February 17, 2018

Nicholas Bogaty | Movers & Shakers 2004


E-Books Mediator


Nick Bogaty isn’t a librarian, but he plays nicely with them, along with publishers, hardware manufacturers, software producers, database vendors, and disability rights advocates. All are groups that share an interest in making e-books work for their customers. Getting these competing interests together to create common standards for digital book production and digital rights management is Bogaty’s job as executive director of the Open eBook Forum, the trade and standards association for the industry. A lot like herding cats, the task requires a gift for diplomacy.

Bogaty has the necessary gifts. Steve Potash, president of Open eBook Forum, is amazed at his polish, professionalism, and skill at listening. Bogaty also has an enthusiasm for the possibilities of the medium, something that makes him adept at his other primary assignments: recruiting new members, fundraising, and building the market for the product.

The job draws on all the skills and connections Bogaty picked up in his previous career. Fresh out of college, he became managing editor of an Internet start-up company headed by writer Michael Wolff. Bogaty moved to iUniverse.com, an on-demand publishing company. Noticing the need for a central database listing ownership for rights to books, he founded Rightsworld.com, negotiating deals with publishers and the National Writers Union.

By the time funding for Internet enterprises collapsed Bogaty knew all the players in the e-book arena except librarians. As head of the forum, he immediately started courting them. It’s important for the other players to satisfy librarians’ demands for cross-platform compatibility and standards for digital preservation and consistent metadata, he says. After all, librarians create new customers for the market by enabling consumers ‘to experience the great things about e-books without having to initially purchase one.’




Current Position: Executive Director, Open eBook Forum
Degree: B.A., Connecticut College, 1995
Created: Library Special Interest Group in January 2003; Conference on e-books in the public library, March 2004
Who knew?: Born in Japan and still retains enough Japanese to ‘order a mean meal in a restaurant’