Community Conference 2022 Schedule

Below you will find the current schedule of the 2022 Firebrand Group Community Conference. Click the session title to read the description, or scroll to the bottom to read them all, grouped by Track.

Table of Contents:

Schedule

NOTE: The timing of certain sessions in this schedule may be subject to change, but the overall timeline will be consistent. Please try to join us for the entire conference if you are able!

Monday, September 26, 2022

11:00am

12:30pm – Lunch on your own
2:00pm

3:15pm – Break
3:45pm

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

8:00am – Registration and Breakfast
9:00am – Opening Remarks from Fran Toolan and Angela Bole
9:45am – Keynote: Kirsty Melville
10:45am – Break
11:00am – Breakout Sessions:

12:00pm – Lunch on your own
1:30pm – Breakout Sessions:

2:30pm – Breakout Sessions:

3:30pm – Break
4:00pm – Breakout Sessions:

5:00pm – Keynote: Alistair Croll
6:00pm – Community Party

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

6:15am – Dawn Patrol (Run/Walk)
8:30am – Breakfast
9:00am – Breakout Sessions:

10:00am – Breakout Sessions:

11:00am – Break
11:30am – Firebrand Theory of Everything
12:15pm – Lunch on your Own
1:30pm – Overview/Closing Remarks
3:15pm – Conference Complete

Keynotes

Kirsty Melville (bio)

When we connect, we feel less alone – Rupi Kaur, author of Milk and Honey

The term “Instapoetry” is used to describe short form, accessible poetry on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. It has been derided as superficial, and “not real poetry” because it originates from social media. Yet the “Instapoetry” label masks the incredible depth and intersection of creativity, marketing, technology and human connection represented by this form of expression.

In this talk, social poetry publisher Kirsty Melville provides a behind the scenes look at how this contemporary poetry phenomenon emerged, and how its impact reflects a significant shift in the publishing dynamic between authors and publishers. Rupi Kaur leads her poetry peers in kicking down the walls of publishing, and we have much to learn from their power to connect and engage with readers worldwide.

Alistair Croll (bio)

It’s no secret that the arrival of digital technologies has upended most aspects of human society, from how we live and learn, to how we fight and play. The pace of change can be overwhelming, and indeed has overwhelmed many of the established businesses across a wide range of industries. But these changes can be harnessed—if only we have a framework for understanding them to which we can align our organizations.

In this wide-ranging talk that borrows from science, philosophy, and technology, bestselling author Alistair Croll offers an unexpected—and often hilarious—look at how innovation actually happens. You’ll learn more about horse manure, lab-grown meat, tea clippers, the economics of coal, YouTube unboxing videos, child seats, and baggage carousels than you ever thought you wanted to.

Along the way, get a structured approach to different kinds of change, from keep-the-lights on incremental improvements to the unknowable discontinuities of complete transformation. You’ll leave with concrete concepts you can put to work immediately as Alistair shows you how to adjust your thinking so you can thrive amid rapid change.

Master Classes

NOTE: The deep-dive Master Classes on Monday are included in the base conference cost. Register today, and be sure to invite your colleagues to the event, as well! We have discounts available for additional team members who register. Email joshua@firebrandtech.com for more info.

Master Class: Title Management Enterprise

Join us as we take a deep dive into Title Management Enterprise. As part of the agenda, we’ll publish a new book in no-time as we time travel through Acquisitions, P&L, Editorial, Production and Marketing. Whether you are just thinking about it, recently implemented, or have been using Title Management for decades you are sure to hone your existing skills and pick up some new ones as part of this session.

Presented by Paul Milana, Director of Professional Services, Firebrand; Joshua Tallent, Director of Sales and Education, Firebrand; and others from the Firebrand team

Master Class: Eloquence on Demand

Eloquence on Demand is designed to get your title information and content out to the world as smoothly as possible. Learn how it can help you meet complex partner requirements and stay current with industry best practices. We’ll show you tips for moving through Title Management with an eye toward EoD, and highlight new features and tricks that will help you master your metadata every day.

Presented by Annie Johnston, Director, Eloquence on Demand

Master Class: NetGalley

NetGalley 101

Rediscover the roots of your NetGalley publisher account! Kristina Radke will guide you through each important moment of a book’s life on NetGalley. We’ll cover everything from creating new titles, setting Availability, incorporating the Widget in your day-to-day efforts, managing requests, building your Auto-Approved List, as well as looking at and using the robust reports available to you.

Presented by Kristina Radke, VP Business Growth & Engagement, NetGalley

NetGalley Promotions Overview

Learn how publishers use NetGalley Promotions to launch their frontlist and leverage their backlist to reach trade professionals and early influencers, generate reviews, run giveaways, collect pre-orders, advertise around the pub date, and connect directly with their audience. With advertising options for every budget, goal, and type of book, NetGalley’s popular programs are highly valued for their strong engagement rates—delivering outstanding results while remaining at a competitive price.

