Following Declining Conference Attendance, Staff Leaves DBW

Following Declining Conference Attendance, Staff Leaves DBW Conferences & Trade shows Earlier this week Daniel Berkowitz left his position as senior editor of Digital Book World after holding the position for 18 months and has taken up a new role as a digital director at literary agency Writers House.

It is no surprise that Berkowitz left the job; his two predecessors each held the position for only a couple years.

But what does come as a shock is that his boss, Phil Sexton, has also left his position as VP and group publisher with parent company F+W Media, and that neither has been replaced.  In fact, no one has been running DBW for the past week.

From the statement F+W Media CEO Tom Beusse gave to Publisher's Lunch, at a minimum Sexton and other VPs (and possibly alsoBerkowitz) left as a result of poor performance:

"These communities have been underperforming versus my expectations and lacked strategic direction." He will be hiring new leaders for Writer's Digest and fine arts and "those people will be charged with executing on the rapid growth strategy we have identified for each community." Quilting will join Interweave and their sewing businesses to form a new Craft group under the management of John Bolton.

According to my sources, attendance the Digital Book World Conference was down 10% this year, and 15% last year.

Next year's conference has not yet been scheduled, raising questions whether F+W plans to hold the conference at all.

And given the lack of editorial staff at DBW right now, there's an excellent chance that DBW might go away all together.

If you have posts there, you would be well advised to back them up just in case.

image by haymarketrebel

 

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

5 Comments

  1. Chris Meadows4 February, 2017

    It may well be that this conference isn’t necessary anymore, for the same reason interest in ebooks has been seeming to wane. They’re no longer a new and different thing; they’re now commonplace. Since we now live in a “digital book world,” maybe we don’t need a conference dedicated to bringing such a thing about anymore.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder4 February, 2017

      Then what about eBookCraft and BooksinBrowsers?

      Reply
  2. […] DBW tried to boost attendance at its now-defunct conference by adding an indie author track, I noted that there were cheaper and better conferences […]

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