How Will Data Actually Transform Book Publishing?

data, big data, publishersFrom the invention of the moveable printing press, in the 13th century, to the introduction of ebooks, in the mid-90s, there has never been a moment when the publishing industry has not been evolving to catch up to the way people select and purchase books.

And yet for the longest time, the decision-making process throughout the industry has remained the same: editors and literary agents are tasked with selecting books based on their experience and knowledge of past market behavior, and gut feeling is relied upon to predict the world’s next bestsellers.

And what’s happened as a result? Harry Potter author JK Rowling was told there wasn’t a future market for children’s books, with her original manuscript being rejected 12 times before publication. Other New York Times bestsellers like Twilight received 14 rejections, and even cult classics like Stephen King’s Carrie tallied 30.

Furthermore, what percentage of great novels never made it past an author’s hard drive because of these decisions? How many great writers gave up after the first few rejections?

Much more.


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Company Snapshots: Vearsa (DBW)
In “Company Snapshots,” we pose a series of questions to leading providers of digital products and services and let them speak for themselves about what their company does, how they benefit publishers, and what they believe the biggest trends in the industry are. In today’s entry, we have Vearsa.

How Much Does Publishing Cost? (Scholarly Kitchen)
Whenever someone talks about the cost of publishing, the conversation seems to me to take place in a vacuum. Step inside a publishing company and ask this question: Where is the greatest amount of energy expended? The answer is in finding the best authors.

19 Fantastic Book Cover Design Resources (BookBub)
Most authors and book marketers know that covers are important — and that it can be worth spending money for a professionally designed cover. After all, a book’s cover design has a proven impact on sales.

Embracing Technology and Arabic Culture (Pub Perspectives)
Driven by “a responsibility to encourage children to read and learn,” Badr Ward and his Lamsa team offer a multimedia app for Arabic-language kids and parents.

Sales of Print Books Tumble at Wiley (PW)
Sales of print books took a beating at John Wiley in the first quarter ended July 31, 2016. The biggest decline was in the higher education segment, where sales of printed textbooks dropped 31 percent from the comparable period last year. Wiley said the decline “reflects the continued weakness in overall textbook demand and further share gain in textbook rental.”

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