40 bookselling and publishing delegates from across the book trade, supported by ~20 coaches, built a real website on their laptop using free technology showcasing their own selection of book data provided by Nielsen. The results were showcased the following Monday at FutureBook 19, to inspire and motivate their peers.
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From bookstores to publishing houses, the book business is paying too much for software because of a lack of knowledge, poor technology choices, bad website briefings, and far, far too low expectations of technology, that cost time, reputational damage, and seemingly endless customisation fees.
At the same time, we are not paying enough for software: to train knowledgeable staff, to build our own solutions, or to innovate with our supply chain, our consumer-facing websites, our workflow, our data collection, our books. Software that meets needs, saves time, and makes the sale has huge value.
“Software is eating the world,” said Marc Andreessen in 2011, but the book industry hasn’t moved along far enough from our mention in his article: “Perhaps the single most dramatic example of this [is when] Borders agreed to hand over its online business to Amazon under the theory that online book sales were non-strategic and unimportant.”
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