What Readers Want

Moderated by: Kassia Krozser
Angela James (Carina Press), Malle Vallik (Harlequin Enterprises Ltd), Sarah Wendell (Smart Bitches, Trashy Books LLC), Kassia Krozser (Booksquare.com)
10:30am Thursday, 10/08/2009
Location: Online

All too often our understanding of what readers want is based on what we want ourselves, or outdated assumptions, or even worse—guesses. In this session, panelists will examine the state of the publishing industry through a reader-centric lens.

Photo of Angela James

Angela James

Carina Press

Executive editor of Carina Press, Harlequin’s digital-only press, and veteran of the digital publishing industry, Angela James is a well-known advocate for digital publishing. James has enjoyed a long and varied publishing career that has included ownership of an independent editorial services business, work as a copy editor for electronic book and small press publisher, Ellora’s Cave, and executive editor for Samhain Publishing. James frequently travels to regional, national and international writing conferences to meet with authors and readers, and present workshops on digital publishing for both authors and readers of all genres of fiction.

Malle Vallik

Harlequin Enterprises Ltd

Malle Vallik is the Director of Digital Content & Social Media for Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. Her current focus is on establishing Harlequin as a leader in digital publishing for women. Her responsibilities include ebooks and downloadable audio. Harlequin leads the publishing industry by publishing its entire frontlist as ebooks as well as offering original editorial in programs like Spice Briefs, Silhouette Nocture Bites and Harlequin Historical Undone, enriched editions and prequels to many NYT bestsellers. Malle also concentrates on building Harlequin’s strong relationship with its consumer via social media like Myspace, Twitter, videos, podcasts, blogs and eHarlequin.com’s flourishing community.

Previous positions include editorial, sales and public relations. Malle is also the author of seven romance novels published under the pseudonym Molly Liholm. She is currently on the board of directors of the International Digital Publishing Forum and the National Association of College Textbook Stores New Media Solutions. She was selected “One of the Top 50 Women in Publishing” by BookBusiness Magazine, 2009.

Photo of Sarah Wendell

Sarah Wendell

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books LLC

Sarah Wendell is co-author of the book, Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels, and co-founder of Smart Bitches Trashy Books.com, one of the most popular blogs examining romance fiction. The site specializes in reviewing romance novels, pondering the history and future of the genre in digital form and in print, and bemoaning the enormous prevalence of bodacious pectorals adorning male cover models. In fall 2011, Sarah’s next book, Everything I Know About Love, I Learned From Romance Novels, will be published by Sourcebooks.

A frequent speaker at national and regional conferences, Sarah will be the keynote speaker at PubCamp, part of the 2011 SXSW interactive, and at the 2011 Book Bloggers Convention, held prior to Book Expo America. Sarah has been quoted in People Magazine, The New York Times, The New Yorker, USA Today, The New York Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Metro: New York, and Publishers Weekly. Sarah can be reached at sarahATsmartbitchestrashybooksDOTcom, or via Twitter at @smartbitches.

Photo of Kassia Krozser

Kassia Krozser

Booksquare.com

Kassia Krozser, publisher of Booksquare.com, covers the intersection of technology and publishing. She serves on advisory boards for several publishing start-ups, presents at conferences such as Tools of Change for Publishing, Digital Book World, and South by Southwest, has appeared on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and contributes to various industry publications.