Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FILCOLS at the Future of the Book 2

by Beverly W. Siy

FILCOLS Treasurer and Board Member Lirio P. Sandoval gave the welcome remarks at the second Philippine Digital Publishing Conference. Sandoval is the president of Book Development Association of the Philippines, one of the organizers of the event. Also dubbed as the Future of the Book 2, it was held at the Bahay ng Alumni, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City from November 28-29, 2011.

FILCOLS Executive Director Alvin Buenaventura served as the moderator on the last day of the two-day conference that featured plenary sessions and workshops on how publishers can survive and eventually thrive in the digital age. Local publishers and key industry players were present.

On the first day, Sandoval shared the limelight with Neni Sta. Romana Cruz, the new NBDB Chair. She also delivered the opening remarks.

Bill McCoy, executive director of the International Digital Publishing forum, talked about Digital Publishing Standards with an overview of SML, ePub, NextPub, Mobipocket and other digital publishing formats through videoconference.

Vibe Technologies through Chris Datol shared the basic steps for publishers on building compliant e-books for cross-platform publishing.

Nelson John, a consultant for Technical Solutions Group in Adobe Southeast Asia specializing in the Creative Product Suites. Through videoconferencing as well, he talked about generating direct sales with a B2C platform.

A plenary session was held where case studies of digital publishing projects worldwide were presented as well as the new tablet education initiatives in Philippines and the corresponding roll out of digital content by Philippine educational publishers. Speakers were Neil Andrew Nocon, a board member of the second district of Laguna, Jose Maria "Toots" Policarpio, the executive director of Diwa Learning Systems and the Vice-President of Philippine Educational Publishers Association or PEPA, and Engineer Rodolfo "Jun" Lozada, Jr., the technology consultant for the De La Salle University.

Anthony de Luna led the plenary session about selling e-books on different platforms on the second day. De Luna is a pioneer in the Philippine digital publishing. He is the president and CEO of Flipside Digital Content Company, Inc. Flipside is the company behind Flipreads, a premiere source of e-books from and about the Philippines and Asia. He was followed by Harvey Libarnes, the general manager of Hand Interactive. He is a veteran in digital product management.

Winnie Hung, the regional segment manager of Hewlett-Packard for Southeast Asia opened the plenary session about the future of the printing and the connection of long tail of print and e-books to print-on-demand technology. She was followed, after lunch, by Central Books' Vice-President and FILCOLS Board Member Paolo Sibal. He discussed the potential of monthly subscription set up for some books like e-SCRA.

Chris Datol went back to the stage to discuss digital bookselling. He was joined by Sabrina Oliveros, business development manager of Vibal Foundation and one of the project leads of Vee Press and Ace Chin of the Vibe.

The last segment of the conference was a plenary session led by Dr. Lloyd Espiritu, an associate professor of DLSU Manila and a representative of LG & M Corporation, publisher of Chikiting Story, Harvey Libarnes and Fran Ong of Tahanan Books. They talked about the changing needs and preferences of the readers. They also pointed out that it is very important to consider the next generation's reading habits and attitudes because they are the market of the future books.

NBDB Executive Director Andrea Pasion-Flores delivered the closing remarks by challenging everyone to maintain the quality of their content to help in the development of the Philippines as the publishing hub of Asia.

Future of the Book 2 was organized by the National Book Development Board (NBDB) led by Atty. Andrea Pasion-Flores, the Executive Director, the Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP), and Vibal Foundation Inc., the non-profit arm of leading educational publisher Vibal Publishing.

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