Rethinking the Book

Developing an enhanced ebook and app strategy

Getting into ebooks can be challenging enough when all you’re trying to do is get the printed book screen-ready. But in the world of apps and enhanced content, some people think that delivering the same product as you do in print is not enough. Enhanced ebooks and apps can integrate audio, pictures, video, games, maps, and productivity capabilities into what was a “flat” reading experience.

But the capabilities to enhance what was delivered in print can also be a trap, a bottomless pit of potential expense for an uncertain financial return.

This panel of publishers with abundant experience with interactive books and apps will discuss the strategic considerations that should guide the investment decisions that are part and parcel of this kind of product development. What subjects are worth it? What enhancements are worth it? How much does it make sense to involve the author? How do you control the costs? Do you use outside development talent or create your own in-house staff to do this work?

Peter Meyers, the moderator of this panel, is, in our opinion, the foremost thinker about enhanced digital products that start with books. He is an author and designer and was previously the editor of O’Reilly’s “Missing Manuals” series. He will lead executives from Simon & Schuster, Perseus, Sourcebooks, and one juvenile specialist in this conversation, one that will help every publisher trying to develop an enhancement strategy find a profitable approach.


Peter Meyers
Author and Digital Book Producer

Author and digital book producer. Peter writes about and helps companies create reader-friendly digital books. Author of “Best iPad Apps” (O’Reilly, 2010) and the forthcoming “Breaking the Page, Saving the Reader: A Buyer & Builder’s Guide to Digital Books”.


Ellie Hirschhorn
EVP & Chief Digital Officer, Simon & Schuster Digital

Ellie Hirschhorn joined Simon & Schuster as Executive Vice President, Chief Digital Officer in February 2008. Before coming to Simon & Schuster, Ms. Hirschhorn was at College Sports Television Networks (CBS College Sports) where she was Executive Vice President, Digital Media.

Ms. Hirschhorn has served as EVP and Chief Operating Officer of MediaNet, and has held high-level positions in both traditional and digital media at Viacom, MTV Networks, and Showtime Networks, including as General Manager of She holds a BA from Yale and an MBA from Harvard and is a Henry R. Luce Scholar.

Rick Joyce
Chief Marketing Officer, Perseus Book Group

Rick is the Chief Marketing Officer of the Perseus Books Group, involved in growth and digital strategy development.  Rick is a co-creator of Constellation, the industry leading one-stop digital solution for independent publishers.  He was the force behind the Book:The Sequel at BEA 2009, the pioneering transmedia sensation Cathy’s Book, and enhanced projects like JFK:50 Days and Roots: The Enhanced Edition.   Rick is a veteran of 20+ years in media, as a partner at Accenture,  VP of Marketing at ASCAP, and a consultant at Booz Allen.  Rick has a Dartmouth BA, a Columbia MBA, a New School MFA, and 5 children.

Dominique Raccah
Publisher & CEO, Sourcebooks

Dominique Raccah is the CEO & publisher of Sourcebooks, the largest woman-owned trade book publisher in the country; producing everything from bestsellers in fiction, to number one titles in baby names and college guides, eighteen New York Times Bestsellers and over twenty national bestsellers. Sourcebooks’ publishing culture is one of innovation. This attitude led into pioneering a line of cutting edge, bestselling mixed-media titles (MediaFusion) and resulted in an early involvement in digital book projects, iPhone and iPad apps, enhanced eBooks and several exciting digital partnerships. Dominique also currently serves as co-chair of the Book Industry Study Group.