CEO Roundtable: The Changing Role of the Publisher

Joe Wikert (O'Reilly Media, Inc.), Clint Greenleaf (Greenleaf Book Group), Michael Hyatt (Thomas Nelson), Bob Young (, Eileen Gittins (Blurb)
Location: Broadway North (6th Floor) Level:
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The goal of this session is to talk about the evolving landscape of
publishing and how the worlds of traditional publishers and
self-publishers are converging. Author platform is more important than
ever before. How do both types of publishers leverage this? What are
each doing to help authors build their platforms? We’ll also talk
about the types of capabilities and services traditional publishers
need to offer to distinguish themselves from the self-publishing

Photo of Joe Wikert

Joe Wikert

O'Reilly Media, Inc.

Joe Wikert is a publishing executive with 20+ years of industry
experience. He is currently General Manager of the OTX division, which
publishes the storied “animal books,” at O’Reilly Media, Inc. Prior to
joining O’Reilly he was a Vice President and Executive Publisher in
the Professional/Trade division of John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and had
management responsibility for the WROX and Sybex imprints. Since
graduating from Purdue University with a degree in management and
computer science, Joe has held a variety of sales and editorial
positions in the publishing industry. He is also the author of seven
books on programming languages and computer applications.

Joe regularly shares his publishing industry thoughts and outlook on
his Publishing 2020 blog which can be found at; as
the proud owner of an Amazon Kindle, Joe also blogs about his e-book
reader experience on He can be reached through
his blogs or via e-mail at

Photo of Clint Greenleaf

Clint Greenleaf

Greenleaf Book Group

Clint started Greenleaf Book Group after writing and publishing two
books, selling foreign publication rights, and securing a multibook
contract with Adams Media. Since then, he has built the company into
one of the industry’s leading book distributors. Greenleaf Book Group
has represented more than five hundred titles and is one of the
fastest-growing companies in America. Clint speaks at conferences and
seminars across the country and has been featured in the Wall Street
Journal, Inc. magazine, and Entrepreneur, has been on MSNBC and he is a contributor to and the Fox Business Channel.

Photo of Michael Hyatt

Michael Hyatt

Thomas Nelson

Michael Hyatt is the President and CEO of Thomas Nelson, the largest Christian publishing company in the world and the seventh largest trade book publishing company in the U.S. The company is privately held.

Hyatt began his publishing career at Word Publishing while a student at Baylor University. He worked at Word for six years. In addition to serving as Vice President of Marketing at Thomas Nelson in the mid-80s, Hyatt started his own publishing company, Wolgemuth & Hyatt, with partner Robert Wolgemuth in 1986. Word acquired Wolgemuth & Hyatt in 1992.

A successful literary agent from 1992 until early 1998, Hyatt has written four books, one of which landed on the New York Times bestseller list where it stayed for seven months.

Hyatt joined Thomas Nelson for a second time in 1998. Since that time he has worked in a variety of roles in both divisional and corporate management. He was promoted to President in February 2004 and CEO in August 2005. He also serves as Chairman of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).

Photo of Bob Young

Bob Young

Bob Young is the founder and CEO of, a premiere international
marketplace for new digital content on the Internet, with more than
660,000 recently published titles and more than 15,000 new creators
from 80 different countries joining each week. Founded in 2002, is Young’s most recent endeavour. The success of this company
has earned Young notable recognition; he was named one of the “Top 50
Agenda-Setters in the Technology Industry in 2006” and was ranked as
the fourth “Top Entrepreneur for 2006,” both by

Photo of Eileen Gittins

Eileen Gittins


Eileen Gittins has been at the intersection of the Internet, consumer and enterprise software, search, and digital photography throughout the course of her 20+ year career. A passionate advocate for enabling technologies that offer new ways to do valuable things, Ms. Gittins is now pioneering democratizing and reinventing publishing for the rest of us with her new company, Blurb.

Ms. Gittins has served as CEO of several pre-IPO venture-backed companies in Silicon Valley, including Personify — an ecommerce data mining and analytics company, and Verb – a context-based search engine company. Personify and Verb were acquired by Accrue and Attenza respectively. At Qbiquity, a viral marketing platform company, Ms. Gittins served as Board Chairman and interim CEO; Ms. Gittins was instrumental in negotiating the merger of Qbiquity into Collabrys. As CEO, she has raised over $60MM in venture capital throughout her career.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Gittins was VP and General Manager of Wall Data’s Salsa Products) Division (consumer database software), co-founder and VP Marketing and Sales at Pivotal Corp, an Eastman Kodak spin-out (workflow management software), and held various business development, sales and marketing management positions within Kodak’s Business Imaging Systems group in London, San Francisco, Seattle and Rochester, New York.

Ms. Gittins has extensive experience in enterprise software applications including data mining/analytics, CRM, online marketing, search, databases and data integration, imaging systems, and workflow management in addition to consumer applications in the desktop database field and digital photography. She is also an experienced public speaker and panelist, and has been the subject of feature articles in publications as varied as the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and Fortune Magazine.

  • 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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