Kobo Gives a Data Lesson

shutterstock_221252464Ebook retailers remain tight-fisted with the data they collect on their customers’ e-reading habits, even though demand for it continues to grow.

In the meantime, Kobo releases a practical guide to data analysis. Many publishers and authors are still struggling to put the limited data they have on hand to good use. The white paper lays out some key methodologies and explains which conclusions to draw from them.

Among other recommendations, Kobo suggests paying attention to how far readers get through the ebooks they buy, then using that information to pinpoint which titles and authors to consider serializing.


Related: Spotlight on Data at Digital Book World 2015

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Poor UX Hinders Mobile E-Reading (Publishing Technology)
New research suggests mobile users who don’t use their mobile devices for reading–and there are many who don’t–are turned off by shortcomings in user experience. The boom in mobile is a great opportunity for ebook publishers and retailers, but only if their mobile e-reading platforms can compete with other mobile products.
Related: Seizing the Mobile Opportunity at Digital Book World 2015

Are Ebooks Bad for Kids? (NYT)
Probably not. Still, some experts worry children’s ebooks and book apps don’t measure up to their print counterparts when it comes to early childhood education. Even if those fears turn out to be unfounded, children’s publishers and app developers are paying close attention.
Related: Publishers Launch Takes Deep Dive into Children’s Publishing

End Amazon’s Monopoly! (New Republic)
Such is the rallying cry at the center of Franklin Foer’s piece in the New Republic weighing Amazon’s economic and cultural might. The case Foer builds against the e-tailer consists mostly of familiar complaints, situated in the context of American business history and antitrust action.

…What Monopoly? (Vox)
Responding to Foer’s New Republic story, Matthew Yglesias argues that neither Amazon’s size nor its business tactics pass muster for assigning it the ‘monopoly’ label. Pointing to the nature and number of its competitors, Yglesias argues the retail field Amazon has shaken up “remains…deeply competitive.”

Amazon Increasing Investment in Video (WSJ)
It appears Amazon’s acquisition of the video streaming platform Twitch is just one component of a widening focus on video. Recent estimates have Amazon spending up to $2 billion on video in 2014 and up to $2.5 billion next year, partly in response to its popularity among Prime users.

Librarian: “We’re Part of the Problem” in Privacy Failures (Inside Higher Ed)
Reviewing the details of Adobe’s recent admission to collecting ebook readers’ data through Adobe Digital Editions, one librarian concludes her field could do more to protect patrons’ privacy in the digital age.

Lenovo Pushes E-Reading in India (AEG India)
Amid indications that the tablet market has peaked and lower-priced devices in emerging markets hold the best chance for renewed growth, Lenovo rolls out an Android-powered tablet through the India-based e-tailer Flipkart, which comes preloaded with eight free ebooks.

Tolino Expands in Europe (The Digital Reader)
The ebook retailer launched last year by German media companies to compete with Kindle’s expansion in Europe makes its tablets and ebook platform available to Dutch and Italian readers.

What Comes After Ebooks? (Economist)
The history of the ebook is vanishingly brief compared with the long tenure of the printed book technology. A digital long-read published by the Economist–which can be read in two different formats, with either a scrolling or a page-turn function–looks at the ways we’ve read in the past and the ways we read today in order to forecast how we’ll read in the future.


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