Kevin Smokler

AELAQ will be giving away 20 copies of his book!  We will draw names at the end of the talk.

Kevin Smokler


We don’t need to repeat how different publishing is in the 21st century. But we do need to acknowledge that it is different in ways we have not admitted. The reader is now an equal partner in how books get made. That doesn’t mean they help write them, design them or print them. But if publishing used to be “publish it and the readers will come” we do that now at our peril. The motto of 21st century publishing may as well be “Have a reader in mind before acquiring a thing.”

This afternoon, we’ll breakdown the new workflow, responsibilities, approaches and attitudes necessary to publish in the 21st century. We’ll touch upon social media, ebooks and the dreaded Amazon but these are all largely peripheral characters in this story. This afternoon we work from the outside in, following one of your books from the moment it touches a readers hands backwards to the moment of its conception. We’ll see that is not a time for disparagement, fear, or slight adjustments but a time for significant change, a time to change our relationship to readers, forever and for the better.

Kevin Smokler is the author of the forthcoming essay collection “Practical Classics: 50 Reasons to Reread 50 Books you Haven’t Touched Since High School” (Prometheus, Feb. 2013.)  Called “a publishing visionary” by the Huffington Post, his writing on the arts and technology has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Fast Company and on NPR. He’s the editor of the anthology Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times (Basic Books, June 2005), which was a San Francisco Chronicle notable book of 2005.

As a speaker, Smokler has lectured throughout North America on the arts and their role in contemporary society at The Commonwealth Club of California, The Idea Festival, Book Expo America and universities such as Stanford and Johns Hopkins. He sits on the advisory board of the South by Southwest Interactive Conference where he has been a featured speaker since 2003.

Kevin Smokler has a B.A. in Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University and an M.A. In American Studies from The University of Texas at Austin. A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, he lives in San Francisco.

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