Publishers are increasingly using big data to help them sell their book rights internationally. As the ebook market has grown over the last few years, so has the amount of data available to online retailers and publishers. Traditionally, though, publishers have not been able to get exact user or reader statistics. The digitization of the reading experience is changing this limitation, however, and opening up a new frontier that publishers are starting to use to their advantage.
As we all know, editors and agents are responsible for evaluating each book’s potential. They base these evaluations on their professional understanding of the market fit, as well as sales numbers and reviews. Access to more data won’t substantially change this process, but by making better use of the realm of data that surrounds the reading experience, publishers will most likely be able to sell books’ international rights at a higher premium.
Publishers can improve sales material when selling the rights to include not only print runs, samples of the book, reviews and some author information, but also a detailed description of the book’s target demographic and its reading patterns. The use of what I call “Reader Insights Data” (RID) will provide information on exactly who the target audience is, reducing the risk of buying international rights to books that are not a perfect fit for the publisher.
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