PubHack: Understanding Industry Barriers, And How To Get Innovating Anyway

Moderated by:
Kristen McLean (Bookigee)
Mitchell Davis (BiblioLabs), Angela D'Agostino (Proquest), Jason Illian (Bookshout)
Location: Broadway Ballroom North Level:
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 2 ratings)

It’s already hard enough to launch a startup—starting one in the publishing space brings a whole other set of problems. The industry is complex, the opportunity is large, and the disruption is obvious, but it requires specialized knowledge to understand and capitalize on the opportunities. A brilliant idea is not enough. This panel will examine the hidden (and not so hidden) structural issues that can make or break a startup in the publishing space—everything from chaotic and expensive data, to mis-targeting customers, industry bias, rights issues, unimaginative gatekeepers, friction from entrenched interests and more—and how to thread the needle to get the best chance of success.

Photo of Kristen McLean

Kristen McLean


Kristen McLean is the Founder and CEO of Bookigee, a Miami-based start-up that develops ground-breaking products and services that flatten the publishing marketplace. Their first product, WriterCube, A DIY Marketing and Analytics app for Authors is currently in free beta. (

Before founding Bookigee, Kristen spent seventeen years in a wide variety of industry roles including her most-recent position as the Executive Director of the Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC), a non-profit trade association that networks the children’s book market. Under Kristen’s leadership, ABC merged with its larger sister association, the American Booksellers Association (ABA) in 2011, where its work continues.

As part of her role as an industry futurist, Kristen lectures nationally and internationally on issues facing the publishing world at venues such as Book Expo America (BEA), Digital Book World (DBW),The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), The American Library Association (ALA), and The Digital Publishing Conference of the City College of London, UK.

Kristen also edits Bowker Pubtrack’s bi-annual consumer study of the children’s book market, Understanding the Children’s Book Consumer in the Digital Age. Kristen is deeply interested in the confluence of emerging consumer behavior, technology, and publishing in the 21st Century. Find out more at

Photo of Mitchell Davis

Mitchell Davis


Mitchell Davis is a publishing and media entrepreneur. Mitchell was a founder in 2000 of BookSurge (now Amazon’s CreateSpace) the world’s first integrated global print-on-demand and publishing services company. He is also founder & chief business officer of BiblioLabs a packager of historical content for print-on-demand and digital consumer platforms and founder of Organic Process Productions an award-wining independent documentary and philanthropic media company.

Photo of Angela D'Agostino

Angela D'Agostino


Angela has been instrumental in transforming Bowker from a traditional print reference publisher to a provider of essential data and services for publishers, retailers, and libraries throughout the world, both through organic growth and strategic acquisitions. Angela has a B.A. in English Literature from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame and an M.B.A. in Marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Bowker has been serving the book industry since 1872. Bowker’s Books In Print is the “Database of Record” for Barnes & Noble, Follett, and Sony among many others and is used by thousands of retailers, publishers and libraries worldwide.

Photo of Jason Illian

Jason Illian


Jason Illian is the Founder and CEO of Bookshout!, a dynamic e-book company which focuses on connecting people around books. Bookshout! empowers organizations and authors to build a following, stay connected, get data and do bulk digital buys.

With more than 12 years of technology and executive experience, Jason Illian is a visionary in the mobile and social new media space. Having raised over $35 million for new business ventures, Jason has a passion for taking great ideas and making them businesses. His strategic thinking has helped corporations, organizations, non-profits, churches, and leaders be more innovative. He is the former CEO of Big Jump Media (, a Christian video network that had over 4 million monthly users.

Jason is also a published author and nationally-renown speaker. Jason has presented at the Goldman Sachs Technology & Internet Conference, the Credit Suisse Global Media and Communications Convergence Conference, and hundreds of other organizations. He has been featured on ABC, The New York Times, and done numerous radio interviews, from Mancow to Laura Ingraham. He has authored two published books, including a first-mover book called MySpace MyKids, which helped parents understand and navigate the world of social networks.

Jason graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas Christian University with a BBA in International Finance. He continued his education with TCU and the London School of Economics, held the distinguished honor of being named one of the top 20 students in America by USA Today, was a Rhodes scholar finalist, and was an NCAA Academic All-American while being captain of the TCU football team.

When Jason isn’t attempting to move mountains, he is spending time with his wife, Alisha and his three rambunctious kids, Reign, Sage, and Rogue. Although he rarely admits it in public, he is also the owner of a yippie, metrosexual Maltese dog named Sumo. He lives in Dallas, Texas.


Sponsorship Opportunities

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at the conference, contact Scott Harvey at

Media Partner Opportunities

For media partnerships, contact mediapartners@

Press and Media

For media-related inquiries, contact Maureen Jennings at

Contact Us

View a complete list of TOC contacts