Presented by Lindsey Lochner, Executive Vice President, NetGalley

Beyond the Book Review: Leveraging Media Placements for Lasting Author Success

While securing book reviews is a major goal for almost every author, what happens after is just as important. During this session, discover how to leverage book reviews from NetGalley and other sources for well-rounded author success. Topics include:

  • The different types of reviews including endorsements, trade, media, and consumer reviews and the impact each has an on author’s brand
  • How consumer reviews affect retail algorithms
  • How to leverage reviews to line up author events, speaking engagements, etc.
  • The long-lasting impact of book reviews—reviews serve as a foundation to further opportunity
  • Placement and use for NetGalley reviews

Presented by: Publicity Manager Andrea Kiliany Thatcher and Marketing Associate Olivia McCoy, of Smith Publicity

Master Class: Supadu

Join us for a walkthrough of the Supadu product suite with an overview of why a Supadu website is essential for making online book sales. From automating the flow of metadata into your website, to a fully-functioning store with integrated eCommerce, we will offer a deep dive into Supadu’s features and integrations.

Presented by Harry Graham, Project and Product Manager, Supadu

Breakout Tracks

We have created four tracks for our breakout sessions, each one focusing on different aspects of the publishing process. Attendees are welcome to attend sessions in any track. For instance, if you are an audiobook publisher or if you’d like to focus on backlist strategies, you’ll find sessions related to these topics across all tracks. Follow your interests and move between tracks at will!

Connecting Publishing Workflows | Sessions for production, editorial, and business ops teams, including Title Management users and administrators.

Connecting with Your Audience | Sessions for book marketers and publicists, including NetGalley and Supadu users.

From Connection to Conversion | Sessions for sales and business ops teams, including Title Management, Eloquence on Demand, and Supadu users.

Connect the Dots with Data | Sessions for data analysts, business ops, and marketing teams, including Eloquence on Alert and NetGalley users.

Connecting Publishing Workflows

Sessions for production, editorial, and business ops teams, including Title Management users and administrators.

Integrating Title Management with Other Systems

Learn about how and why Title Management is integrated with other systems. Based on decades of experience implementing Title Management, there are obvious and easy wins that we can recommend to all publishers right out of the gate. Additionally, we’ll introduce you to the Firebrand Integration Toolset (FIT) which is an API interface that helps organize and streamline the development lifecycle. This session is appropriate for technical and non-technical attendees.

Presented by Ben Todd, Manager of Integrations, Firebrand

Best Practices in Workflow Improvement

Improving your workflow involves change management, and that may be the most difficult part of any new project your team engages, whether that’s implementing a new title management application, acquiring another publisher, or making improvements to your workflow. Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with the transition or transformation of an organization’s goals, processes or technologies. As you work on new challenges, it is important to implement strategies for effecting, controlling, and helping people to adapt to change. In this session, we will discuss some tried and true change management strategies, talk about how to improve your workflow without the need for extreme change, and talk about your successes and challenges as it relates to implementing change using publishing technology, all followed by Q&A and open discussion on this topic.

Presented by Brian O’Leary, Executive Director of the Book Industry Study Group; Paul Milana, Director of Professional Services, Firebrand; Joshua Tallent, Director of Sales and Education, Firebrand

Choosing a DAM System: Features and Integrations to Consider

As publishers move more of their workforce online and publishing processes grow more complex, asset storage and reuse are becoming a concern for many editorial, marketing, and production teams. In this session, two experts from WoodWing, the leader in digital asset management for publishing companies, will discuss the benefits of having a standalone DAM system, the features and gotchas you should look for when assessing a move to a DAM, and how the WoodWing DAM can integrate cohesively with Title Management Enterprise.

Presented by Dan Pugliese, Senior Sales Executive at WoodWing

Discussion: Supply Chain Issues

Book publishers have not escaped global supply chain issues unscathed. Paper shortages, shipping delays, and worker shortages mean that publishers must plan well in advance to ensure that their books are available on the pub date. In this discussion session, we will explore workflow solutions to counteract these challenges.

Facilitated by Brian O’Leary, Executive Director of the Book Industry Study Group

Audiobook Production

In this session, we’ll discuss the current state of the audiobook market, including key trends affecting publishers, gotchas and, ahas. Audiobooks continue to be the fastest-growing publishing format. Estimates are that this will accelerate even more in the coming years. We’ll discuss opportunities, risks, and challenges publishers are facing, as well as a few novel ideas about how audiobooks can be used strategically to grow your lists, get more reviews and sell more print.

