Press Releases 2018

StoryDrive Asia 2018: New ideas for tomorrow’s business

Singapore, November 20, 2018 – “Disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain will profoundly change the way content is created, distributed and accessed. How do we navigate these changes? To make the most of the opportunities for monetising content in the digital environment, the industry must embrace change, yet play to its strengths and not lose sight of its fundamentals”, said Dr Stanley Lai, Chairman of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), keynote speaker at the 2018 edition of StoryDrive Asia.

Held at The Trade Association Hub on November 19 and 20, StoryDrive Asia attracted around 130 professionals in publishing, software and gaming, photography and filmmaking and digital media from more than 10 countries – Australia, Austria, China, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The event was organised by Singapore Book Publishers Association, representing publishing firms based in Singapore, and Frankfurter Buchmesse GmbH, organisers of the Frankfurter Buchmesse, the biggest trade fair for the international publishing industry. 

The event provided professionals from diverse industries in Southeast Asia with opportunities to network, learn and share via presentations, intensive workshops, and business pitching sessions. These professionals included audiobook producers, professionals in publishing, software and gaming and digital media. 

“Via the StoryDrive Asia platform the industry discussed three key themes: the importance of Intellectual Property, the latest new technologies and platforms, and the imperative of building stronger contacts and connections within the Southeast Asia region.”  said Mr Peter Schoppert, President, Singapore Book Publishers Association.

“This was the third edition of StoryDrive Asia in Singapore, and it once again highlighted the importance of Copyright, but also underlined the opportunities that are available to publishers in cooperating with other industries and to embrace disruptive technologies. At the same time we focussed on the potential in the region of South East Asia and Asia Pacific for cooperation amongst the countries but also for creating more visibility for content from the region, for instance with the ASEAN Forum at Frankfurter Buchmesse in 2018, Kuala Lumpur as the World Book Capital in 2020 or the Indonesia Focus at London Book Fair in 2019. There is so much to do, and we look forward to bringing these initiatives to yet another level in the coming years,” said Ms Claudia Kaiser, Vice President of Business Development South and South East Asia/Arab World, Frankfurter Buchmesse. 

(Speakers and some participants posing for a picture during the conference)




StoryDriveAsia 2018: From IP, Audiobooks and AI to Women in Publishing and ASEAN Book community. New ideas for tomorrow’s business.

Singapore, November 19, 2018

The third edition of StoryDriveAsia, a two-day conference, will be held in the Trade Association Hub at Jurong Town Hall, on 19-20 November 2018. With its beginnings as The Singapore Publishing Symposium as part of the Singapore Writer’s Festival, StoryDriveAsia is now a platform for content, learning, networking and business across content industries, providing updates, new insights, learnings and best practices in the publishing business as well as other content industries every year.

StoryDriveAsia is once again organised by the Singapore Book Publishers Association (SBPA) and Frankfurter Buchmesse GmbH, the organisers of the biggest book fair in the world.

“Digital transformation has been part of our industry since the desktop publishing revolution of 30 years ago, and since Amazon launched e-commerce by selling books twenty years ago. But the pace of change does not slow, it only increases. We need platforms like StoryDrive to think through the issues and brainstorm together”, says Peter Schoppert, president of SBPA.

This year’s conference will mainly focus on two areas: Copyright For the Future on 19 November, and Driven by Technology on 20 November. These main topics are complemented by hands-on learnings and new events in the industry.

“Understanding and leveraging Intellectual Property continues to be an important priority for publishers and authors in Singapore and all over the region,” continues Peter Schoppert. “We are working with organisations like WIPO and IPOS, and  this year, we really look forward to having Tani Wong from the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA) with us to give us another perspective on best practices in making use of IP content. Blockchain provides new possibilities for better sharing of IP, and new technologies like machine translation are widening the ways IP can be transformed. These trends are covered here as well.”

The first day also features hands- on sessions on the Art of Book Proposals and a Case Study from China about self publishing platforms.

On day Two StoryDriveAsia is focusing on Technology and Voice Content. “We see a huge growth in Audiobooks internationally, and the genre has great potential here in South East Asia, too”, says Claudia Kaiser, VP Frankfurter Buchmesse, “so we want to have a look behind the scenes here. And the question that is shaking us all up right now is: what do we do if machines do the jobs we used to do? So we want to present some takes on this, from different perspectives.”

Day Two also features a presentation of innovative products in the Education field, a discussion on innovative approaches to reaching new audiences, and a talk about Women in Writing and Publishing. “The Me Too debate and movement has reached so many parts of the World – we need to understand what it is like in South East Asia and create more cooperation among women in the industry”, says Claudia Kaiser.

The conference also has a strong regional note. “At last year’s SDA we staged a discussion among the participants on what we could do to create more attention for content from South East Asia internationally, and to stimulate cooperation within ASEAN. Hard work has yielded results, and we want to build on new initiatives like Kuala Lumpur’s successful bid for World Book Capital 2020 and other efforts by the South East Asian players”, adds Peter Schoppert.

StoryDrive Asia is expected to attract delegates from various publishing communities across the region with its line-up of speakers, including keynote speaker Dr. Stanley Lai, Chairman of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).

