Madrid’s Readmagine: Skill Sets and ‘Human-Centric Digital Innovation’

In News by Porter Anderson

First organized in 2006, Spain’s innovation-themed Readmagine industry-facing conference is set for June 7 to 9 in Madrid.

At Readmagine in Madrid, in the Fundación Germán Sánchez Ruipérez’s unique barrel-ceilinged auditorium. Image: FGSR

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

This Year With Canon, Fondazione LIA, and Libranda
As many of our Publishing Perspectives readers know, Madrid’s Readmagine conference on book and readership innovation—which had its inaugural staging 17 years ago—is a reliable industry-facing event in world publishing.

Organized and staged primarily by the seemingly indefatigable Luis González, managing director of the Fundación Germán Sánchez Ruipérez (FGSR) in the Spanish capital’s extraordinary Casa del Lector complex (Reader’s House), this this invitational program has been seated there since 2013.

The event’s three days this year, June 7, 8, and 9, are planned to be again a chance for international industry professionals to meet in an informal setting and talk, exchange notes, catch up with each other’s views, and renew friendships. Always set around a trend, issue, or challenge, the conference’s sessions this year have what might be for some attendees a peculiarly soothing subtitle in this sudden age of “artificial intelligence”: Human-Centric Digital Innovation for the Book Industry.

This opens the program’s inquiries to issues including;

  • Attraction of talent for the industry
  • New skills needed for a professional career
  • Editions accessible to all
  • Sustainability for the value chain

Luis González

The program is produced in three major parts, which will include this time the special option of an “Accessibility Camp” on the Friday (June 9), organized by Italy’s highly influential Fondazione LIA  under the direction of product manager Elisa Molinari. Also on the Friday, there’s a focus available on sustainability with Elsevier’s global director of sustainability Rachel Martin.

The second part, the Thursday presentation (June 8), is hashtagged #10IDDM for its formal name, the International Digital Distributors Meeting. This portion of the program has been developed over the years under the leadership of José Manuel Anta, the managing director of the Spanish Federation of Book, Print Media, and Digital Contents Distributors, called FANDE.

José Manuel Anta

And in looking at the varied and ranging program listings below, you can see that this is not your typical trucks-and-tribulations distribution day. For example, here is Beatrice Yongin Lin of Co.Mint on the South Korean market.

The opening day, Wednesday (June 7), this year is going to feature the question of “a toolkit for the future” as a kind of spur to the debates of the day, which is designed to feature an overview on where the European industry’s statistics stand; the generational impact of Generation Z; the power and sometimes curiosities of audio in the business; accessibility’s leading issues (again with Fondazione LIA and this time its secretary general Cristina Mussinelli), as well as “that AI session” now found in so many programs and in this case featuring Christoph Bläsi of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz); and a roundtable led by González including María José Gálvez Salvador—whom many will remember from Frankfurter Buchmesse‘s Guest of Honor Spain program last year.

On all three days, workshops and working groups are arranged during the afternoons and on the first two days those feature startup company spokespeople with case studies, following midday cocktails.

Readmagine Programming: June 7

9 to 9:30 a.m.: Welcome and Opening

9:30 to 10 a.m.: Figures on the European Publishers Ecosystem

  • Enrico Turrin, Federation of European Publishers

10 to 10:15: A Toolkit for the Future

  • Porter Anderson, Publishing Perspectives

10:15 to 10:45: “What and How Gen Z?”

  • Matt Locke, Storythings
  • Shauna Moran, Global Web Index

10:45 to 11:20 a.m.: Round Table–”The Audio Landscape”

  • Lory Martinez, Studio Ochenta
  • Michele Cobb, Audio Publishers Association
  • Kurt Thielen, Zebralution
  • Moderated by Javier Celaya, Dosdoce

11:40 to 12:14: Accessibility

  • Hadrien Gardeur, Product at DeMarque
  • Paolo Casarini, Il Mulino
  • Moderated by Cristina Mussinelli, Fondazione LIA

12:15 to 1 p.m.: “AI in Our Industry”

  • Christoph Bläsi, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz

1 to 1:40 p.m.: “How To Attract Talent to the Book Sector?”

