Alert! Arthur Attwell of Electric Book Works – who has just founded the Digital Minds Network with fellow publishing entrepreneurs Ramy Habeeb (Egypt) and Octavio Kulesz (Argentina) – appeared on stage at the recent Tools of Change for Publishing conference in New York, as South Africa’s sole indie rep there.
For those of you slow to pick up on it, this is a big deal. #toccon, as the conference is known on Twitter, is arguably the world’s most important event for publishing innovation. As one of SA’s most innovative thinkers in the sector, then, Attwell fit right in.
He carried a message with him across the Atlantic: the message that it’s possible to sell more book content into Africa – and, within Africa, to new parts of the continent – if one embraces the possibilities afforded by two key force multipliers, curation and easy licensing.
In effect, Attwell is proposing that publishers adopt a new distribution model for Africa. His invigorating, fresh ideas will keep those watching developments in digital on the edge of their seats. Take a look at what he says:
When you give someone else a licence to take your content to a new market, they’re curating your work. So, you’ve got to make licensing easy for people, if you want your content to reach customers you can’t reach directly, and to make some money from that.
So that’s what I’m going to talk about today. I’m going to talk about some technology you probably already know about, and then take the principles behind that technology further, and try to explain how anyone in publishing is going to sell meaningful amounts of book content into Africa.
Image courtesy Arthur Attwell