Edit, correct, and comment on the source here: http://bit.ly/sbobib12source

[a] Keith Fahlgren:

Comments on the Google Doc will show up in the source version, which is nice.

Max Fenton:


Craig Mod:




[b] Xander Cansell:

very nifty

Please follow [a]  along


This talk is interactive so I encourage you to open your laptops and devices and go to bit.ly/sbobib12  (but you don’t have to.)

Max Fenton @maxfenton “Please follow along at http://t.co/h3MyDkGM “— @liza #bib12 2012-10-26T16:02:00

The self-publishing book

Liza Daly & Keith Fahlgren

We used to work at a company called Threepress, where we did digital consulting and software development. At Threepress our customers were publishers, so we spent most of our time thinking about how to help publishers work in this new digital landscape, with files formats like EPUB and XML.

Pablo Defendini @pablod This talk is interactive, follow along at http://t.co/Gwdb4vFv #BiB12 2012-10-26T16:04:43

Andrew Rhomberg @arhomberg Tuning back into #BiB12 to watch @liza 2012-10-26T16:04:50

We work at Safari Books Online.

We help people learn new skills in technology and business through books and videos.

Now that we are at Safari Books Online, like many of the people you’ve heard from today. Safari is a product company, where we help people learn new skills and learn new technologies. We focus on business and technology, and the mechanism for learning that has been through  books and videos.

Pablo Defendini @pablod As @liza talks, her slide is doing live text recognition… what’s gonna happen!? #BiB12 2012-10-26T16:06:28

Toby (╯°-°)╯ @PenguinPowered I have a feeling that the audio recognition going on in top left is important. #bib12 2012-10-26T16:06:29

[b] Molly Sharp:

We sure do!

We think differently about files now.

Files  are what we get from publishers [b] .

Customers get chapters , sections , clips .

What’s changed for me in moving from a publishing services company to a product company is, well, a lot, but in particular, I don’t think the same way about things like files anymore. EPUB files and formats are what I did for a living. Now I think much more about our customers, who are the readers. They are the people who get the books, the chapters, and the video clips through the browser. The files and what happens to them behind the scenes are unimportant.

Buster Bylander @Infratrilogy @liza talking now on ebooks and authorship at #bib12. For those not there (like myself) check the livestream http://t.co/JN1VxciM 2012-10-26T16:03:49

Andrew Savikas @andrewsavikas RT @pablod: And @abdelazer has brought an empty chair onstage. He’ll be talking to it like it’s @andrewsavikas, Clint Eastwood style. #BiB12 2012-10-26T16:03:32

[c] Craig Mod:

lots of simple pipes

We still expect authors to make files?

So when Peter Brantley said that the subject of this Books in Browsers  was authorship and writing, I decided to take some of my own shift in thinking about the importance of files in formats all the way back to the beginning to authorship. [c]

Craig Mod @craigmod Follow @liza's dark codex magic here: http://t.co/L7HJZ8Wk #bib12 2012-10-26T16:04:55

Some assertions about authoring systems:

Domain-specific tools are going away.

What I think we’re coming to is the fact that moving from writing on paper, to typing on a typewriter, to using any of the word-processing tools (that we’ve had in the last 20 years) all fundamentally have the same user interface. You are given a white rectangle to work with and you fill it up with the written word.

However, there are things that are happening outside the publishing industry that is causing my shift in thinking about whether the white rectangle is the only form of input. Could we have new writing systems?

This isn’t really writing -specific but I noticed my own behavior shifting when it comes to GPS.

I used to buy a physical device that I put in my car that I would type in where I wanted to go and that would give me driving directions. Then I moved to using an app on my phone, which was better because I didn’t need the second device. But I still had to make a conscious choice to pick up a device, open an application, and once again usually type in an address or maybe a place and that it would give me directions.

And though Apple maps is terrible, it’s been very different now that I can pick up my phone and talk to the phone. I can just say, “Directions to the vet,” and it knows what vet that is because it can look in my address book. Then it just starts giving me directions.

I don’t make any decision other than the problem I’m trying to solve, which is that I want directions. I don’t need to think about the tool, and I think that’s happening in many forms of content creation, like the integration of photo management systems right into the camera applications on our phone. You are just doing the action of taking the picture, not choosing a tool.

