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Industry Renowned Speakers for Caribbean's First Digital Publishing Conference

JAMCOPY launches #theonlinemind and promises a slate of international experts

The Jamaican Copyright Licensing Agency (JAMCOPY) recently launched the Caribbean’s first digital publishing conference #TheOnlineMind, set for November 2-5, 2015, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica. The conference promises a slate of Jamaican, regional and international experts to deal with ‘hot button’ topics surrounding digital publishing.

Among those experts is George Walkley, Head of Digital for the Hachette UK Group. Walkley has responsibility for digital initiatives and strategy, including eBooks and apps and during the conference will focus on the critical skills required for digital publishing. Paul Doda of Elsevier, a publisher of technical and medical texts will be among those tackling the issue of copyright enforcement during the digital age.

Nicholas Laughlin, editor of The Caribbean Review of Books and Caribbean Beat, and programme director of the Bocas Lit Fest will focus on social media for print and digital books. The experts heading to the conference will also include Jon White, Head of Product at Emerald Group Publishing. White’s responsibilities at Emerald include the development of new digital products, channels and technology.

Carol Newman, Managing Director of JAMCOPY noted that decision to create a digital publishing conference came out of recognitions of the multiple and varied issues that their many stakeholders, and the entity itself, were dealing with.

“All the challenges that exist they affect our stakeholders. They impact the writers, the publishers and the consumers,” Ms. Newman said. She explained that JAMCOPY is, therefore, stepping into the breach to promote sustainable solutions for the region. “We will help to define the issues and point people to possible solutions. We want to help craft a sustainable way forward,” she said.

Education publishers will receive targeted focus with the Education Stakeholders ForumDuring her speech, Ms. Newman pointed to the changing state of publishing today and the need to ensure that the disruption currently taking place stimulates growth rather than destruction. 

“The transforming forces of globalization and digitalization have made it clear in recent years that the future of books and reading, whatever their formats and nature, will be highly complex and diverse,” Ms. Newman said. “No one global manifestation of the book, and of reading and learning, is shaping the future; on the contrary, different, related, yet nuanced and highly fragmented variants of producing and reading complex forms of content, will coexist and compete for the attention of volatile audiences.”

The launch, which took place at the Jamaica Pegasus also included a guest speaker appearance from Hon. Minister Anthony Hilton who spoke about the recent amendments to Jamaica's copyright act as well as input from author Marcia Forbes who has published two books on digital and social media technologies. The conference will also incorporate exhibitions; Master Classes on self-publishing, pitching to publishers, and creating an eBook; and an Education Stakeholders Forum.