Presented by Cory Verner, Founder of ONE Audiobooks

Title Management Tips, Tricks, and Upcoming Releases

Your favorite session is back! We will share some tips and tricks you can use to get more out of your Title Management Enterprise implementation. We will also talk about the upcoming roadmap for the product, and see some of the new features coming soon. If you have suggestions for tips and tricks you think others will enjoy, or would like Joshua to cover something specific in this session, please email him at joshua@firebrandtech.com.

Presented by Joshua Tallent, Director of Sales and Education, Firebrand

Connecting with Your Audience

Sessions for book marketers and publicists, including NetGalley and Supadu users.

Finding Your Audience/Growing Your Community

Join the NetGalley Member Experience team to learn how targeted acquisition efforts can help expand your audience. This session will explore using data (from NetGalley as well as external sources like Google Analytics, social media platforms, & newsletter subscribers) to identify product/brand champions and inform your community engagement and retention strategies.

Presented by: Tarah Theoret, Senior Director, Community Experience; and Kelly Gallucci, Executive Editor, We Are Bookish

Audiobook Marketing on NetGalley

Learn more about NetGalley’s community of Audiobook listeners, and discover how marketers leverage NetGalley to reach key audiences and expand their efforts.

Presented by Kristina Radke, VP Business Growth & Engagement, NetGalley

Insights Into Action: The Making of a Bestseller

The Harvest lifestyle marketing team at HarperCollins has adopted a unique MarTech stack to streamline and scale campaigns in a traditionally very old-fashioned industry. Please join us for this session with Senior Marketing Director Andrea DeWerd and learn how this team adopted new technology to launch a New York Times bestseller and leads the organization in marketing experimentation driven by audience insights and data synthesis.

Key Takeaways:

  • Becoming a data-informed marketing organization
  • Soliciting buy-in for new technology at every level of the organization
  • Creating a culture of teaching, training, and learning for new tech adoption
  • The path to a New York Times bestselling cookbook

Presented by: Andrea DeWerd, Senior Marketing Director at Harvest, an imprint of HarperCollins

Discussion: Maintaining Momentum Beyond the Pub Date

Book publishers know that they have a wealth of IP in their backlist, but what is the most effective way to mine it? In this session, we will explore creative ways to surface the most relevant backlist titles of the moment, in order to drive their momentum when the time is right.

Facilitated by Kristina Radke, VP Business Growth & Engagement, NetGalley; Kevin Franco, Senior Product Manager, Firebrand; and others

Building & Scaling Influencer Programs Effectively: TikTok, Instagram, & More

Activating social media influencers is one of the fastest and most effective marketing tools to drive awareness—but it can also be one of the most time consuming and challenging. This session will focus on the tactical elements of building influencer programs based on individual titles as well as entire genres across TikTok, Instagram, and other social media platforms. Learn how to scale collaborations and maximize budgets with long-term partnership advice, negotiation tactics, and efficiency ideas.

Presented by: Emily Lyman, CEO & Founder, Branch & Bramble

Backlist Revival

Backlist revival has been widely discussed since backlist sales outperformed frontlist titles by 2-1 in 2021. Supadu talks through how automated metadata, the perfect product detail page, title samplers, Booktok videos together with a simple path to purchase provides the perfect vehicle for backlist sales.

Presented by Miranda Harvie-Watt, Harry Graham, and Grace Antleme, Supadu

From Connection to Conversion

Sessions for sales and business ops teams, including Title Management, Eloquence on Demand, and Supadu users.

Partnerships Matter

Supadu and Firebrand talk with Chicago Distribution Center (CDC) about the importance of partnerships in the publishing industry. We will discuss how an integration between Supadu, Firebrand, and CDC has provided a fully integrated solution for a number of publishers. In more detail we will cover the advantages of automated metadata, updated daily, from Title Management Enterprise (Firebrand), into your website (Supadu), and onto the CDC store for eCommerce and fulfillment, thereby freeing up your publishers to focus on their marketing objectives.

Presented by Sarah Arbuthnot, Commercial & Partnerships Director, Supadu

Easy eCommerce: Maximizing D2C Sales

Selling your products directly to consumers is a great way to increase the value of your publishing brand, build repeat business, and increase revenue. In this session, Supadu will discuss the key ingredients for successful eCommerce, including: ensuring ease of purchase, dealing with both physical and digital DRM, and integrating with distribution and fulfillment.

Presented by Harry Graham, Project and Product Manager, Supadu

Think Like a Bookshop! Creating a reader-focused D2C experience

Now that publishers are directly involved in D2C book sales, our focus is on how to think like a bookshop and focus on our readers. From attracting their attention, to reader engagement, and a simple shopping experience, join Supadu as we take a look at engaging directly with readers through direct marketing, offers, and events; building a community through genre-based marketing, and customer retention; and creating an author-reader relationship through interviews, videos, and events. We will be joined by two customers who will share case studies of their successes.

