent. Luckily, Calvin has written it up for PW, read SXSW 2012: New Publishing Models and the Rise of the Referral Economy The panel was lively, featuring among other highlights a spirited discussion of publishing models between Brian Altounian of Wowio and Molly Barton of Penquin.
Calvin was the moderator of Discoverability and the New World of Book PR. This panel examined new marketing practices for selling books in the age of social media. All of the panelists agreed that there was no longer such a thing as local press because of the web. How do you convert an NPR interview into sales at Barnes and Noble? Barbara Henricks of Cave Henricks Communications pointed out that there is no custom template for marketing books. Rusty Shelton of Shelton Interactive stressed the importance of giving sufficient time to build a connection between audience and author, not a month before publication. Shelton- “Good PR helps bad books fail faster.”
After these panels were over, we hooked up with my family for brunch. Fun! and I got to hang out with my great nephew Eamonn. And it was my birthday!
Back for more panels, first How Comics Journalism Is Saving Your Media. I particularly enjoyed this panel, as I am obviously a huge fan of non-fiction comics. Erin Polgreen talked about Symbolia, a tablet app of illustrative journalism that she has founded. Susie Cagle, who has a background in journalism, showed some of her coverage of Occupy Oakland. The panelists talked about how it is sometimes easier to convince a subject to let them draw a picture than to take a photograph. Matt Bors showed some pages from coverage of post-quake Haiti created by cartoonists and illustrators from Haiti. Heres a link to a live blog if you would like to read more, well worth it.
Final panel of the day, Reinventing the Graphic Novel for the iPad. Daniel Burwen discussed his evolution from game designer and animator to iPad/graphic novel designer and developer. His project CIA: Operation Ajax is a 210 page interactive graphic novel for the iPad. “I wanted to tell stories about other stuff than Tony Hawk.” He traced his influences from the world of graphic novels to Brian Michael Bendis’ book Torso- a thriller that “was like no comic I had ever seen”, with unusual layouts and graphic storytelling strategies. One of the lessons Burwen learned “Comics are artisanal”, a process quite different from game development. The project took 3 years to create a 210 page graphic novel and an interactive iPad app. Flash was used as the tool to mock up the app initially. The app has a lot of additional content, video, documents from the time period of the story.
We dropped by a couple of publishing parties, then had dinner with some publishing people at a tasty sushi spot. And they sang happy birthday to me!