Quick Notes on the #FrankfurtTOC

The Frankfurt TOC (Tools of Change) conference took place today, as part of the Frankfurt Book Fair (going on this week).  Like the TOC Conference earlier this year, FrankfurtTOC had a lot of folks there twittering the coolest ideas, giving a kind of stop-motion summary of the talks taking place.

What follows are the posts I saw that intrigued me in one way or another.


  • Think digital first, print maybe.
  • Focus on your verticals – the reason why genre fiction works in digital.
  • Digital change is completely changing the publishing industry. Nobody has THE RIGHT to survive.
  • Publishers need to think like Games Developers http://bit.ly/bxSCv


  • Publishers/Writers should create a life-long URL for each work “don’t be fooled into allowing others control of your metadata”


  • DRM: “Retailers want to own the customer.”
  • The use of “unprotected” to describe DRM-free is very objectionable. Why not “unrestricted?” @doctorow
  • Any time someone mentions “interoperability” and “DRM” in the same breath, they’re engaged in wishful thinking. @doctorow
  • If DRM is always broken, in what sense does it “protect”? Restricts use, restricts interop, doesn’t protect.


  • Let readers buy the book [as a bundle in all possible formats] & allow the reader to choose the format they want. (I just suggested that like… two weeks ago.)
  • …making “All books available to All”… one of the most ambitious ventures in the book industry. http://bit.ly/bIW1H


  • The best way to predict the future is to invent it. @v_clayssen
  • Substantial increase in Android Market. Looking at graph suggests in 2 years will have caught up with Apple app store
  • “Books: the fastest growing category in iTunes AppStore.” @innOva

My impression:

Publishing, at the moment, is stuck. There’s lots of talk about how publishers need to get with it, and where publishing is now, and what they don’t want to do to solve their problems, but there’s no grand solution proposed.

At least they acknowledge the problem.