Speed Dating: An Overview of 9 Innovative Digital Publishing Companies and Products

The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) held a Digital Show and Tell last week at BEA. This consisted of 15 new companies, split up in to two groups, giving five minute pitches to attendees. It’s basically speed dating, but for digital publishing. Each session lasted long enough that all attendees could hear each of the pitches, and then at the end of the group they voted for the best ones. I only attended the second session, so I’ll give an overview of the eight groups I saw.

Mobnotate: Founded by an ex-Googler, MobNotate will will cross-promote ebooks. How? It analyzes each ebook in the system, then adds relevant links for other ebooks in each epub file. “Readers can see related content that is hyper-targeted based on the section that they’re reading and have the ability to click over to learn more.” Works best with non-fiction ebooks, for now.

WriterCube: A really handy app that can help writers and publishers see metrics on their marketing efforts. Learn how to build a great marketing campaign and see for yourself how well it’s being received.

EVN/VisualML: A platform of tools that makes it easy to work with XML workflow. Use throughout the process of acquiring, editing, and producing a book, and then output to subscription and retail sites.

Music Word Media: A multimedia catalogue of music. Everything you’d want to know about music.

Steampunk Holmes: A really cool series of transmedia stories revolving around, you guessed it, Sherlock Holmes. There are print books, ebooks, apps, web books, and audiobooks.

Bookshout!: An interesting new app platform that brings together readers socially. Connect with readers to discuss books and find new reads.

FreePress: A cool sampler of summer fiction coming out from Simon & Schuster’s FreePress.

Bats! Furry Fliers of the Night: A new kid’s book app that teaches kids about bats through a gaming approach.

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