Baby and the Bathwater: New Publishing Models Incorporating the Best of Old Publishing Practices

Moderated by:
Richard Nash (Small Demons/ Cursor)
Rafiq Ahmed (Demibooks), Jesse Potash (PUBSLUSH)
Innovator's Program Soho Complex

Join moderator Richard Nash and the leaders of two smart new publishing start-ups that are taking ideas from traditional publishing and combining them with new out-of-the-box thinking to create hybrid approaches to content creation and distribution.

Among questions to be explored:

1. What aspects of each of these businesses is informed by traditional paradigms?

2. New publishing models with legs are ones likely to unlock value that the supply chain model has hitherto failed to exploit—what value do each of these models unlock?

3. The other useful lens through which to view new models is: what are the ways in which they discover new sources of scale. How do these start ups anticipate scaling?

Photo of Richard Nash

Richard Nash

Small Demons/ Cursor

Richard Nash is an independent publishing entrepreneur—VP of Community and Content of Small Demons, founder of Cursor, and Publisher of Red Lemonade. For most of the past decade, he ran the iconic indie Soft Skull Press for which work he was awarded the Association of American Publishers’ Miriam Bass Award for Creativity in Independent Publishing in 2005. Books he edited and published landed on bestseller lists from the Boston Globe to the Singapore Straits-Times; on Best of the Year lists from The Guardian to the Toronto Globe & Mail to the Los Angeles Times; the last book he edited there, Lydia Millet’s Love in Infant Monkeys, was selected as a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist. Last year the Utne Reader named him one of Fifty Visionaries Changing Your World and picked him as the #1 Twitter User Changing the Shape of Publishing. He has spoken on the history and future of reading, writing, and publishing across the world, from Melbourne to Toronto to Helsinki to Seoul—Chris Anderson characterizes his Publishing 3.0 talk as “the best I have ever seen.”

Photo of Rafiq Ahmed

Rafiq Ahmed


Rafiq Ahmed is a Founder and CEO of Demibooks, a publishing technology company offering software platforms for creating and distributing interactive book apps. His experience spans mobile applications & services, user-centered design and consumer electronic products. In the past he has worked at Motorola Mobility, digital agency Sapient, mobile apps startup EssTec, and management consultants PriceWaterhouse Coopers. He is based in Chicago and can be reached on Twitter @mendicantraf.

Demibooks Inc. is a provider of publishing platforms for interactive books. Its flagship product is Demibooks® Composer, the first software platform for creating interactive books for the iPad, right on the device itself. It is also the maker of Demibooks® Silkscreen, an innovative new platform for enhanced ebooks in HTML5. Demibooks is headquartered in Chicago with a development center in Sydney, Australia.

Photo of Jesse Potash

Jesse Potash


Jesse Potash is the founder of Pubslush, a global, crowdsourcing publishing platform for authors to raise funds and gauge the initial audience for new book ideas. Pubslush also operates an independent imprint that acquires books from the platform, and for every book sold, donates a children’s book to a child in need. Jesse hails from a financial services background but has worked additionally across a wide array of industries including publishing, fashion, and advertising. Jesse was recently named one of the top “5 eBook Publishing Experts to Watch” by mediabistro. He also serves on the board of directors for the Pubslush Foundation, which is committed to supporting children’s literacy initiatives worldwide. He is a native New Yorker, yogi, boxer, and avid traveler.

  • Publishers Weekly
  • Ingram Content Group
  • codeMantra
  • Impelsys Inc.
  • SPi Global
  • Baker & Taylor
  • Blackboard
  • Bowker
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Innodata
  • Jouve North America
  • MarkLogic
  • Newgen KnowledgeWorks
  • Océ North America
  • Temis
  • Aptara
  • Atex
  • LibreDigital
  • Media Services Group
  • MarkLogic
  • Smashwords, Inc.

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

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