Todd Carpenter @TAC_NISO . @liza The white rectangle shouldn't be the only input for writing #bib12 2012-10-26T16:04:59

Porter Anderson @Porter_Anderson #BiB12 @Liza @SafariBooks Authorship: "Domain-specific tools are going away....Most 'word' processors are 'words on paper' processors." 2012-10-26T16:07:13

India @indiamos Most “word processors” are still “words-on-paper processors.” Really, it’s a paper processor that just may not get printed. —@lizad #BiB12 2012-10-26T16:07:18

Ania Wieckowski @agwieckowski Authoring tools need to become invisible. Nobody's going to learn your markup language. - @liza #bib12 2012-10-26T16:07:52

Marco Ferrario @Marco4623 Technology users do not need to think of the tools they're using, just solving their problem-not new, but worthwhile to repeat @liza #bib12 2012-10-26T16:08:01

Владимир Харитонов @v_x Ворд-процессоры все еще ворд-на-бумагу процессоры — Лайза Дейли #BiB12 2012-10-26T16:08:01

[d] Molly Sharp:

Which tool is your favorite?

Liza Daly:

OS X native (Siri) had too much network latency, and Chrome native was pretty lousy, so I used Dragon Dictate.


Voice recognition is mainstream [d] .

So they even though we’re aware that we are mostly at this point creating digital  publications, what you use for writing is still that white rectangle. Everything you’re given as choices that you make when you edit in these tools is about the look of the words on a piece of paper, even if it’s remaining digital.

I’m not sure that “word processor” is even the right thing; it’s a “paper processor” that just may not get printed. And, apologies to Adam Witwer, there are very few people who are going to write more digital-native publications by learning a markup language. I love markup languages—even XML—but asking people to do semantic tagging or structured markup is swimming against the tide of other content creation tools, where the tool itself is becoming invisible.

On the flipside, voice-recognition used to be a tool. You used to say, “I have a hard time writing. I need to start speaking to my computer because I have RSI.” So you would buy a package, install it, and that would be the voice recognition. But as of today there is native voice recognition in my phone, in my computer, in my web browser, and on my gaming system. I expect them to go from pretty good to great now that they’re becoming ubiquitous in consumer devices. I also expect the trajectory of voice to follow that of touchscreen, where we will start to see YouTube videos of small children talking to inanimate objects the way we see them try to swipe on paper magazines.

Todd Carpenter @TAC_NISO Voice recognition is becoming mainstream. Something that she's doing live onstage #bib12 2012-10-26T16:08:12

Michael Kowalski @micycle "Nobody's gong to learn your markup language" @liza at #bib12 - trend is to invisible interface 2012-10-26T16:08:26

Buster Bylander @Infratrilogy Asking authors to do markup on their own writing is swimming against the tide of what is happening in other industries -@liza #bib12 2012-10-26T16:08:36

Todd Carpenter @TAC_NISO RT @micycle: "Nobody's gong to learn your markup language" @liza at #bib12 =>>But markup needs to exist behind scenes 2012-10-26T16:09:01

Iris Amelia @ePubPupil Nice critique regarding markup languages by @liza. Though I'm still hesitant regarding "one-click/one-button publishing" #bib12 2012-10-26T16:10:13

Jaume Balmes @jaumebalmes Ok, author doesn't have to markup their text. I agree. That's the editor job. #BiB12 2012-10-26T16:11:26

john maxwell @jmaxsfu @jaumebalmes Who's the editor. That's the next question. #bib12 2012-10-26T16:12:47


Anne-Marie Concepcion:

Not even books? Radio is still here (and I love radio) :D

Liza Daly:

I was thinking specifically of email, Facebook, tweets; not just formal documents, but many of those too.


Paper can be an afterthought.

Everyone in this room, of course, knows that the publishing isn’t paper-publishing anymore, but I think even my peers haven’t really accepted the scale to which that’s not true at this point.

I think it’s fair to say that probably 99% of anything that’s ever written today will never be printed. Never.  It will always be digital, and paper is more than just an afterthought. We are probably prematurely optimizing for a printed outcome that will never arrive for the majority of documents [e] .

India @indiamos Over 99% of everything that’s written today will never be printed. —@lizad #BiB12 2012-10-26T16:09:46

Todd Carpenter @TAC_NISO If most documents are never printed, will they ever be preserved? #bib12 2012-10-26T16:09:50

Porter Anderson @Porter_Anderson #BiB12 @Liza @SafariBooks Authorship: "Voice recog is mainstream...(and) we are optimizing for a printed outcome that will never arrive." 2012-10-26T16:10:02


Commentary is multi-channel … Social is local

Last year a lot of people were talking about their social reading platforms (and I think we are not anywhere near the end of experimenting with social reading). But looking at trends, I think it’s unlikely for us to expect large-scale adoption of collaborative and social reading and commentary happening in a specialized framework that is closely tied to the text.

