From The NY Times:
“We still know almost nothing about readers, especially in trade publishing,” said Mr. Rhomberg, the founder of Jellybooks, a reader analytics company based in London.
Mr. Rhomberg’s company is offering publishers the tantalizing prospect of peering over readers’ shoulders. Jellybooks tracks reading behavior the same way Netflix knows what shows you binge-watch and Spotify knows what songs you skip.
Here is how it works: the company gives free e-books to a group of readers, often before publication. Rather than asking readers to write a review, it tells them to click on a link embedded in the e-book that will upload all the information that the device has recorded. The information shows Jellybooks when people read and for how long, how far they get in a book and how quickly they read, among other details. It resembles how Amazon and Apple, by looking at data stored in e-reading devices and apps, can see how often books are opened and how far into a book readers get.
Jellybooks users consent to having their data tracked in exchange for free books, and must click on a link to send that data to Jellybooks. “It’s absolutely critical to have the user in control, or we face a backlash,” Mr. Rhomberg said at the conference.
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