Salon du livre de Montréal – digital is "going mainstream »

While print books undoubtedly remain the Salon’s primary focus, signs of a market in metamorphosis are ubiquitous: the number of visitors holding iPads, ereaders set up at booths and posters everywhere vying for people’s attention. Another indication was various publishers who quietly shared their astonishment at seeing ebooks account for as much as 5% of their fall sales – and even a little more in some cases.

On Thursday afternoon, we also took part in a gathering organized by the Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL), intended as an opportunity for industry “techies” to get to know each other better and to dialogue on how information exchanges between the various systems comprising the new publishing ecosystem can be improved.

A lot of concrete ideas were shared, which is exactly what we wanted — the underlying theme at all times being the idea of finding ways to make better use of the information available to us, to make everyone’s life easier — starting with the group it’s all about: the reading public… the buyers of ebooks.

The outcome was an agreement to share more information, to adopt universal standards more often and — above all — to stay in touch over the next few months in order to maintain a forum for discussion among those who make the whole thing work… or fix it when it doesn’t.

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