I think people want to talk about media – they want to comment and they want to edit – but want to do that close to their peers. They want to do it near other people, not necessarily near the words. The are semi-specialized applications where that link between the person and the text is important, but I’m talking about general consumer behavior. People are going to want to talk where the people are, not where the words are.

Buster Bylander @Infratrilogy On social reading/annotating: "People are going to want to talk where the people are not where the words are"–@liza #couldntagreemore #bib12 2012-10-26T16:11:17

Max Fenton @maxfenton “People are going to want to talk where the people are, not where the words are.” —@liza #bib12 2012-10-26T16:10:57

Andrew Rhomberg @arhomberg "People want to talk about media, but clips to rope, not clips to words" says @liza at #BiB12 2012-10-26T16:10:52

Javier Celaya @javiercelaya Las actividades sociales son locales @liza #BiB12 2012-10-26T16:11:39

[f] Liza Daly:

It wasn’t, but nobody’s perfect.

[g] Liza Daly:

I misquoted; “entry points” is correct and actually more relevant to the idea.

So what’s with that little textbox?

So some of you might’ve noticed that there is a little textbox up in the screen. It’s been filling up as I’ve been talking, and – assuming it’s working [f]  – if you looked at that URL  you probably see something of what’s going on.

Keith and I wanted to experiment with an idea that Peter Brantley had serendipitously codified yesterday: we need more inputs [g] “entry points” into writing and into storytelling. He was responding to people wondering whether that Popcorn.js  demo was relevant to books. Video is a new kind of input, and I wanted to play with voice and real-time editing and integration with other kinds of social media as a new entry point to a writing process.

Porter Anderson @Porter_Anderson #BiB12 @Liza @SafariBooks "Voice, real-time editing, social media, as an input to a writing process: Let's Write Together" ... 2012-10-26T16:11:54

Todd Carpenter @TAC_NISO @naypinya looking quizzically at @liza at the suggestion that he had some input to her presentation. #bib12 2012-10-26T16:11:42

Let’s write together

My voice is the manuscript.

All the world’s an editor.

Distributed marginalia.

So this is a little weird experiment. We’ll switch to what it looks like in just a minute. We wanted to try to do something in real time where the transcript of the talk is being written without hands . Where the transcript is capturing the editing and the comments all in real time. Where everyone participates in the editing and that the marginalia – the commentary – can happen from multiple sources: in this case is in Google Docs as well as on Twitter.

Pablo Defendini @pablod Aha… real-time writing via voice, into google docs! #BiB12 2012-10-26T16:12:23

Craig Mod @craigmod Real-time voice transcription into segmented google docs, edited live w/ realtime group commentary: http://t.co/L7HJZ8Wk #bib12 2012-10-26T16:14:02

Where do people learn?

From books to professionally-edited videos.

From videos to conference presentations (and classrooms).

...and back again?

For an obligatory tie-in to our company: I see some hint of an application for thisin the journey that Safari has made.

We started as a company that wanted to provide access to books because books were the place that you would learn information about programming and other topics that were relevant to programmers. In the 11 years that the company has been around, we shifted towards adding video, but those videos were professionally-produced, very much like a book. They go through the same kind of editorial process. But some of our most-widely viewed and intensely-viewed content has been just conference presentations and taped versions of seminars. Now that is certainly prepared material, but not professionally edited – not scripted – what was powerful about it was that it was relevant , and that it was recent .

I’m interested in if we can tie that back into a book – or at least a written account – of some of what’s compelling about events that happen in real time. I want to capture even more than just what I’m saying but what you  are thinking and commenting on, in the moment.

Porter Anderson @Porter_Anderson #BiB12 @Liza @SafariBooks "I see some hint of application, 'from books to professionally edited videos, from videos to conference presos.'" 2012-10-26T16:13:03

Streaming authoring:

A demo

Porter Anderson @Porter_Anderson #BiB12 @Liza @SafariBooks now pulls up a demo of streaming authoring (her voice as manuscript). 2012-10-26T16:14:11

xpectro @xpectro @Liza is talking about the importance of talking / Digital times require voice, video and inputs #BiB12 http://t.co/tiXhlJfI 2012-10-26T16:14:15


Sincerely, @liza & @abdelazer .

With help from our friends at Safari: Chuck Ha, Matthew Irish, Jonathan Lukens, and JB Price.