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Our speakers on the Annual Spring Conference
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Alan Moore

What will you be talking about at the Conference?

I’ll be talking about why beautiful businesses are the future, and why design plays such a key role in successful firms. Everything man-made is designed in some way, so every day we have opportunities to make stuff that is meaningful, useful, valuable and joyful. Experience is everything, and we can design that. It is as relevant to a company’s culture as the products it makes, so I am excited to share my thoughts on what it means to be a beautiful business.

Apart from speaking, what are you looking forward to at the Conference?

I started off as a book designer, so I’m keen to listen and learn how the publishing industry has developed.

Can you recommend a book you've enjoyed recently?

At the Lightning Field by Laura Raicovich (Coffee House Press). Walter De Maria’s The Lightning Field is 400 stainless steel poles, positioned 220 feet apart, in the desert of central New Mexico. I read this slim book and was seduced by its meditations on time, place, light, memory and experience. It has a mystical quality in its reflectiveness. I found it by chance, stepping off the Charing Cross Road into an art bookshop to escape the rain. You can never make an appointment with serendipity.

Tim Davies

What will you be talking about at the Conference?

My session is aimed at start-up and small publishers. I’ll be facilitating a broad discussion around key operational areas including pre-press and production, printing and stock management, print and ebook distribution, sales, marketing and websites. In the unlikely event we have any time left over, we might also touch on commissioning strategy, management information and reporting, and hybrid and self-publishing models. There won’t be any magic bullets, but we’ll explore a few options and hopefully delegates will go away with an idea or two.

Apart from speaking, what are you looking forward to at the Conference?

Attending as many sessions as possible and catching up with old pals.

Can you recommend a book you've enjoyed recently?

I’ve just started on Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels—albeit 30 years late! I’m reading them in order (as instructed by my colleague Alan Leitch at Compass IPS) and I’m up to number five, and really enjoying them so far.

Jo Forshaw

What will you be talking about at the Conference?

I'm hoping to break down the mystique around audio publishing, show how you how you can fit it into your existing strategy, and explain the benefits it can bring. It's not just about the money, but as the fastest growing bit of publishing at the moment, you'd be mad to miss out on the audio boom.

Apart from speaking, what are you looking forward to at the Conference?

I'm really looking forward to meeting a lot of enthusiastic people. From what I've seen, independent publishers and small presses are much more comfortable than big companies with testing new ideas and challenging existing thinking, and that's where we need to be. Or it's certainly where I want to be!

Can you recommend a book you've enjoyed recently?

Watling Street by John Higgs (Weidenfeld & Nicholson). I love walking and pyschogeography, and this is packed full of fascinating facts. Who knew Milton Keynes was aligned with the sunrise? It took me ages to read though: it’s an enormous book that was clearly deemed worthy enough to justify a hardback... but not an audio.

Michael Townsend Williams

What will you be talking about at the Conference?

How to build the resilience to cope better with the challenges and demands of everyday life. We need to calm the mind and find focus to do our best work in all areas of our lives. I will also share my story from alcoholic adman to yoga teacher and now coach, author and entrepreneur.

Apart from speaking, what are you looking forward to at the Conference?

Meeting new people and learning from others.

Can you recommend a book you've enjoyed recently?

It’s an old one that I have finally got round to listening to as an audiobook: Narcissus & Goldmund by Herman Hesse (Penguin). I’m on the last chapter and it’s been a wonderful journey into the tensions of being human that is timeless, thought-provoking and charming at the same time.

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