Here’s a new white paper recently released by Kobo titled, Publishing in the Era of Big Data.
Although this report targets the publishing community many of the ideas discussed in it should be of interest to librarians.
From the Paper:
In the past, before digital reading, publishers had at hand the blunt instrument of units sold and could draw inferences by analyzing sales by region and broad demographics, and then anecdotally what people, or reviewers anyway, thought of the content.
With the onset of digital reading, though, it is now possible to know how a customer engages with the book itself – what books were left unopened, which were read to the very last word and how quickly.
An argument could be made that once a book is sold, who cares what readers thought of it? Cash in hand is worth a lot of speculation in the abstract.
But knowing what readers find engaging, and what they do not, can actually help publishers unlock previously hidden equity within their publishing lists and inform decisions on which authors and franchises to invest in, which ones are running out of steam, and where trouble may lie within any individual book, thus offering the opportunity to make a new edition a materially improved one.
We now have the opportunity to act on engagement, not just sales, which over time should lead to a stronger, more viable list overall.
Direct to Full Text White Paper (12 pages; PDF)