Here’s my annual post about PePcon. Last year’s is here.

The popular Print + ePublishing Conference is rapidly approaching! PePcon is the popular conference created by AnneMarie Concepcion and David Blatner, the powerhouse behind InDesign Secrets. This year the conference is in Austin, Texas, from Sunday, April 28 through Wednesday, May 1. It is four 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 doing what I always do before attending a conference: Planning out which ones apply directly to what I’m working on today … and most likely will be working on tomorrow. PePcon has a lot to offer for both print and digital. As an ebook developer, the following sessions offer the real-world take-aways that I can take back to the office.

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 (click to make larger):

pepcon_austin_ebooks

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.

The check marks indicate ebooks that can be sold through major vendors (think Amazon, Apple, etc) and the diamonds indicate PDF ebooks. Both of viable options for ebooks but, of course, PDF ebooks have one disadvantage: The major ebook vendors do not sell PDFs as ebooks. However, many publishers go around this unfortunate decision by selling their PDF ebooks direct-to-consumer on their own websites.

EPUB Bootcamp: What You Need to Know is my pre-conference workshop! I love teaching ebook production to print designers because, as a former print designer myself, I have found that the trick is to start with what you know. And everyone knows styles. Did you know that Word styles talk to InDesign styles talk to ebook styles? If you want to take it one step further: Word styles map to InDesign paragraph and character styles map to ebook html and css. Here’s another tip: Good print production habits are almost the same for InDesign-to-epub-export habits. We’ll review what you already know, how to apply it in ebook production in a scalable workflow, and how to be sure that the results are what you intended in this workshop.

So make your plans to attend PePcon soon … it’s only 5 weeks away. AnneMarie and David are offering a $50 discount with the code DBW (which stands for Digital Book World where I teach ebook production courses) when you register. I hope to see you there!