Publishing Talks: David Wilk interviews Liate Stehlik

In this series of interviews, called Publishing Talks, I talk to book industry professionals and other smart people about the future of publishing, books, and culture.  This is a period of disruption and change for all media businesses.  How will publishing evolve as our culture is affected by technology, climate change, population density, and the ebb and flow of civilization and  economics?

I hope these Publishing Talks conversations will help us better understand the outlines of what is happening in publishing, books and reading culture, and how we can ourselves both understand and influence the future of books and reading.

Liate Stehlik appeared on a panel I moderated last winter for Digital Book World, and I was  very much impressed by her perceptive understanding of the evolving publishing landscape.  In her role as the Senior Vice President and Publisher of William Morrow/Harper Voyager/Avon Books division of HarperCollins, Liate oversees the digital-centric Avon Impulse imprint, giving her a unique experience base and outlook.  Avon Impulse is innovative publishing for authors and readers, and is a learning base for the company within which it operates.

I thought it would be interesting and enjoyable to talk to her about her views on the book business, past, present and future, and I think our conversation demonstrates that it was just that and more.  Avon Impulse represents a significant effort by a Big Six publisher, creating a chance to experiment and learn important and valuable lessons about digital books and readers, which can then be applied across the overall publishing enterprise.  Much of what Liate and her company has learned will doubtless be applicable to many others in publishing. I’ll welcome comments and reactions from listeners in all kinds of publishing.

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