Books That Don’t Start Strong Will Lose the Reader

Books That Don’t Start Strong Will Lose the Reader“In the first post in this series, I introduced the notion of the ‘Internet of Bookish Things’ to describe how (e)books were now nodes on the Internet that could record how books are being read,” writes Andrew Rhomberg in a blog post for Digital Book World. “And in last week’s post, ‘Reading Fast and Slow – Observing Book Readers in Their Natural Habitat,’ I began exploring what we can learn about readers using this new ‘superpower.’ Today we will continue this exploration by looking at how the attention of readers decays while progressing through a book.”

“One of the data points we record at Jellybooks is how many chapters a reader finishes,” Rhomberg continues. “Reading fiction is a very linear activity in which you start at the beginning of the novel and, following the story arc, read until you reach the end. You don’t usually hop in and out of chapters as you would do in a non-fiction book or textbook, and reading analytics bears that out.

“However, what if the novel doesn’t grab your attention? What if you get bored? Reading analytics can measure that, too!”

Much more.

Andrew Rhomberg is hosting a workshop titled “Data-Smart Book Publishing” at Digital Book World 2016.


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Sleeping Through a Revolution (DBW)
Jonathan Taplin is a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, and Director of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab. He began his entertainment career in 1969 as tour manager for Bob Dylan and The Band. In 1973, he produced Martin Scorsese’s first feature film, Mean Streets, which was selected for the Cannes Film Festival. What follows is an excerpt from an essay Taplin wrote on how the Internet and certain companies have transformed book publishing.

Barnes & Noble’s Chief Digital Officer to Speak at DBW16 (DBW)
The 7th Annual Digital Book World Conference + Expo will present a mainstage session called “Barnes & Noble: The Perspective of the New Chief Digital Officer” on Tuesday, March 8th in New York. During the interview-style presentation, DBW Conference Chair Mike Shatzkin will talk with Fred Argir, who became Barnes & Noble’s vice president and chief digital officer in July 2015.

Amazon’s Kindles Getting a Big Software Update (The Verge)
Amazon has revealed a new firmware update that’ll hit its Kindle e-readers later this month, and it sounds like the software will make it even easier to—you guessed it—buy books from Amazon. There’s a revamped home screen with shortcuts for books on your wish list, downloaded samples, and reading lists from Goodreads, and the update will also provide quick toggles for features like airplane mode and cloud syncing.

Why Amazon’s Rumored Bookstores Won’t Be What You Think (Fast Company)
On an earnings call yesterday, a shopping mall exec mentioned that Amazon has plans to open 300–400 bookstores. It was a surprising revelation, and probably not quite as straightforward as it sounds. Following up on that report, which first appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times spoke to an anonymous Amazon source who confirmed the retailer’s brick-and-mortar ambitions but said they were much more “modest.”

If Your KENPC Dropped with v2.0, What Should You Do? (Chris McMullen)
As of February 1st, 2016, Amazon changed the way that they calculate KENPC for pages read for KDP Select books borrowed through Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime. To check your KENPC v2.0, go to your KDP Bookshelf and click the Promote & Advertise button. According to Amazon, on average the change is within ± 5 percent, but some books are outside of 5 percent (I’ve heard a couple upward of 30 percent). Many authors are reporting the changes in their KENPC on Kindle Boards, the KDP community forum, and all over the Internet.

98 Book Marketing Ideas That Can Help Authors Increase Sales (BookBub)
Whether you’re a self- or traditionally published author, there’s a wide array of marketing tactics you or your publisher can use to amplify a book’s exposure and reach more readers. To spark inspiration and get those creative juices flowing, we put together 98 book marketing ideas.

Publishers and Developers Embrace ‘Unprintable’ Fiction (Guardian)
Publisher Anna Gerber isn’t trying to kill off the printed book; she’d just like you to spend a bit more time on your mobile device. “We don’t really think the point is to change the way we read,” she says, “but we do like the idea of trying to immerse readers in books on their phones.”

BitLit and Shelfie at Three Years (Pub Perspectives)
“It’s been nearly 3 years since I first picked up a phone and started calling publishers.” And Peter Hudson, founding CEO of BitLit in Vancouver, is in a good position to tell newcomers to the publishing startup scene what to expect: “Looking back, I understand why everybody I met in the industry told me it would be ‘impossible to get enough publishers on board.’”

Authors Guild Gets Support in Google Case (PW)
A coalition of authors, publishers and rights organizations were among those filing amicus briefs this week in support of the Authors Guild’s bid to have the Supreme Court review its legal challenge to Google’s library book scanning program.

The Lee and Low Survey: Diversity Is Not Created Equal (Pub Perspectives)
Lee and Low is a children’s book publisher that specializes in cultural diversity. And in its survey of diversity issues in U.S. publishing, the company has handed us a much-needed chance to discuss something healthily difficult: the issue of gender in the publishing workforce.

HarperAudio to Host Radio Drama Contest with NYU (DBW)
HarperAudio announced a radio drama contest open to currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students and alumni (who graduated no earlier than 2013) of Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. The contest invites entrants to submit an original script for a radio play. One winner will receive the opportunity to enter into a publishing agreement with HarperCollins, which includes an unabridged, multi-voice production of their script.

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