Home » News » Mary McAveney (Abrams), Andy Hunter (Bookshop.org), and Michael Tamblyn (Kobo) to Keynote the Inaugural PUBLISHING INNOVATION FORUM, September 24-26 in Nashville, TN

Mary McAveney (Abrams), Andy Hunter (Bookshop.org), and Michael Tamblyn (Kobo) to Keynote the Inaugural PUBLISHING INNOVATION FORUM, September 24-26 in Nashville, TN

Newburyport, MA (May 15, 2024)The Firebrand Group—a global collection of companies, including Firebrand Technologies, NetGalley, and Supadu Ltd—is excited to announce three inspiring keynote speakers for its inaugural Publishing Innovation Forum (#PubInnovation24). All members of the publishing industry are invited to join these influencers, along with more than 20 additional expert speakers, during this three-day event, September 24-26, 2024 in Nashville, Tennessee.

The three keynote speakers are:

Andy Hunter
Founder and CEO, Bookshop.org
Andy is also the co-creator and publisher of the websites Literary Hub, Crime Reads and BookMarks, and co-founder and chairman of Electric Literature. His focus is keeping literature a vital part of our culture in the digital age. His company, Bookshop.org, is an online bookstore with an explicit mission to help promote and financially support the brick-and-mortar independent bookselling community. 


Mary McAveney
President and CEO, Abrams
Mary is a publishing veteran with decades of experience and expertise in marketing, strategy, and branding. McAveney is known throughout the industry as a forward-thinking innovator who delivers success based on data-driven tactics, direct-to-consumer relationships, and digital discovery. As President and CEO of Abrams, McAveney oversees the company’s three divisions—Abrams, Abrams Children’s Books, and Abrams ComicArts—as well as the Abrams Distribution Client business.


Michael Tamblyn
CEO, Kobo
Michael combines his passion for books and reading with a deep focus on hardware and software experiences that can make reading lives better. In addition to leading Rakuten Kobo, the global digital bestseller, he is also a Senior Executive Officer of Rakuten, the Japanese ecommerce giant.



Formerly known as the Firebrand Group Industry Conference, the Publishing Innovation Forum was rebranded in May 2024 to better reflect the event’s focus on bringing the entire publishing industry together for conversations related to evolving and adapting to the book industry’s many changes. Attendees can expect to learn how their industry peers are transforming their toughest challenges into innovations and initiatives that will successfully benefit sales, rights and permissions, marketing, audiobooks, ebooks, printing, distribution, and more.

“It’s important to all of us at the Firebrand Group that the Publishing Innovation Forum is a welcoming community of book industry professionals willing to share their collective knowledge and expertise,” said Angela Bole, CEO of Firebrand Technologies and NetGalley. “We know it’s collaborative environments like this that provide the keys to solving common challenges and ensuring our industry remains strong, informed, and ready for the future. As a collection of companies, we’re committed to fostering these environments both internally and externally.”

Sessions at the Publishing Innovation Forum will cover a variety of important topics that impact the industry. Three broad tracks (Marketing, Technology, and Business), along with numerous networking and idea-sharing opportunities, will provide learning opportunities for publishing professionals at every level. 

“We’re all in this together,” said Joshua Tallent, Firebrand Technologies’ Director of Sales & Education and lead conference programmer. “That’s why it’s so important for us to gather at events like the Publishing Innovation Forum to jointly solve problems as we plan for the future.”

Early bird registration for the Publishing Innovation Forum is available through June 30, 2024. More information, including a link to register, is available at publishinginnovationforum.com.

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About the Firebrand Group
The Firebrand Group—a global collection of companies including Firebrand Technologies, NetGalley, and Supadu Ltd—offering comprehensive technology solutions to nurture book publisher success. The companies within Firebrand Group are owned by Media Do International (MD-i), the US-based subsidiary of Japan’s Media Do Co., Ltd, one of the largest ebook distribution companies in the world retaining the largest share of Japan’s ebook market. For more information on Media Do’s services and corporate divisions, visit mediado.jp/english.

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