When retailers share information on ebook readers at all, it’s typically aggregated bulk data and comes with a fee.
As a result, “an author or publisher cannot see what an individual did [or] what the correlation might be between, say, writing a review on Goodreads and tweeting about [a] book,” says Andrew Rhomberg, founder of Jellybooks. “A lot of valuable marketing information remains out of view.”
So Jellybooks developed new technology allowing publishers to trade free content with consenting readers in exchange for individualized information about how they engage with it. The method, as Rhomberg sees it, repurposes the ‘advance reading copy’ model for data gathering.
“The key here,” he says, “is that reading data is often of most value before a book is published, because it is then that the data can be used to better position, market and promote the book.”
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Kids Figuring Out Where Ebooks Fit (DBW)
Data in a new report on children’s reading habits from Scholastic doesn’t bear out a finding in a study conducted by Digital Book World and PlayCollective–the full results of which will be released tomorrow at Publishers Launch Kids--suggesting children prefer ebooks to print. There are a number of reasons why that might be, but all told, the latest research reflects a still-evolving hybrid market, in which kids and families are figuring out how ebooks fit into their reading lives.
2014: A Year of Publishing Deals and Mergers (PW)
HarperCollins’s acquisition of Harlequin was the largest in a busy year of deal making in the publishing world. Here’s a thorough roundup of M&A activity in 2014 and a look at where the industry stands as of the first few weeks of 2015.
Amazon Readying Crowdfunding Platform? (Hacked)
There may be reason to believe Amazon is setting up a service to help investors gather funding for innovative products and ideas, better positioning the e-tailer to square off with crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter. Theoretically, that could also clear the way for Amazon to become a start-up incubator of sorts. One Amazon watcher recently said he “would not be surprised if the next big thing is Amazon disrupting parts of itself.”
Kickstarter Shows Publishing Clout (PW)
Publishing projects grew considerably on Kickstarter over the course of 2014, even though the platform instituted a rule change barring journalism campaigns from the publishing category. Crowdsourcing has been making strides lately, and it seems likely the model will continue to be a familiar feature of the year ahead.
Bing Adds Best-Seller Discovery Feature (Good E Reader)
The Microsoft search engine now displays best-selling books in a designated carousel whenever users search for popular titles or authors. The discovery feature probably won’t do much for the lesser-known authors and publishers whose titles need it most, but it may give an extra boost to books that are already hits.
Textbook Price-Comparison App Aims to Shake up Market (StartupHook)
Occupy the Bookstore, a Chrome extension that offers to find online textbook shoppers the cheapest available copies, came under fire from Follett recently for allegedly disrupting its e-commerce business. The app’s developers explain their vision for the academic market, where high prices are a top concern among students.
Related: Higher Education Publishing in Transition–The Latest Developments at DBW15
How Ebook Tech Is Hindering Ebook Growth (Gizmodo)
In an article explaining why ebooks aren’t necessarily on their last leg, as some have recently suggested, one an industry watcher sees technological obstacles as standing in the way of further growth for the format, saying, “There’s a long way to go before ebooks catch up with the latest in web design and responsive layouts.”
Related: The Cutting Edge in Ebook Production and Digital Publishing Technology Tomorrow at DBW15
To Read, or to Be Read to? (NYT)
That is the question, according to one observer who sees the rise of digital audiobooks and podcasts as part of a growing trend in which listening vies with reading for audiences–and literary respectability–in the storytelling domain.
Odilo Opens Library Ebook Marketplace (Galleycat)
The library ebook distributor launches a platform allowing libraries to purchase digital content according to the various available licensing models available from publishers.