The title of this post may surprise some readers. Why is the author, who is the founder of a reader analytics company, saying that reader analytics is not a silver bullet that solves all the acquisition, discoverability, marketing and sales problems of publishers? Well, our company is based on the principles of openness, transparency and user trust, and we will be honest: reader analytics is a highly refined tool—made possible by the rise of the ebook—but it cannot magically predict how many units a particular title will sell.
Is reader analytics therefore worthless? It certainly is not! It is still a great marketing tool that can measure the engagement between audience and book, show what kind of reader engages with a book, and how and when they read it. It is a tool that helps authors, agents and publishers better reach, target and expand a book’s potential audience.
So why is reader analytics not an accurate sales prediction tool? Well, in a nutshell, people buy books for all sorts of reasons, and reading them is not the only reason why people buy them. If people buy books for a purpose other than reading, then reader analytics, quite naturally, will struggle predicting sales based on causes that are unrelated to reading.
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Here’s Where Innovative Publishers Need to Focus (Joe Wikert)
There are a number of key attributes successful publishers will be known for in the future, and these core capabilities will be very different from the ones that have led to the modern empires of the Big Five. Some attributes will remain the same, of course. For example, it will always be crucial for publishers to acquire, develop and produce excellent content. But the services and capabilities that surround and complement the acquisition-development-production core are what will matter most.
Why Are Subscriptions Outside the US Succeeding? (Pub Perspectives)
An interesting phenomenon in ebook subscriptions: some outside the US market seem to fare better than their American counterparts.
Ahead of BEA, World Copyright Issues (Pub Perspectives)
Content today is “born digital, transmitted digitally, used digitally, consumed digitally,” and a leading player in the field plans his address at IDPF’s conference at BEA to highlight some of the hotspots in a world teeming with copyright issues.
Series Redesign: Building on a Quite Interesting Brand (BookMachine)
Like the various stakeholders in a brand, designers are custodians. We’re tasked with giving it the right face, and every so often giving it a facelift. The same natural cycle to rebranding any product applies to books. A brand look can get tired over time, sales plateau, writers can go in different directions to reach new audiences. When us designers get the call with the word ‘backlist’ in it, our eyes light up – it’s a chance to do an integrated body of work that you can be proud of.
Local Authors Take Control of Their Literary Fate (Baltimore Sun)
Traveling from her home in Mainz, Germany, to work in Frankfurt meant a two-hour train commute for multilingual writer Elodie Nowodazkij. But the 34-year-old used her time wisely, typing page upon page about young adults falling in and out of love and finding themselves in the process. Her work resulted in more than 200 pages that she’d later try to publish, submitting the work to more than 30 agents in 2013, only to wait months before receiving stacks of “kind” rejection letters. That’s when Nowodazkij decided to take matters into her own hands.
NIMAS: Opportunities with XML-Based Accessibility Specifications for Publishers (DBW)
Since the early nineteenth century invention of braille, the concept of making written content available to the blind or visually impaired has been a noble aspiration of civilized society. Making that concept a practical reality is another matter. Even as new, more automated, technologies arise, the challenges of accessibility remain formidable. For educational publishers, accessibility is particularly important. In the United States, schools receiving federal funding support are required to provide accessible content to any student or parent who requests it.