It’s that time again. SXSW is kicking off in Austin today and will be taking over the city for a full week and a half. As a writer, it may seem like this annual event has little to offer. It certainly isn’t an opportunity to do pitches and mingle with agents and editors. But if you are interested in technology, trends in e-publishing, or innovations in the publishing industry in general this could be a great space for you.
If you aren’t familiar with SXSW, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.
What is SXSW?
An annual music festival in Austin TX that has expanded to include a trade show, film competition, conferences, parties and more.
How big is SXSW?
Big. Picture the biggest crowd you can possibly think of willing to venture to Texas for the week and double it. Maybe triple it. It’s not the Super Bowl, but the stats are still impressive:
—There are 92 music stages featuring more than 2000 bands
—The interactive conference (SXSWi) hosts approximately 20,000 people with more than 900 sessions
—An estimated 293 films will be screened to an audience of 66,000 people
—There will be 103 “official” SXSW partiers sponsored over the week and a half.
—There are 74 official hotels!
All in all the event brings in more than 160 million dollars to the Austin economy. Cool, huh?
So why on earth am I writing about a music and film festival that takes place in a city I’ve never visited? Because of those 900 sessions at the interactive conference several of them are focused on publishing, the future of publishing, the technology of e-books and various other industry innovations that as an author I am completely intrigued by.
Over the next week I will be virtually stalking Twitter and Facebook to find out what all these cool peeps attending these sessions are actually talking about. Some of the most intriguing sessions for me include:
- Potterize It! Sharing the Magic of Fan Culture
- Unstuck: Get (and Keep) Your Creativity Flowing
- How to Become a Next-Generation Media Company
- Books Win the Attention Economy
- Tracking Trends to Make Great Content
- Multiplatform Storytelling: Frontline War Stories
- Publishing Models Transforming the Book
- Storytelling Beyond Words: New Forms of Journalism
- Discoverability and the New World of Book PR
- Mother Goose Got Punked: Next Gen Visual Stories
- 140 Characters vs. 14000 Words: The New Long Form
Or this additional post on ePublish Unum: