The popular Print + ePublishing Conference is rapidly approaching! PePcon is the creation of AnneMarie Concepcion and David Blatner, the powerhouse behind InDesign Secrets. This year, the conference is back in San Francisco and will be held on Monday, May 14 through Wednesday, May 16. It is three days of learning new skills, becoming cutting-edge current with skills you already have in print and digital publishing, and uniting with all sorts of your people—people in the publishing industry. If you decide to go to PePcon (and if you’re in publishing production, you should), you will come away empowered to make real-world, scalable changes to your current workflows … what you’re working on right now. It’s about being smarter about tools and more efficient with time. Who can’t use a good dose of that?

As I’ve been looking over the sessions I’ve been figuring out which ones apply directly to what I’m working on today … and most likely will be working on tomorrow. Here’s the real-world take-aways that I look forward to. My perspective is from that of an in-house ebook developer at a book publisher whose workflow is very template-based and heavy on QA, who is tasked with helping to inform co-workers on the latest developments in ebooks and ereaders, and who doesn’t have enough hours in the day. Here’s what I’m excited to be learning at PePcon this year:

InDesign to iPad and Android Apps > They had me at “get your content out of InDesign and on to the iPad” because, unless you work in an XML environment, it’s likely that your print publications are edited and finalized in InDesign.

Top 10 Scripts and Resources for EPUB Production > Prepping content in InDesign for ePUB export is a challenge if the print publication was prepped without the digital export in mind. Scripting is a way to make the export process faster.

XML for Print and Digital Publishing > At this session you will not only learn why digital prep should optimally start before content is imported into InDesign, but you will also get the opportunity to meet Matthew Diener, the editor of ePUB Secrets.

Producing eBooks from InDesign: ePub and Kindle > If you don’t know the difference between the .epub ebook format and the ebook format for the Kindle, you’ll be in for a treat. Trust me.

Working Smarter: Building InDesign Templates for Print, Tablet, and EPUB > Much of my workflow is based on templates because it is an efficient way to produce a lot of titles quickly. Can I be doing it smarter? That’s a safe bet.

Stay on the Cutting Edge: Five Tools to Learn Now > Looking forward to learning more about TypeKit for digital products.

Long Documents: Ten Essential Techniques > As a print designer my life was long documents. I don’t want to lose my skills as a long-document wrangler. Too, when I use InDesign templates in my ebook workflow I’m still working in long documents.

Creating One-Off Tablet Apps from InDesign > We haven’t produced many apps for our content because one of the challenges is the cost. If I can produce a few in-house it could pay off.

Making Data Beautiful > My designer’s heart sings.

Preparing Images for ePub / eBook > Hoping they will cover the new iPad and what its retina display means for image prep.

Creating Enhanced eBooks > I’ve produced ebooks with audio and video but that was a year ago, which is ages in ebook years.

Let’s Talk Future: How to Prepare for the Next Two Years > Yes, tell me how to keep my job!

The Future of eBook Publishing EPUB3 > Although there are no ereader devices or apps on the market that support EPUB3 right now, we know it’s coming.

Moving Your Publication From Print to Tablet > “Small design elements can make a difference.” Yes!

InDesign Beyond Print: eDocs and Tablet Apps (additional fee) > A day-long seminar is a good chance to dig deep.

These are the sessions that are most applicable to my job as an ebook developer, but you can’t go wrong with any of them. Publishers depend on all of us in production and design to produce print and digital content efficiently and with the highest regard for the author’s voice. Content that visually appeals and connects to the content’s audience. And all this using technology that changes quickly. This conference is valuable in that it’s not just about theory and it’s heavy on the tools and the let’s-get-it-done, can-do attitude. I only wish AnneMarie and David could offer more hours in a day, but hey, maybe that will be coming in 2013.

So make your plans to attend PePcon soon … it’s only 5 weeks away. And AnneMarie and David are offering a $25 discount with the code GEEKME when you register. I hope to see you there.