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Monday, March 18


So You Think You Can Code? #eprdctn Life Hacks
This will be a hands-on workshop where participants take on a few of the perennial challenges unique to digital publishing. No advance preparation will be required to participate in coding and discussing solutions in real time. Harnessing the combined experience of the ebookcraft community, we may even compile solutions together that are better than any of us could develop individually. This session can be enjoyed with or without participating in this year's So You Think You Can Code competition and will appeal to all skill levels, from beginners testing their mettle to pros ready to learn new tricks—or maybe even show off a little. Participants will need to bring a device, but code and conundrums will be provided.

avatar for Melissa deJesus

Melissa deJesus

Associate Production Editor, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Melissa deJesus is often the first person to find out that a retailer has an issue with one of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Trade ebooks, like 1984, Lord of the Rings, or The Handmaid's Tale. Then she's the person who tweaks the file or the metadata to fix the problem. For more recent... Read More →


The Bunny Slopes of SVG Mountain
Naomi Kennedy is here to gently guide you down the slippery slopes of the SVG image format as it pertains to ebooks. No prior SVG knowledge is required — Naomi will go over what it is, how and why it's used, and demo tools to create and edit these image files. Attendees will have the chance to code along with Naomi as she creates an SVG file and places it in an ebook to demonstrate its functionality (or lack thereof). This hands-on workshop will also touch on the differences and similarities between CSS and SVG, accessibility, common problems and their solutions, and supported features.

avatar for Naomi Kennedy

Naomi Kennedy

Senior Manager for Ebook Development, Penguin Random House
Naomi Kennedy is the Senior Manager for Ebook Development at Penguin Random House. A master at process automation, she is charged with developing tools to improve Penguin Random House's eBook production workflow and helping others with their ebook woes. Previously, she worked for... Read More →


XSLT 3 for EPUB and Print
Learn about using XSLT to produce EPUB2 and EPUB3 books from XML or XHTML input as well as PDF for print with CSS or XSL-FO. You don't need previous XSLT experience but a willingness to look at a little code will really help.

XSLT can be a functional programming language or a simple template language or anywhere between. We’ll focus on the newer features of XSLT, after a quick overview.

If you bring a laptop with Oxygen XML Editor or Saxon 9 HE ready to run, you can follow along with some examples, and if not, that's fine too.

avatar for Liam Quin

Liam Quin

Disrupter, Barefoot Computing
Liam Quin has been working with digital typography and books since first encountering text formatting software in 1981. He worked at SoftQuad Inc. (an outgrowth of Coach House Press in the 1980s) and was later the head of XML work at the World Wide Web Consortium for many years. He... Read More →

Tuesday, March 19


Building Ebooks That Last
This talk will answer the question: "How does my company build ebooks that will still work in two years, or five, or ten?" Taking a pragmatic approach based on real-world examples of ebooks that did not last, with a dash of the theoretical that considers how web archiving work might apply to ebooks, Teresa will cover workflows, common issues that prevent ebooks from being sold, standards compliance, link rot, accessibility, and more. She will also look at how web communities are talking about digital archiving and how this might apply to ebooks.

avatar for Teresa Elsey

Teresa Elsey

Senior Managing Editor (Digital), Trade Publishing, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Teresa Elsey is senior managing editor (digital) in the Trade division at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She directs a group that produces and updates more than a thousand ebooks yearly, including adult fiction and nonfiction, culinary and lifestyle, YA titles, picture books, and e-only... Read More →


Pagination in the Browser: Why, What, and How
Publishers and book-makers are still looking for ways to make more books, faster, while maintaining the quality that readers expect from professional products. More and more publishers are exploring ways to add automation to their workflows, and looking for tools that can replace or at least speed up the traditional InDesign workflow. Unfortunately, today's standard automation tools can't match the page quality that InDesign offers (at least not without tedious time-investment). At the same time, e-reading systems continue to vary widely in their support of standard Web design elements, which makes it difficult to create digital book products that can rival their print counterparts. 