Presented by Grace Antleme, Marketing Manager, Supadu

Discussion: Making Products More Accessible (Open Access & Accessibility)

As Open Access and ebook accessibility become more important and more prevalent, publishers are working on ways to integrate them into their processes and sales strategies. This discussion session will open the floor for you and your colleagues to share your insights, suggestions, and pitfalls from engaging these areas yourselves.
Facilitated by Charles Watkinson, Director, University of Michigan Press

Activating the Opportunity In Your Backlist

Firebrand’s review and analysis of product information from over 3 million titles tells an interesting story of opportunity for publishers. This session will cover the many levers publishers have at their disposal, which ones to pull, and when. Topics include:

  • Product information enhancement at scale
  • Strategies of approach in backlist marketing
  • Winning the search, then winning the sale

Presented by Kevin Franco, Senior Product Manager, Firebrand

Why is hybrid publishing getting so much traction?

In this session, we’ll discuss why hybrid publishing has become such a popular option for so many authors. We’ll talk about the model, the opportunities, the challenges, and where things appear to be heading. We’ll also explore ways that you can incorporate hybrid publishing into your business and how to move the needle quickly.
Presented by Justin Branch, Director of Consulting, Greenleaf Book Group

Connect the Dots with Data

Sessions for data analysts, business ops, and marketing teams, including Eloquence on Alert and NetGalley users.

BEO & CRO: The 2 most important acronyms for book marketers since ASAP and WTF

This session will focus on aligning your data to your sales funnel and expose the levers at your disposal to improve conversion rates through a series of optimizations beginning with Book Exposure Optimization (BEO) and ending with Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). We will discuss:

  • Aligning your data to your sales funnel
  • Using data to make decisions impacting conversion rates
  • Prioritizing work on product information

Presented by Kevin Franco, Senior Product Manager, Firebrand

Exploring the Key Elements of a Data Science Project

Data can be a powerful force behind informed decision making. Given the right data, Data Science can be used to solve problems and increase insight and/or profitability. But simply collecting data isn’t enough. With data storage costs increasing at an average of 20% per year, an unstructured approach to data science can prove costly. Companies need an approach that will give you the most accurate results, and they need buy-in from the “regular people”—those without “data” or “analyst” in their job description or title.

Presented by Catherine Toolan, and Miranda Harvie-Watt

Amazon for Mere Mortals: Answers and Discussions

The biggest retailer is often also the most inexplicable. Meredith Baker, an Amazon expert with over 20 years of experience working with the largest book retailer, including time at Crown, Ingram, and Macmillan, will give you a high-level overview of recent changes and things to know, then lead a discussion and Q&A time, joined by our very own Annie Johnston.

Presented by Meredith Baker, Founder of Big River Consulting; and Annie Johnston, Director, Eloquence on Demand

Discussion: Security Concerns for Publishers

Security has become a much more important issue in the last few years. Hackers are becoming more active, and publishers’ data is a treasure trove that they would love to gain access to. This discussion session will give you an opportunity to hear what the Firebrand Group is doing about protecting your information, and to talk with other publishers about how they are approaching issues like file and intellectual property security.

Facilitated by Bill Bennett, IT Director, Firebrand Group

Analytics, Data, and Critical Thinking

Once, a leader was the person who could convince others to act in the absence of information. Today, we’re awash in information—and the winner is the person who asks the best questions. This is a skill you can learn.

Alistair Croll is the co-author of the bestselling Lean Analytics, which showed tens of thousands of startups how to use data to build a better business faster, and has been translated into nine languages. As a visiting executive at Harvard Business School, he helped create a course on data science and critical thinking. And as chair of O’Reilly’s decade-long Strata conference, he charted the rise of data science and AI.

In this session, Alistair integrates much of this thinking to teach you the fundamentals of analytics, data, and critical thinking. Attendees will learn:

  • What makes a good metric.
  • Why you have to pick One Metric That Matters.
  • The Lean Analytics Cycle.
  • Creating a Business Model Diagram for your organization.
  • Why search and labels are replacing hierarchy and titles, and what it means for data.
  • How to avoid the most common—and damaging—errors and biases when working with information.

Presented by Alistair Croll, co-author of Lean Analytics and one of our keynote speakers

EoA Demo, Tips, & Tricks

Eloquence on Alert is a data analysis and research tool that provides Actionable Market Intelligence about your books, metadata, and retail merchandising efforts. Come see how EoA can help you spot trends and gain valuable intelligence about how your products are represented on partner sites. Current EoA users will learn more about more new features and get some handy tips and tricks to get the most out of their subscription.

Presented by Catherine Toolan, Director of Eloquence Services