This week was a bit different as I spent two days at the Independent Publishers Guild’s Spring Conference. It was great to be able to catch up with fellow independent publishers, hear some fantastic speakers and learn about developments in such diverse areas as artificial intelligence, advertising strategies for social media and supply chain solutions.
So what did I learn?
David Rowan (editor-in-chief of Wired) shared examples of how artificial intelligence software, such as ChatGPT, can be used to write anything from articles and advertisements to children’s story books and social media posts.
The examples he showed were very convincing. I can see why some schools have started making students write essays in school, so that they can be sure that it is the student’s own work. I wonder what other implications this will have for schools and educational publishers. If students are writing all their essays in school, will this accelerate the need for other types of homework?
Education in Ireland
I was fascinated to learn about how the education system in the Republic of Ireland differs from that in the UK. Ruth Gill, the MD of Gill, one of Ireland’s leading educational publishers, explained that traditionally parents have been responsible for buying children’s textbooks, with schools supplying parents with lists of books to buy. This will be changing in September when primary schools will be responsible for buying books themselves. This is obviously a big change for schools, publishers, bookshops and parents – so it will be interesting to see how it develops.
If you make change a cross-curricular activity, it’s not going to happen
These words of wisdom came from Jenny Ridout, the MD of the non-consumer division of Bloomsbury. She was talking about the company’s growth and the management strategies they’d used, but I think they could be applied more widely. Whatever change you want to make, it isn’t enough to say you want change, you need to work out the practical steps you will need to take to make that change a reality and make sure that everyone is on board.
With best wishes for next week!
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