Both of these reasons explain the continued interest in finding browser-based pagination solutions — as page-layout alternatives and as browser-based reading systems. Nellie will explain the problems that publishers are facing, and how web-based pagination can offer a solution to those problems. She will also go over some of the tools available today and those in development, a few case studies, and some of the theoretical concepts behind browser-based pagination.

avatar for Nellie McKesson

Nellie McKesson

Founder and CEO, Hederis
Nellie has been working in publishing for well over a decade, in almost every book production role there is (production editor, print layout specialist, ebook production manager, to name a few). She's spent the last 6 or so years working specifically with automated workflows: creating... Read More →


The Past, Present, and Future of Digital Publishing That Hasn't, Isn't, But May Still Meet the Promise of the Web
EPUB has been around since 2007; EPUB 3 came out in 2011. We’re told we live in an age of digital disruption, but little has changed in ebooks since before the very first ebookcraft. What’s going on? What might the future of ebooks look like? Should we use EPUB 3.2? Will there ever be an EPUB 4? Are Web Publications real? Part history lesson, part unhinged rant, part futile attempt to predict the future, Dave Cramer will shed light, or at least heat, on the big picture.

avatar for Dave Cramer

Dave Cramer

Senior Digital Publishing Technology Specialist, Hachette Book Group
Dave Cramer has been making eBooks for fifteen years, and complaining about ebook standards for nearly as long. He was co-editor of the IDPF specification on fixed-layout eBooks, but in recent years has become heavily involved with the W3C and web standards, editing several specs... Read More →

Wednesday, March 20


Disrupting Bias: Overcoming Our Discomfort with Differences
As we work to build a more diverse, inclusive and innovative environment within the publishing industry, the critical first step is to identify and interrupt biases—in particular, unconscious biases. When we know how to interrupt and address biases, our workplaces are more inclusive, and our teams are happier, more engaged, and are better positioned to target diverse markets.

In this highly practical session, Ritu will draw on the latest neuroscience and leadership research to explore how discomfort with differences manifests within the publishing industry. Ritu will identify how to address challenges that arise when working across cultural differences with team members and authors, and provide strategies for becoming more inclusive and culturally competent when working across cultural differences.

Make sure you don't miss this talk! A recording will not be provided after the conference.

*Timing is tentative until the full schedule is released in March 2019.

avatar for Ritu Bhasin

Ritu Bhasin

President, bhasin consulting inc.
Ritu Bhasin, LL.B. MBA, President of bhasin consulting inc., is an award-winning speaker, author, and expert in diversity and inclusion, women’s advancement, and authentic leadership. Her Amazon bestselling book, The Authenticity Principle: Resist Conformity, Embrace Differences... Read More →


Finding the Kernel: Data-Driven Sales Tactics to Really Sell Your Book
Jordyn will demonstrate how to sift through the piles of data — from backlist and comp sales to forecasting popularity — to find the pieces that will really sell your book. How does your book line up with current trends in genre and entertainment? How can you pinpoint which bits of data to use, and which to ignore? Where does your gut fit into your sales strategy? Find the kernel and you’ll find your answers. 

avatar for Jordyn Martinez

Jordyn Martinez

Sales Representative, National Accounts, Simon & Schuster Canada
Jordyn Martinez is a Sales Representative at Simon & Schuster Canada. She focuses on print sales across all genres and formats, as well as ebook and eaudio sales. Previously she was the Sales Assistant at S&S Canada, and interned at both BookNet Canada and eBOUND Canada. She is a... Read More →


Fireside Chat: Ritu Bhasin in Conversation
Léonicka Valcius, Tech Forum speaker extraordinaire, sits down with this year's keynote speaker, Ritu Bhasin, to discuss the current landscape for diversity and inclusion efforts in the publishing industry and what can be done to drive further innovation and change.

