Bringing Sexy Back to The Book Party in the Digital Age

Laurel Touby (
Location: Broadway North (6th Floor) Level:
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 3 ratings)

Remember the book party? It’s the one-night only, martini-fueled marketing tool publishers have used for decades as a platform for building buzz around a fresh new book. They’re seen as the lavish French kiss publishers give their authors before the long road of big book sales. There’s just one problem- they don’t work. In the digital age, the book party can actually mean something. By developing a strategy that leverages online and offline tools, authors and publishers have the opportunity to grow vibrant and omnipresent communities that will serve as the definitive marketing tool. Laurel Touby, who built a multi-million dollar media company fueled by parties, will discuss the importance of community in the business of books.

Photo of Laurel Touby

Laurel Touby

Laurel Touby started her career at Young & Rubicam, in the Media Planning
department, back when there was one!
After three years trying to break into the Creative Department at Y&R, she
busted out of the Ad Agency business for good. After a long “stint” as a
journalist (working for everyone from Working Woman Magazine to Business
Week to New York Magazine), she launched her business,

The original idea for was cooked up in 1994, when Touby -
who was still contributing to Glamour magazine at the time -
and a friend
decided to host a mixer for media people. About 10 editors, writers, and
other content creators came to that original cocktail party at Jules Bistro
in the East Village. Attendees bought their own drinks and enjoyed casual
after-work bonding in the company of like-minded people. The parties quickly
grew, and soon Touby had 4,000 of New York’s top media talent on her email
list. After creating a web site in 1996 and adding features such as job
listings, bulletin boards, classes, e-classes, and a freelance marketplace,
Touby’s business began to take off. Today, 800,000 media professionals have
registered for various services around the world. Users log
upwards of 7 million page views a month.

Born in Oahu, Hawaii, Laurel grew up in Miami (before South Beach was hot)
and graduated from Smith College with a degree in economics. Promptly after
marrying Jon Fine, the Media Centric columnist at Business Week, she moved
to Williamsburg, Brooklyn (long after it was cool).

  • Impelsys Inc.
  • Ingram Industries
  • oXygen XML Editor
  • Adobe Systems, Inc.
  • codeMantra
  • Connotate
  • DPCI
  • Innodata Isogen, Inc.
  • LibreDigital
  • Lulu
  • Malloy
  • Mark Logic
  • Media Services Group
  • Quark, Inc.
  • ReadHowYouWant
  • RSuite
  • Safari Books Online
  • Smashwords, Inc.
  • Sterling Commerce
  • Verso Digital

Sponsorship Opportunities

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at the conference, contact Sharon Cordesse at

Press and Media

For media-related inquiries, contact Maureen Jennings at

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