Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.
“In God we trust, all others must bring data” is a line attributed to statistician William E. Deming and was first uttered almost half a century ago.
Publishers today talk with great urgency about improving data-backed decision making, but the truth is data has long been used to inform book publishing. Many a publisher has consulted Nielsen BookScan before determining whether to bid for a book and what the size of the advance should be.
However, it is equally true that book publishing is still an industry governed largely by instinct, personal experience and subjective judgments of what might catch on. In many ways publishing has been and continues to be a lottery.
Nor is publishing poised to become a predictable business. It’s too chaotic–because human taste is so fickle. We can’t predict what will become a best-seller any more than we can predict what the weather will be like on a certain afternoon a month from now. However, modern science has improved the reliability of most weather forecasts, and it’s now possible to tell several days in advance if a hurricane will be threat, for example.
The media business has gone through one hell of a digital transformation, and one of the side effects is that more data is now being generated and stored than ever before. This is data that could be harnessed to make better publishing decisions.
Much of that data is not readily available. Amazon does not share data on reading. Access to the full Twitter fire hose is pricey, but in a workshop at Digital Book World 2015, five speakers share ways how to collect data and make better publishing decisions.
“Big data” is a buzzword that has almost no meaning in publishing today, but data-driven publishing is here. It is in its infancy, but it is very likely to have a huge influence over future workflows and emerging practices in digital publishing.
Join me at Digital Book World 2015 to learn more in an intensive workshop on Tuesday, January 13th called “Data, Analytics and Algorithms in Publishing.” The workshop has recently expanded to feature five dealing with the following:
- Monitoring Social Media to Inform Publishing Decisions
presented by Jaimee Callaway, Digital Marketing Director, Perseus Books Group
- Building a Reader Data Model
presented by Susan Ruszala, President, NetGalley
- Reader Analytics for Undertaking Virtual Focus Groups
presented by Andrew Rhomberg, Founder, Jellybooks
- SEO and Keyword Research for Better Book marketing
presented by Peter McCarthy, Co-founder, The Logical Marketing Agency
- Optimizing Amazon and other Data for Improved Sales
presented Josh Brody, CEO, Vook and Alison Horton, Marketing Associate, Vook
There a still a handful of places remaining. It’s not too late to sign up.