Community-Driven Publishing: Leveraging New Patterns of Content & Audience Development

Moderated by:
Jacob Lewis (Figment )
Amanda Barbara (Pubslush), Scott James (Red Hat Project), Mark Jeffrey (, Allen Lau (Wattpad)
Location: Soho_Complex Level:
Average rating: ****.
(4.67, 3 ratings)

Everywhere you turn there are fresh examples—new kinds of crowd-driven platforms that are transforming everything from editorial selection, to audience-building, hybrid publishing models, micro-funding, major book deals and more. Join this eclectic panel of innovators as they explore the implications of a publishing future driven not by traditional gatekeepers, but by communities of readers and writers curating and interacting with content in many forms.

Photo of Jacob Lewis

Jacob Lewis


Jacob Lewis is the co-founder and CEO of Figment, an online community for teens and young adults to create, discover, and share new reading and writing. Figment enables it’s users to read amateur and professional content and generate their own unfiltered creative writing to share with peers on web and mobile networks. Jacob is the former Managing Editor of The New Yorker magazine, where he worked for more than twelve years, and of Conde Nast Portfolio.

Photo of Amanda Barbara

Amanda Barbara


Amanda Barbara is the development director 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. Amanda earned a bachelors degree in Public Relations and Creative Writing at the University of Miami in Florida. She has worked as a Corporate Account Manager for Big Geyser and a Leisure Sales Coordinator for the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. She started her career in the Media and Community Relations Department at Macy’s. In her free time, she enjoys running, reading, and spending time with her family.

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Scott James

Red Hat Project

I am the founder and lead at Redhat Project, helping authors and independent creatives with marketing and crowdfunding. My goal is to help talented writers and artists get the word out so that there’s more great creative work out there in the world. I love getting my hands smudged up with blood, sweat and ink in the rapidly changing publishing industry.

Photo of Mark Jeffrey

Mark Jeffrey

Mark Jeffrey is an author and serial technology entrepreneur. He has co-founded four internet companies and written four novels.
His first novel, MAX QUICK: THE POCKET AND THE PENDANT, was recently published in hardcover and ebook by HarperCollins. The book was initially podcast as a series of episodic mp3’s and received over 2.5 million downloads.

Most recently, Mark co-founded, a new site where anyone can create digital magazines. Previously, Mark co-founded web television network Mark served as CEO from its inception in Jan 2010 until May 2011 and remains on the Board.

From 2007 to 2010, Mark was the founding CTO of, Inc., a human-powered search and learning site. Prior to this, Jeffrey co-founded a business social networking company ZeroDegrees, Inc. in 2002 and sold it to IAC/InteractiveCorp in 2004 with more than one million registered users.

He founded his first company, The Palace, Inc., in 1995 and sold it to in 1998. The Palace was a popular avatar virtual world environment which had 10 million users at its peak. He was also the co-founder and CEO of SuperSig, Inc. in 1999, which focused on app-like functionality embedded in email.

Mark has been named one of ‘50 to Watch’ by Variety magazine, a ‘Hero of Multimedia’ by Entertainment Weekly and was a featured speaker at the very first Harvard Conference on The Internet and Society. Mark Jeffrey holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of New Hampshire.

Photo of Allen Lau

Allen Lau


Allen Lau is the co-founder and CEO of Wattpad, the world’s largest community of readers and writers.

With years of experience building successful mobile tech companies, Allen first started prototyping a mobile eReading app in 2002 on a grey-scale Java phone that could only display 5 lines of text. He wanted to solve a problem he was facing – how to read while on the go. So for the past 10 years Allen has been exploring the power of mobile/social collaboration, online communities, and user-generated content.

Wattpad now serves 13 million people a month and with over 10 million stories uploaded, Allen is leading a team that’s revolutionizing the way people share and discover stories on the web and across every mobile device.


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