IBM's Information on Demand (IOD) Conference took place in Rome: May 19-21.
My purpose at the conference was to sell books to attendees, but I wasn't able to arrange for a bookseller to set up shop. I'm not able to sell books myself so I promoted both electronic books and buying books directly from the publisher.
Safari Books Online joined me as they provide one of the available options for electronic books. Erin and Martin from Safari were giving demonstrations of their system to attendees. We gave out bookmarks that promoted a free trial subscription for people to try Safari. The URL is: http://safaribooksonline.com/requesttrial/ (Feel free to give it a try!) IBM has a corporate license to Books 24x7 which provides a similar service, but there are fewer technical books than are available via Safari Books Online.
I brought my Kindle to the conference to show people technical content on this device. I don't think that it is the best option for technical books. I've downloaded all the readers and find the PC eReaders to be very good. I suspect that iPads will be suitable, but have not been able to use one yet.
The publishers who I work with sent me a sample copy of each book I requested. I likely had 50 books in total. These were merely for display so the attendees could browse through the books and to see the range of titles that were available. There was much interest. If someone wanted to purchase a book, I gave them information on how they could get a discounted printed version by ordering directly from the publisher. Pearson set up a site for EMEA to purchase books at a 35% discount, local currency, free shipping and duty: http://www.pearsoned.co.uk/bookshop/ibmpressbookshop
Magnus Lindkvist, keynote speaker and facilitator
Author of Book: Everything We Know Is Wrong – The Trendspotter’s Handbook
Magnus brought copies of his book to the conference and sold nearly 100 copies for cash.
Mario Godinez, Eberhard Hechler, Klaus Koenig, Steve Lockwood, Martin Oberhofer, and Michael Schroeck
Authors of Book: The Art of Enterprise Information Architecture
IBM purchased 300 copies of this book to be given to qualified attendees. Attendees needed to attend a session hosted by one of the authors or to visit the InfoSphere Demo Room. The event was very successful and all the books were claimed in about an hour.
I arranged to have a number of the previously published flashbooks available to hand out. These included:
New Intelligence for a Smarter Planet – Driving Business Innovation with IBM Analytic Solutions
Break free with DB2 9.7: A Tour of Cost-Slashing New Features
Information on Demand for Dummies, 2nd edition
SAP DBA Cockpit - Flight Plans for DB2 LUW Administrator
I had about 50 copies of each title and they were very well received. Some of the books were moved to the Education Zone to attract / reward people who visited.
I was able to meet with many authors and potential authors! This networking has resulted in more books in the pipeline. I'll have more information on the titles in the future.
James Lumsden from Packt Publishing flew into Rome to meet me in person and attended the Thursday night networking session that was part of the conference. I was able to introduce James to 25 authors or potential authors. During these conversations we discussed potential topics that would be good for the future.
I met an IBM university ambassador for Spain and will work with him to find more ambassadors in Europe so I can further promote some of our books.
Since this was the first time showcasing books at a conference rather than selling them, I learned a few things that I'd like to improve for future events:
Since I had books from 5 or 6 different publishers, it was difficult for me to give one URL for people to go to for our books. Our bookstore website needs to be redesigned and updated to include all the relevant books in both electronic and printed format.
I need a piece of collateral that can highlight the messages we can give to the customer about the book strategy. This can be a flyer, postcard, or bookmark.