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Tech Forum 2020 speakers

Filed under: Tech Forum

We’ve already announced that Michelle Grocholsky will be delivering our keynote address at Tech Forum 2020, Don’t believe everything you think: How to spot and overcome your hidden biases at work. But now we’ve got a whole slate of new speakers to tell you about.

We’re far from done. Keep an eye on this space for more announcements about speakers over the winter leading up to the conference in March.

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Day one: March 23

Accessible ebooks for small publishers and creators

Jessica Albert is the Digital and Art Director at ECW Press where she works on ebooks, accessibility, audiobooks, book covers, and metadata — sometimes all at once. When not playing fetch with her dog, Jessica has been working to overhaul the digital production and metadata systems at ECW to apply accessibility standards to their ebooks and hands-on, fluid control to their communication through metadata.

ONIX Intensive workshops

Chris Saynor is responsible for EDItEUR’s book publishing standards including ONIX, Thema, and EDItX. He joined the organization in late 2016. For the previous eight years, he worked for GiantChair Inc. in Paris as a metadata specialist and project manager, and has been responsible for implementation of the Onixsuite application in many publishing organizations. He is widely known for his work with French industry liaison body CLIL and with BISG committees. Prior to that, he has a 20-year background in bookselling with Waterstones and WHSmith.

Day two: March 24

Presenting the most enjoyable audiobook in the world

Marisa DeMeglio is a software developer for the DAISY Consortium. Her background is in Computer Science and she has been working in the field of accessibility and ebooks for the past 18 years. She leads the epubtest.org website development, is a core member of the Ace by DAISY project, and participates in the W3C Web Publications working group, particularly in regards to accessible synchronized media. Outside of work, she volunteers with Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles as an instructor and member of their Executive Team.

Wendy Reid is a Senior QA at Rakuten Kobo, where she works with kobo’s mobile apps and device teams to improve reading experiences, promote accessibility, and raise quality. At her other day job she is one of the chairs of the Publishing Working Group at the W3C, and editor of the Audiobooks specification. In her abundant spare time she likes to travel, play sports, and join steering committees for interesting conferences.

Wendy Reid is a Senior QA at Rakuten Kobo, where she works with kobo’s mobile apps and device teams to improve reading experiences, promote accessibility, and raise quality. At her other day job she is one of the chairs of the Publishing Working Group at the W3C, and editor of the Audiobooks specification. In her abundant spare time she likes to travel, play sports, and join steering committees for interesting conferences.

Getting started with audio: Podcasting for beginners

As a member of the BookNet team, Zalina Alvi uses the power of marketing to help the book industry publish, sell, and envision the future of books, whether they be in print, digital, or directly transmitted into the brain via biblio-lasers (patent pending).

Readers are listening: Audiobook research from BookNet Canada

Noah Genner has an extensive background in independent bookselling, software, and business development. As the leader of BookNet Canada he orchestrates a skilled team of technical, policy-oriented, and client-focused staff to provide new data management services and supply-chain initiatives to the Canadian publishing, library, and book retail sectors.

Before working at BookNet Canada, Noah ran his own technology and software development consulting business, servicing a wide range of clients including book publishers and printers. Prior to that, Noah was Director of Software Development for consumer market research leader Compusense where he oversaw the development of a variety of software services used by numerous Fortune 500 companies worldwide.

Noah serves on the Board of Directors of the Book Industry Study Group, eBOUND Canada, Livres Canada Books, and EDItEUR.

Audio metadata in ONIX

Chris Saynor is responsible for EDItEUR’s book publishing standards including ONIX, Thema, and EDItX. He joined the organization in late 2016. For the previous eight years, he worked for GiantChair Inc. in Paris as a metadata specialist and project manager, and has been responsible for implementation of the Onixsuite application in many publishing organizations. He is widely known for his work with French industry liaison body CLIL and with BISG committees. Prior to that, he has a 20-year background in bookselling with Waterstones and WHSmith.

Metadata tips and tricks: A deep dive into mastering your metadata for Amazon and Indigo (and others!)

Joshua Tallent is a vocal advocate for high quality metadata and an acclaimed teacher and guide on digital publishing. He serves as the Director of Sales and Education at Firebrand Technologies (www.firebrandtech.com), where his focus is on helping publishers of all sizes learn about, and find solutions to, their workflow and metadata problems. Joshua can often be found researching odd metadata issues, creating training videos and documentation about Firebrand services, and speaking at conferences about the most recent innovations and advances in publishing data and workflow management. In his spare time, Joshua enjoys playing complex board games and fiddling with his 3D printer. Twitter: @jtallent, @firebrandtech

Measuring the impact of metadata on sales: An empirical analysis

A graduate of HEC Montréal in Finance and Applied economics, Patrick Joly has more than 20 years’ experience in the technology sector as finance director, vice-president of customer service and executive director. He was named Executive Director of La Société de gestion de la Banque de titres de langue française (BTLF) in May 2018. This inter-professional organization markets, in Québec, the Memento bibliographical database as well as the Gaspard sales information service.

