Observing Book Readers in Their Natural Habitat

Observing Book Readers in Their Natural Habitat“In last week’s post, I introduced the notion of the ‘Internet of Bookish Things,’ and how (e)books were now nodes on the Internet that could record how books are being read,” writes Andrew Rhomberg. “In this week’s post, I will begin the exploration of what we can learn using this new ‘superpower.’”

“One of the memes that has made the rounds at publishing conferences recently is the notion that books are competing with Facebook, YouTube and Angry Birds for readers’ mindshare,” Rhomberg continues. “Personally, I find the idea that I will not buy a certain book when browsing Daunts Books on Marylebone High Street in London, Green Books in San Francisco, or on Amazon’s website ludicrous. A typical shopper does not think, ‘I am not going to buy this book, because I am going to spend those six hours on Facebook instead.’ He or she might pick Girl on the Train (the girl at the office kept taking about it) instead of another title, but shoppers are not consciously choosing between books and social media as a form of entertainment, and especially not at the point of purchase.”

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Erica Lazzaro is general counsel and director of publisher services for OverDrive, a global digital media distributor. She leads OverDrive’s licensing, content acquisition and business development efforts, helping booksellers and publishers worldwide find success with multichannel digital distribution. Lazzaro also works closely with OverDrive’s executive team on strategic relationships and has negotiated agreements with leading companies in the digital media industry.

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