BookTech Expo Registration Jumps More Than 30%
Every Picture Tells a Story
Prior to the opening of the exhibit floor, William L. Allen of the National Geographic Society, addressed hundreds of attendees with the conference's keynote in the Hilton's Sutton Parlor. Allen led off with the statement, "Print is increasing as the dominant face in the industry," adding that this is what he'd like to believe.
Allen spent 38 years with National Geographic magazine, the past 10 as editor-in-chief. He explained that there are many challenges that keep the publishing industry from being the "dominant face"—one of those challenges is that other forms of media have cut into the demand for magazines and books, creating a society that is reading much less than it did even 10 years ago.
National Geographic is a magazine that tells stories through the use of beautiful imagery as well as concise, well-written editorial. So the primary focus of Allen's keynote was on photography, the major component that causes readers to pick up the magazine at newsstands or subscribe to the publication in the first place, he said. He explained the lengths the magazine's photojournalists go through to produce the images seen every month in the publication. From staring down a charging elephant in a remote part of Africa to staying a few steps ahead of a swirling tornado in the Midwest, National Geographic photographers often risk their lives to meet the demanding requirements the magazine stipulates.
"We could publish a very good magazine with the photographs we don't use," said Allen.
Surprising to some attendees was the fact that only about 20 percent of the magazine's photographs are digital, but Allen explained why: The magazine has yet to figure out the logistics of storing as many as 40,000 2MB image files in a content management system at a reasonable cost.