“There’s a brave new world in book publishing,” writes Jellybooks founder Andrew Rhomberg, “and it’s being shaped by and around audience insights.”
In the inaugural post of his new column for Digital Book World, “Audience+Insight,” Rhomberg details why code is so critical to the publishing industry and merits careful consideration and unpacking.
Technology, according to Rhomberg, “identifies the types of readers who are engaging with particular types of books” and allows a publisher to better understand its audience. Moreover, “there are also ample opportunities for exploring how readers themselves might leverage their own reading data.”
Rhomberg’s column will also go on to examine new trends in machine learning, as well as what role authors might play in the world of analytics going forward.
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Coloring Book Apps Are on the Rise (Yahoo)
In recent years, coloring books have become a low-tech way for stressed-out adults to decompress. Now that trend has become modernized, with a slew of apps available. The apps come from all walks of life, as Marvel and the TV show “Game of Thrones” have some in development, and even publishers are getting involved, with Octopus releasing four coloring and connect-the-dot apps as part of its new “Colouring for Mindfulness” series.
A Shift in Power for Big Media (Re/code)
One writer examines how big media is entering a period of intense change: “Little by little, major publishers are losing their power in a world that’s allowing individuals to generate a lot more revenue from their own content — with no middleman,” Jan Rezab writes. Moreover, “as social networks solve and scale monetization in a way that allows authors to directly publish and make money doing so, individuals and smaller publishers will have more power than ever in their own hands.”
Digital Sales Fall at Hachette UK (Bookseller)
Sales at Hachette UK were down 3.5 percent in the first six months of 2015 compared to that period in 2014. Ebooks represented 33 percent of sales in adult trade in the UK, falling from 36 percent. In the UK, the digital market is “stabilizing and has been impacted” by the increase in VAT, according to Lagardere, Hachette’s parent company. Total digital sales for Lagardere declined to 10.7 percent, compared to 11.3 percent for the first half of 2014.
Harvard Business Review Integrates and Collaborates (PW)
The Harvard Business Review Group, which includes its press, magazine and website, is aiming to increase collaboration amongst its three divisions. According to Publisher’s Weekly, “ideas from HBRP books appear in the magazine, magazine stories go on to become books, and graphics from books appear on the website.” To facilitate this transition, the group will move to a new space where everyone will be better able to work with each other and blur the lines between teams.
Wattpad Looks to Hit a Billion Users (Publishing Perspectives)
“Wattpad is more than simply a writing platform, it’s really a social media network focused on writing and books,” says co-founder Allen Lau. Wattpad, a storytelling and discovery app, currently has more than 40 million users, about 1.5 million of whom have posted stories. While Wattpad seeks to monetize through native advertising, “one of our core missions is education, to spread the written word,” says Lau. “Being ubiquitous in the world and encouraging people to read and write more, this is a great way to help out in the education sector.”
Seven Ways to Change Reading on a Tablet (Publishing Perspectives)
The writer discusses seven possible developments for tablets and how they might shift the reading experience, including making books dynamic that “grow to reflect new information,” and including options for variable lengths should a reader want to jump ahead without losing important information.