Augmented reality in children’s non-fiction books: A case study

Kris Tomes is the Digital Product Manager for Minneapolis-based children’s publisher Lerner Publishing Group, where she manages the Lerner AR augmented reality program, ebooks, audiobooks, Audisee eBooks with Audio, Page Plus program, the Lerner Sports Database, and new product development. She has a background in print production and developing best practices for print and digital workflows. Kris is also a freelance ebook developer for publishers throughout North America.

Day three: March 25

Diversity auditing rural Canadian libraries

Laina Kelly is a librarian who serves the professional development and learning needs of rural library staff in Yellowhead Regional Library System. She has a passion for diversity work, especially in the area of library collections.

The power and necessity of author care in today’s publishing climate

Chelene Knight is the author of the poetry collection Braided Skin and the memoir Dear Current Occupant, winner of the 2018 Vancouver Book Award, and long-listed for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature. Her essays have appeared in multiple Canadian and American literary journals, plus the Globe and MailThe Walrus, and the Toronto Star. Her work is anthologized in Making Room, Love Me True, Sustenance, The Summer Book, and Black Writers Matter.

The Toronto Star called Knight, “one of the storytellers we need most right now.” Knight was the previous managing editor at Room (2016-June 2019), and programming director for the Growing Room Festival (2018, 2019), and now founder and CEO of #LearnWritingEssentials and Breathing Space Creative. She often gives talks about home, belonging and belief, inclusivity, and community building through authentic storytelling.

Knight is currently working on Junie, a novel set in Vancouver’s Hogan’s Alley, forthcoming in 2020. She was selected as a 2019 Writers’ Trust Rising Star by David Chariandy.

Cynara Geissler is the director of marketing and publicity at Arsenal Pulp Press, a leading Canadian independent book publisher the operates in Vancouver, BC, the unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. She has run their marketing and publicity programs since 2010. Books and authors she represents have been featured in a wide range of lauded media outlets including The New York Times, People Magazine, O Magazine, The Paris Review, The Guardian, and The Wall Street Journal. She has been praised by industry peers and authors for her creative and effective book marketing campaigns and regularly speaks on marketing, publicity and independent book publishing at universities (SFU, Humber College), professional writers associations (The Writers Union of Canada), and publishing conferences (BookSummit, BookCamp).

Building a better publishing workflow: Recommendations from the BISG

Brian O’Leary is executive director of the Book Industry Study Group, a U.S.-based trade association that disseminates information, creates and implements standards and conducts research to benefit the book publishing supply chain.

Before being named to this role in 2016, O’Leary was principal of Magellan Media Consulting, which helped publishers improve how they create, manage and distribute content. In that role, O’Leary wrote extensively about issues affecting the publishing industry. With Hugh McGuire, he co-edited Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto (O’Reilly Media, 2012). O’Leary served as senior VP with Hammond Inc. and oversaw production and distribution operations at several Time Inc. magazines.

O’Leary joined Time Inc. after earning an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He also holds an A.B. in chemistry from Harvard College.

Why are women always talking to men in novels? A conversation about debiasing books using data analytics

Andrew Piper is a Professor and William Dawson Scholar in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at McGill University. He is the director of .txtLAB, where he uses data science to better understand literature and culture, and the author most recently of _Enumerations: Data and Literary Study_ (Chicago 2018). His work has been profiled in the The Guardian, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Le Devoir, Real Simple, and on the CBC.

Using Thema and ONIX to boost discoverability and visibility

Chris Saynor is responsible for EDItEUR’s book publishing standards including ONIX, Thema, and EDItX. He joined the organization in late 2016. For the previous eight years, he worked for GiantChair Inc. in Paris as a metadata specialist and project manager, and has been responsible for implementation of the Onixsuite application in many publishing organizations. He is widely known for his work with French industry liaison body CLIL and with BISG committees. Prior to that, he has a 20-year background in bookselling with Waterstones and WHSmith.

Conquering your metadata challenges: Increasing sales with better data

Joshua Tallent is a metadata expert and an acclaimed teacher and guide on digital publishing. Joshua’s role recognizes the integrated approach Firebrand takes to providing publishers with helpful advice and in-depth training, while also providing the most powerful and respected publishing software and services available. Joshua also serves on multiple industry committees and working groups and teaches at publishing conferences throughout the year.

Book industry state of the nation 2020

Noah Genner has an extensive background in independent bookselling, software, and business development. As the leader of BookNet Canada he orchestrates a skilled team of technical, policy-oriented, and client-focused staff to provide new data management services and supply-chain initiatives to the Canadian publishing, library, and book retail sectors.

Before working at BookNet Canada, Noah ran his own technology and software development consulting business, servicing a wide range of clients including book publishers and printers. Prior to that, Noah was Director of Software Development for consumer market research leader Compusense where he oversaw the development of a variety of software services used by numerous Fortune 500 companies worldwide.

Noah serves on the Board of Directors of the Book Industry Study Group, eBOUND Canada, Livres Canada Books, and EDItEUR.