Ali Albazaz the CEO and co-founder of Inkitt a data driven publishing platforms that connects writers and readers wrote The Future of Publishing in a Data-Driven World an article describing several different ways data is changing the publishing industry. The article breaks down three ways data can be used to change the way publishers choose what to publish.
What do Readers Want?
Alabazaz suggest publishers use the data produced by digital reading whether on-line or on a cloud based device. Before data publishers relied on editors intuition and focus groups to discover what a reader might want to read. However, now “data-driven decisions are set to transform the well-established processes that have long been accepted as industry standard.”
Publishers can now track readers to get data on the amount of time they spend reading, what hours they are reading, and even the different genres. Data can take the guess work out of the industry and make it easier for publishers to publish books readers will be interested in.
The Science of Picking the Right Book?
Data makes choosing the right book to publish and a marketing campaign easier. Publishers can choose books based on exact reader preferences and market to that audience of readers.
Marketing to a particular group of readers is now easier than ever thanks to data collection. Publishers or even authors are able to select look-a-like audiences on social media sites such as Facebook to market to certain readers who have liked or followed similar books or authors.
Albazaz predicts “One area that will likely gain traction in the next couple decades will be measuring the hormone levels of readers, which, although it may sound like science fiction, would allow for greater understanding of people’s emotional responses to literature.” When science catches up to such predictions making it possible publishers will gain new insight to readers.
Data as the Great Equalizer
Data has the ability to help authors, readers, and publishers.
Authors can use online forums or communities to test their work with readers gaining better clarity to what readers want. They can also see from data trends in their genre if a publisher will be more likely to accept their manuscript.
Readers will know that their preference is taken under consideration when a book is published making them more likely to buy the book. Books become less of a risk when a reader knows it was marketed for them. Amazon and other ebook retailers already use data to recommend books specifically for each buyer using data from their previous purchases. Readers do not have to search through a sea of books anymore thanks to data collection.
Publishers can use data as a means to take less risk on authors and books “as the books have been vetted by a test readership, and data has indicated where there is greatest interest.” They will also be in a best position to choose books that will likely become best sellers by using data.
A data-driven future as predicted by Albaza will change the way publishers do business. Data is the best thing available to publishers currently and as they learn how to use it better they have the potential to better understand readers.