Publishers Must Dig for the Data Beneath Their Content

Publishers Must Dig for the Data Beneath Their ContentThe theme this month here on Digital Book World is data and analytics. We are all hyper-aware of the data that is outside our books (metadata). Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy made that point very well last year when she gave an example to Publishers Weekly about the success that came from adding better metadata to just one title on the S&S list.

“But I’d like to talk about an aspect of data that most publishers are still not engaging and are having a hard time even knowing what to do with,” writes Joshua Tallent in a blog post for Digital Book World. “The data beneath the surface.”

“Now, anyone who knows me personally knows that I am a huge Minecraft nerd. Minecraft is a computer game that has become very popular in the last five or six years, appealing mostly to kids in the 6-12 age range (but also to a growing number of adults like me). It has spawned some great books, opened up the minds of children around the world to new creative endeavors, and developed a culture quite unlike any other. If you have never heard of Minecraft, I would be very surprised; the game’s creator sold it to Microsoft last year for $2 billion (yes, with a “b”).”

SpotlightMuch more.

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Mofibo: Growing Ebook Subscription on a Local Scale (Book Business)
While other ebook subscription services have shuttered, Mofibo, a Copenhagen-based subscription service, continues to grow, boasting 15,000 new users every month and over 1 million pages read on its platform daily. The service has achieved sustainable growth and profitability due to its purposeful focus on developing local markets and providing ebooks in local languages.

Creative Industries and the Division of Labor (Futurebook)
How do you arrange people in a modern company? It’s an endlessly interesting question, and one that needs a new answer with every shift in technology and the markets. Do we use the 240-year-old Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith as our handbook? Smith’s “division of labor” argument makes sense for the manufacture of pins, but what relevance does it have to the two creative industries that I’m interested in: publishing and software creation?

An Interview with Patrick Walsh (Jane Friedman)
In this interview, book publicist Patrick Walsh discusses effective social media promotion, what it takes to make the same old book-marketing advice work for you, questions to ask yourself when trying to decide whether your story should be a book or a screenplay, and more.
Related: Why Authors and Publishers Should Embrace Automation (DBW)

A Media Columnist Who Will Name Names (NY Times)
Jim Rutenberg, who was named Tuesday as The Times’s media columnist, has a tough act to follow. David Carr, who held the spot until his sudden death last February, was popular with readers and revered in the news business generally. Times editors understandably took their time—nearly a year—to name his replacement.

Media Companies Find New Revenue Streams (DCN)
The International News Media Association’s newly released report focuses on revenue diversification beyond the scope of print and digital media. This report presents 14 case studies of global publishers in 10 countries where new value is being found from to highlight ground-breaking success stories for revenue diversification. The report identifies five key strategies to promote diversification: (1) opening new markets, (2) reaching new audiences, (3) creating new partnerships, (4) making smart acquisitions, and (5) seeking steady income. In additional to revenue diversification, acquiring the right talent is also critical for innovation to develop new competencies and explore new revenue streams.

SpotlightThe Costs of an Effective Data Publishing Policy (Scholarly Kitchen)
In recent months, this lack of policy enforcement came to a head when researchers asked to see the data behind a controversial PLOS ONE paper on carcinogens in laboratory animal food. Despite repeated requests and promises that action was being taken, the data has still not been made publicly available and the paper remains in the journal with no indication of this apparent violation of a mandatory policy. With no enforcement, is data archiving really a requirement or just a gentle suggestion? Without effective monitoring and enforcement, the policy becomes an empty promise. But how would a journal go about enforcing such a policy?


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