In his opening keynote, Jacob Dalborg, CEO of Bonnier Books, will share his views and outlook as the representative of a leading European trade publisher within a media group claiming nothing less than being “continuously reinventing media”.

For a book publisher, reinventing media means to finally look beyond not just the printed book, but to address audiences that are different, really different, from the traditional readers. Lance Fensterman, a former bookseller in Minneapolis, knows perfectly well what sets fans apart from classical readers. On behalf of ReedPOP, the largest producer of pop culture events in the world, he organizes the craziness of New York Comic Con, the hugely popular pop culture festival in New York or, taking place for the first time in 2015, BookCon, a fan-oriented addition to BookExpo America.

How different the mindset of creators in publishing can be is a topic which Nathan Hull has explored extensively, as a “globetrotter in search of innovation” (Publishing Perspectives). Hull was the Digital Development Director at Penguin before he joined the Danish book subscription service Mofibo just a couple of weeks ago.

Michael Bhaskar, of Profile Books (UK), will weigh in on the discussion of such innovative perspectives emphasizing how even small publishing houses, with a solid track record in the “old” book business, can take advantage of high-quality crossover projects between books, games and merchandizing.

We will furthermore spend a good amount of time and attention on a much less fancy topic: how the fundamental relationship between authors and publishers evolves. For this part of the discussion, we will be joined by Wolfgang Ferchl, publisher at Knaus (of Random House Germany), literary agent Karin Graf (of Graf & Graf), Jo Lendle, publisher at Hanser, and award-winning author Kathrin Passig (Bachmann Preis).

The book business is growing in complexity. More and more often, publishers are delivering their content in different media and formats via an increasing array of channels – both via booksellers and direct to the consumer. In the course of this development, Edel transformed itself from a music distributor to a publically traded media company. Timo Steinberg, Edel CFO and COO, will illuminate the specific challenges that accompanied this transformation and the prospects that it opened up for the medium-sized company.

Whether the plan involves organic growth on the basis of the existing company structure, securing new business segments, or acquisitions or strategic partnerships, successful business development demands carefully consideration of the options and models. On the CEO Day of the Publishers’ Forum, speakers with a broad range of backgrounds and experience in financing strategies will offer practical orientation with analysis of the market conditions and specific case studies. Consultant Aljoscha Walser (Narses) will analyze various instruments and their fields of application.

The theme ‘Money and Strategy’ continues on Tuesday with a look at prospects in newly emerging business segments as well as in fundamental waves of innovation which are looming on the horizon. David Worlock of the UK and US-based consulting company Outsell, will highlight how the “Internet of Things” is rapidly gaining relevance for the media industry.

Rüdiger Schmidt, CEO of Bosch Druck, will use the example of new production technologies to demonstrate how their reach can extend as far as the conception of books, through the customization of titles for title audiences for example, and how they can generate completely new product ideas. Marcello Vena reports how he equips the entire value chain to handle digital strategies for book and media groups. Revenues from rights and licenses are often neglected and underestimated areas of growth for publishers – so argues Michael Healey from the international perspective of the US-based Copyright Clearance Center.

How can large and medium-sized publishing houses adapt or upgrade their IT infrastructure to manage requirements that are rapidly increasing in complexity, and how can they finance such changes? The theme ‘IT Goes Center Stage’ is bringing a slew of top speakers to the Publishers’ Forum 2015. To mention just a few names in advance: Volker Smid, CIO of the Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, Matt Turner, CTO of the database specialist MarkLogic and Steve Odart, CEO of Ixxus, a leader in the area of publishing and media integration.

Case studies on the integration of innovative IT solutions in organizations and processes will be the focus of several workshops with catalytic figures who are well-known to the German-speaking publishing world, including Florian Geuppert (CEO, BoD), Beate Kuckertz (CEO, dotbooks and venusbooks), Christian Damke (CEO, Open Publishing), Heiko Beier (CEO, Moresophy), and the Akademie der deutschen Medien (German Media Academy).