The Second International Conference on the Future of the Book

Welcome to The Second International Conference on the Future of the Book

Welcome to website of The Second International Conference on the Future of the Book. To be held at the Beijing Friendship Hotel in Beijing, China, from 29-31 August 2004, the conference will address a range of critically important themes relating to the future of the book, as well as its past and the state of the book industry, books and reading today. Main speakers will include some of the world’s leading thinkers and innovators in the areas of publishing, editing, librarianship, printing, authoring and information technologies, as well as numerous paper, colloquium and workshop presentations by researchers and practitioners.

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This is a conference for any participant in the world of books—authors, publishers, printers, librarians, IT specialists, book retailers, editors, literacy educators and academic researchers. All are encouraged to register and attend this significant and timely conference. A range of travel, tour and accommodation options is also available.

Participants are also welcome to submit presentation proposals, either as 30 minute papers or 60 minute workshops or 90 minute jointly presented colloquium sessions. Presenters may choose to submit written papers for publication before or after the conference in the International Journal of the Book. Presentations submitted for publication will be fully refereed and published in print and electronic formats. For those unable to attend the conference in person, virtual registrations are available, which provide access to the online edition of the conference proceedings. Virtual participants can also submit papers for refereeing and publication in the International Journal of the Book.

If you would like to know more about this conference, bookmark the The Second International Conference on the Future of the Book site and return for further information—this site is regularly updated. You might also wish to subscribe to The Second International Conference on the Future of the Book Newsletter. For any other inquiries, please contact us.

Background: The International Conference on the Future of the Book

Image: Beijing

As early as 4000 BCE, the first written symbols are to be found on Chinese pottery, long before cuneiform writing in Babylon (1800 BCE). The Chinese can rightly claim many more firsts, including the invention paper by Cai Lun in the year 105, a development which lead over the ensuing centuries to the rise of a tradition of hand-copied books. Wood block printing began in China in the late sixth century, and moveable type was invented by Bi Sheng in 1041—more than four hundred years before Gutenberg's European invention.

Whether it be on the measure of the east, or the measure of the west, the book is indeed old medium of expression. But what is the book's future, as a creature of and conduit for human creativity? Do the new media (the internet, multimedia texts and new delivery formats) represent a threat or an opportunity? These are the key questions that will be addressed at the Book Conference 2004.

This conference will address the provocative suggestion that, rather than being eclipsed by the new media, the book will thrive as a cultural and commercial artefact. More than this, the information architecture of the book, embodying as it does thousands of years' experience with recorded knowledge, may well prove critical to the success of the new media.

Image: Beijing

As ancient as the Chinese traditions of print and the book may be, China today is on the cusp of a remarkable social and cultural transformation. Innovation abounds, and in many areas China is ahead of the west—in the development of electronic reading devices and in the digitisation of the national literature, for instance.

Following the success of our 2003 conference, held in Cairns, Australia, the Book Conference 2004 will provide a forum for participants in the book publishing industry, librarians, researchers and teachers from around the world to discuss the future of the book. It will also provide a window to the past and the future of the book in China.

Our partner in this conference is the China Book Business Report, a national trade newspaper which is distributed to over 60,000 readers per week in the publishing and bookselling industry.

Conference Advisory Committee and Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of the Book.

  • Howard Dare, Collie Director, International Centre of Graphic Technologies, RMIT University, Melbourne.
  • Prof. Mary Kalantzis, Innovation Professor, RMIT University, President, Australian Council of Deans of Education, and Editor, International Journal of Learning.
  • Jason Epstein, Chief Executive Officer, 3 Billion Books, New York, USA.
  • Jan Fullerton, Director General, National Library of Australia.
  • José Borghino, Executive Director, Australian Society of Authors.
  • Patrick Callioni, Chief General Manager, Strategy and Programs, National Office of the Information Economy, Australian Government.
  • Susan Bridge, Chief Executive, Australian Publishers Association.
  • Michael Cairns, President, Bowker, USA.
  • Alfred Rolington, Chief Executive Officer, Jane's Information Group.
  • Oliver Freeman, Neville Freeman Agency, Sydney, Australia.
  • Dr Renato Iannella, Chief Scientist, IPR Systems Pty Ltd, Australia.
  • John Man, Author, London, UK.
  • Colin Steele, Director Scholarly Information Strategies, The Australian National University.
  • Laurie Gerber, Director of Business Development, Language Weaver, San Diego, USA.
  • Richard Vines, Enhanced Printing Industry Competitiveness Scheme/Print Industries Association of Australia.
  • Dr Bill Cope, Common Ground Publishing, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Dean Mason, Common Ground Publishing, Melbourne, Australia.

Who Should Attend

  • Publishers: trade, educational, academic/reference.
  • Bookstore managers.
  • Book printers.
  • IT professionals with an interest in epublishing.
  • Librarians.
  • Authors who seek to have their craft and creativity firmly positioned in the complementary worlds of books and new media.
  • Educators with an interest in educational publishing and elearning.
  • Academics, research students and teachers with an interest in creative and technical writing, literacy, publishing and editing, printing, epublishing, elearning etc.
  • Academics in the fields of management, social sciences and education/training.

Supported By

Conference Organisers

Common Ground (ABN: 66 074 822 629)