SXSW Interactive (March 7-11), the annual tech festival, opens today in Austin, Tex. and expect to see a wide range of publishers and publishing-related events. This year look for a number of events organized by and focused on librarians, comics events hosted by both Comixology and Marvel, and the much-anticipated Books & Bytes and John Wiley parties.
John Chrastka, founder of EveryLibrary, a library political action committee, points out that librarians will be on hand in Austin, organizing a number of panels and meetups to “raise awareness of the ways librarians are already supporting emerging entrepreneurs and tech businesses across the country.” Chrastka said the goal is to make more entrepreneurs aware of the ways, “librarians can help them scale their businesses.”
There’s a library meetup today, in addition to a Libraries, Archives and Museum Meetup (#sxswLAM) and a wrapup party next week. Chrastka said ER&L (the Electronic Resources and Libraries conference) is hosting morning meetings at the ideaDrop House for sxswLAM. In addition, EveryLibrary along with other national library associations, will host a joint booth (#1036) at the SXSW trade show at the Austin Convention Center.
Comics are no stranger to the tech community or to SXSW. Digital comics vendor Comixology will once again sponsor the Geek Stage at the gaming pavilion in addition to hosting its own panel, Take Comics Further, on “the next big thing in comics.” Comixology will also host a happy hour on March 8.
Over the past several years at SXSW, Marvel has used the show to announce new digital initiatives. This year Marvel is sponsoring two panels: Marvel: Your Universe, with Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso, and Marvel: House of Ideas, where its likely we’ll see announcements of new digital events in the Marvel universe.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization that defends digital civil liberties, has organized a “Cyberpunk Retrofest,” to celebrate the influence of the cyberpunk literary subgenre on the larger body of 1990s science fiction. The panel/after party will feature appearances by authors Gareth Branwyn (reading from his Kickstarter-funded book project, Borg Like Me), Cory Doctorow, Bruce Sterling and Chris Nakashima-Brown.
There’s no shortage of parties at SXSW and an annual favorite at the tech show is the Books & Bytes party. The party is organized by the team of Cave Henricks Communications and Shelton Interactive, two of Austin’s noted book publicity, marketing and media relations agencies, and their senior executives, Barbara Henricks and Rusty Shelton. In addition John Wiley will have a host of its authors on hand for its 5th annual Wiley Author Party at SXSW, with both lots of food and drink and lots of authors, held again at the Hangar Lounge in Austin.
And as usual there will be a long line of authors signing books—we’re not exaggerating, authors sign books every hour on the hour throughout the show—at the SXBookstore on the upper level of the Austin Convention Center. Among authors on hand this year are New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff signing The Big New Yorker Book of Cats and The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs (Random House); Cory Doctorow will sign copies of his novels, The Rapture of the Nerds, Pirate Cinema, and Homeland (Tor); Heidi Tandy, an essayist in the anthology, Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World (Smart Pop), will sign copies of the book, and Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, co-stars of the award-winning IFC hipster comedy series Portlandia, will be on hand to sign copies of The Portlandia Activity Book (McSweeney’s).