Other speakers are listed below:

  • Michael Healy is the Executive Director (International Relations) at Copyright Clearance Center and is based in New York City. He worked for more than 20 years in the publishing industry in the UK, spending most of that time in senior editorial, sales and distribution roles in digital publishing. For much of his career, Michael has been closely involved in the development of standards for the international book trade;
  • Tani Wong is Managing Director of the International Licensing Industry Mercandisers’ Association (LIMA) and a veteran in the licensing business with in-depth knowledge about licensors, liensees and various aspects of licensing.
  • Seda Röder, the “piano hacker”, is an unorthodox musician and leadership consultant specialised in scaling creativity and innovative output in organisations. She is a sought after speaker and the co-founder of the Sonophilia network: a global think-tank for creative leadershiop and cross-disciplinary collaboration.
  • Malcolm Neil is advisor and consultant in Asia Pacific, his clients include Wattpad, a reading and writing platform. His more than 30 years experience in the publishing industry included CEO of the Australian Booksellers Association and Director of Content for Rakuten Kobo Inc.
  • Liu Guanghan is currently Vice President of Guangxi Normal University Press Group Co. Ltd. and also Director of Images Publishing Group (based in Australia) and ACC Publishing Group (UK). He is very active in the world of Art Publishing and has created many innovative projects, one of them “Arts Bridge”.
  • Martin Johs. Moller is Editor-in-Chief of the Danish audiobook production company and publishing firm Swann Studio. The company, founded by Martin’s father and his partners in 1983, owns more than 80 recording studios in the Nordic countries.
  • Remesh Panicker is a multi award winning Executive Producer, Writer, Script Doctor, Creative Consultant & Actor, with more than 40 years experience in the voice-over business. Instantly recognizable to Singaporeans, he has voiced documentaries in the Discovery Channel, History Channel, National Geographic Channel and others.
  • Neil Walker is the Senior Account Manager at IPR License, has more than 10 years experience in the book and publishing industry, and is an expert in rights and permissions management. His key areas are business development, innovation and alternative forms of revenue generation.
  • Mindy Pang is Marketing Manager at Marshall Cavendish International and has more than a decade of experience in editing and marketing management. She was the driving force behind key publications and currently develops marketing strategies to foster the company’s leading publishing role in Singapore.
  • Anca Rujoiu is Curator and Manager of Publications, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore.
  • Azzah Abdul Rahman is author and professional trainer in creative writing. She has published more than 13 books since 2007, some with official publishers, some self published. She is also the co-founder of Malaysian Writers Movement.
  • Joseph M. Mas is BTwinBooks’s Chief Product Officer. He oversees the sales strategy and is responsible for the product roadmap. He has worked in the publishing industry all his life for companies like Cambridge University Press, and also works with start ups in the Edtech Business. He divides his life and time between Singapore and Barcelona.
  • Marissa Chen is an editorial and buying consultant with a focus on Asia based business and publications, with many years of publishing experience in the UK and abroad.
  • Sarah Naeem is the owner of Chinatown’s new and beloved bookstore, café and event space The Moon.
  • Sheikh Faisal Sheikh Mansor is the Founder and Managing Director of Shake Book Projects, Honorary Secretary of the Malaysia Book Publishers Association and part of the Kuala Lumpur World Book Capital team.
  • Liu Yuren is co-founder and content director of Webnovel. Yuren is in charge of Content Generation and operations. He also leads the content and editorial team.
  • Porter Anderson is a journalist, speaker, and consultant specialising in book publishing. Formerly with CNN, the Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and The Bookseller, he is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives, founded and operated by Frankfurt Book Fair New York, the news medium for the international publishing industry.

Detailed programme at

StoryDrive Asia will be held on November 19-20, 2018 at the Trade Association Hub with standard ticket price at S$400 per delegate and one day passes are also available. Ticket sales is via StoryDrive Asia is supported by Goethe Institut, China Literature Limited, Copyright Clearance Center, FromLabs and International Licensing Industry Merchandiser’s Association (LIMA).

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About Singapore Book Publishers Association

Established in 1968, the Singapore Book Publishers Association represents the interests of Singapore publishers engaged in a wide range of publishing, marketing and distribution activities in both print and digital formats. It focuses on developing and strengthening the book ecosystem in Singapore. Please visit for more information. SBPA member companies contribute some S$ 1.7billion dollars each year to the Singapore economy.

About the Frankfurter Buchmesse

Frankfurter Buchmesse is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair – with over 7,500 exhibitors from 109 countries, around 285,000 visitors, over 4,000 events and some 10,000 accredited journalists and bloggers in attendance. It also brings together key players from the fields of education, film, games, STM, academic publishing, and business information. Since 1976, the book fair has featured an annual Guest of Honour country, which showcases its book market, literature and culture to attendees in a variety of ways. The Frankfurter Buchmesse organises the participation of German publishers at around 20 international book fairs and hosts trade events throughout the year in major international markets. Access to the Business Club, with its premium services, networking events, and conferences, such as THE MARKETS, is available exclusively with a Business Ticket – the premium option for B2B visitors. THE ARTS+ was launched in 2016 as a fair, business festival and international meeting place for the culture and creative industries. It aims to exploit the potential of digitalisation for creative content and to develop new business areas. Frankfurt EDU, the international education platform of the Frankfurter Buchmesse, presents innovative concepts, content and technologies for the future of learning. Frankfurter Buchmesse is a subsidiary of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers & Booksellers Association).

For media enquiries, please contact:

Peter Schoppert
for Singapore Book Publishers Association
Tel: (65) 9863 4678 / (65) 6776 1148





Claudia Kaiser
for Frankfurter Buchmesse
Tel:  +4916099167043, +6584511046