avatar for Ritu Bhasin

Ritu Bhasin

President, bhasin consulting inc.
Ritu Bhasin, LL.B. MBA, President of bhasin consulting inc., is an award-winning speaker, author, and expert in diversity and inclusion, women’s advancement, and authentic leadership. Her Amazon bestselling book, The Authenticity Principle: Resist Conformity, Embrace Differences... Read More →
avatar for Léonicka Valcius

Léonicka Valcius

Assistant Agent, Transatlantic Agency
Léonicka Valcius is an Assistant Agent at Transatlantic Agency, representing commercial and genre fiction for adults and children. As the founder of #DiverseCanLit and the founding Chair of the Board of Directors of The Festival of Literary Diversity, working with writers of colour... Read More →


Project TAMIS: Using AI to Address the Discoverability Challenge
How do we discover books? Sometimes we ask people (bookstore and library staff, journalists, friends, family), but more often than not, we ask search engines (“thriller Brazil,” “kids’ books dragons") But these tools rely on the way books are described. Is the book actually labelled as a thriller? Do we know that the plot takes place in Brazil? How do search engines know that a particular book contains references to dragons? There are thousands of ways to describe a book and publisher time is limited. And book metadata is not always sufficient for all types of queries — any bookseller who's been asked to find a book by the colour of its cover can tell you that. Plus, discoverability is being increasingly performed through recommendation engines that are often based on historical sales data, not on the actual content of the books.

Projet TAMIS was launched by Éditions du Septentrion (a history book publisher based in Québec City) in collaboration with Brix Labs (a consulting agency with a focus on technology applied to cultural industries) to address these challenges. Researchers are using algorithms, open source code, and free or cheap APIs to extract descriptive information about books from books and to do it at a granularity and scale that would not be possible for humans. These findings could have huge potential to enrich traditional metadata, as well as create new ways to discover books.

This presentation will share some of the project's results, which will be made available online and provided to publishers in such a way to make it easy to upload them to their metadata aggregators.

avatar for Christian Roy

Christian Roy

President, Brix Labs
Christian Roy is the project coordinator and main researcher for Projet TAMIS. He has worked on many projects combining cultural content metadata, algorithms and technology. He is also the founder and CEO of Hercules.report, a market intelligence tool for book professionals. He was... Read More →


Speccing the Void: Adventures in the Audiobooks Abyss
Kobo audiobooks launched in 2017 and as a QA on the project with a passion for EPUB, my first question was, “So what is the spec for audiobooks, it’s like EPUB right?” Instead of being offered a link to a spec doc, I got shrugs. Later in 2017, I joined the W3C Publishing Working Group with the hopes we’d be discussing the matter of audiobooks, and in 2018 it was decided to create a task force to figure out audio formally. I jumped on the task immediately, and in the months since we’ve made a lot of developments in the space, but the true test is whether the industry will accept our best intentions.

In creating a spec where there isn’t one already the important thing to consider is whether or not your expected audience even wants it. On top of working with passionate ebook people on creating something that aligns with what the publishing industry uses already, we need to work with the industry we’re about to disrupt. We also have to consider the needs and expectations of users and user agents. There are more questions than answers.

This presentation will introduce everyone to the process of creating something where there wasn’t something before, and demoing what we have done so far.

avatar for Wendy Reid

Wendy Reid

Senior QA Analyst, Rakuten Kobo Inc.
Wendy Reid is a Senior QA at Rakuten Kobo Inc and has spent the last few years on the other side of EPUB mysteries and reading system technology. She is currently one of the co-chairs of the Publishing Working Group of the W3C and leads the audiobooks taskforce. In her abundant spare... Read More →

Thursday, March 21


(Off-site) ONIX Training
Join us at the BookNet offices in downtown Toronto for a full day of ONIX training with EDItEUR, the international organization that coordinates development of the ONIX for Books standard. A basic understanding of ONIX for Books is recommended to get the full benefit of this participatory seminar. Materials and further details will be provided closer to the date.

Thursday March 21, 2019 9:00am - 5:00pm
401 Richmond St. W., Suite 376

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