  • María José Gálvez Salvador. Spanish ministry of culture
  • Christoph Bläsi, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
  • Porter Anderson, Publishing Perspectives
  • Moderated by Luis González, FGSR

Workshop Sessions, running 3 to 5:15 p.m.:

  • “The D2C Revoution” with Nicolas Parola,
  • “How Print and Digital Can Mutually Benefit” with Njål Hansen and Nathan Hull of Beat Technology
  • “Maximizing Your Social Media Presence on Instagram and TikTok” with Aurora Payá, Lucy Jones, Laura Di Giuseppe of Tandem Collective
  • “The Prosumer Intelligence Toolkit: A Tool to Understand How Readers Interact With Books” with Elias Blanckaert and Enrico Turrin
Readmagine Programming: June 8

9:30 to 9:40 a.m.: Presentation of the International Digital Distributors Meeting

9:40 to 10:10 a.m.: Keynote: The Book Market in 2023: Publishing Beyond Publishers

  • Rüdiger Wischenbart

10:10 to 10:40 a.m.: Keynote: “Focus Market Korea: More Than Webtoons”

  • Beatrice YongIn Lin, Co.Mint

11 to 11:45 a.m.: Round Table–”The Publishers’ View: Five Years Ahead”

  • Chantal Restivo-Alessi, HarperCollins
  • Marie-Pierre Sangouard, Interforum – Editis
  • Moderated by Santos Palazzi, Planeta

11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Round Table–”The Media Sector: A Benchmark”

  • María Álvarez, Grupo Hola
  • Ricardo Fernandez de Molina, Prisa Media
  • Hugo Montero, PressReader
  • Moderated by Arantza Larrauri, Libranda DeMarque

12:30 to 1:15 p.m.: Round Table–”About Innovation”

  • Alyna Wnukowsky, Libri
  • Santiago Rosillo, Hachette Livre
  • Moderated by Carlo Carrenho, StreetLib

Workshop Sessions, running 3 to 5:15 p.m.:

  • “The New PressReader SDK: A New Reading Experience in the Digital Press Sector” with Hugo Merino Montero of PressReader
  • “Artificial Intelligence Applied to Books: Opportunities for Authors and Publishers” with Manuel Lucania, Roy Alonso, and Julio Covacho of Quantic Brains Technologies
  • “Audio Entertainment Upfront: Facing the Challenges in Production” with Juliana Rueda of A.R.S.
  • “Empower Each One and Everyone to Read: Accessibility Tools” with Emmanuel Paul of Mobidys
Readmagine Programming: June 9: ‘NextGen Book’

These sessions will include simultaneous interpretation.

9:30 to 9:45 a.m.: Welcome

  • Laura Clavero, Canon Iberia

9:45 to 10:15 a.m.: A Transmedia Perspective: Orange

  • Daniel Morales Gutiérrez, Orange Foundation

10:15 to 11:15 a.m.
 Three speakers in succession:

The Weight of the Editorial Carbon Footprint: How Much Does the Spanish Publishing Industry Pollute?

  • Manuel Gil, Antinomias Book

Management of Publications According to Sustainability Criteria

  • Jordi Panyella, Pol.len

Lessons Learned From the Prototype of a Carbon Print Label for Books

  • Rachel Martin, Elsevier

11:35 to 12 p.m.: “Sustainability and Eco-Publishing: Readers’ Assessment”

  • Pepe Verdes, Librotea

12 to 1:15 p.m.: Round Table–”Efficiencies and Inefficiencies of the Book Supply Chain”

  • Eric del Arco, Gremi de Llibreters de Catalunya
  • Arturo Álvaro, Logista
  • Carlota del Amo, Penguin Random House Spain
  • Arantxa Mellado, LiberExpress

1:15 to 1:30 p.m.: “Accelerator 2030: An International and Intersectoral Initiative to Promote Sustainability in Publishing”

Readmagine Programming: June 9: ‘Accessibility Camp’

9 to 9:30 a.m.: Welcome

9:30 to 9:45 .am.: Greetings and Introduction

  • Elisa Molinari, Fondazione LIA

9:45 to 10:15 a.m.: Accessible Reading Experience

  • Antonino Cotroneo, Fondazione LIA

10:15 to 10:45 a.m.: Keynote: “Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, What’s Going to Happen in the Accessibility World?”

  • Cristina Musinelli, Fondazione LIA

11:15 to 11:45 a.m.: European Publishers and the Roadmap Towards Accessibility, a Round Table–”Which Are the Most Interesting Initiatives at the European Union Level?”

  • Gautier Chomel, ABE Lab
  • Kristina Kramer, Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels
  • Stacy Scott, Taylor & Francis
  • Moderator: Fondazione LIA

11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.: Toward an Accessible Digital Publishing Ecosystem, a Round Table–”What Is the Role Each Player of the Value Chain Must Play?”

  • Arantza Larrauri, Libranda De Marque
  • Silvia Clemares, Rakuten Kobo
  • Ted van der Togt, KB National Library of the Netherlands
  • Emmanuel Christien, Anaya
  • Moderated by Luis González, FGSR

Working groups operate from 12:15 to 1 p.m., and then from 2:30 to 5 p.m. following lunch.

At the Fundación Germán Sánchez Ruipérez’s recent ‘School for the Spanish Book Industry.’ Image: FGSR

More from Publishing Perspectives on digital publishing is here, more on Readmagine is here, more on the work of Luis González is here, more on the Federation of Publishing Guilds in Spain is here, more on world publishing conferences is here, and more on Spain’s publishing market is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.