Well, here’s an interesting link to set the blood a’flowing:
This links to an article in BookBusinessmag that highlights the possibilities with ebooks and the use of predictive analytics to increase sales.
Once upon a time you would write a book, someone else would publish, another print and yet more: the author and booksellers and reviewers would help get it into the hands of readers. Word of mouth being another creditable method of helping to sell (or not) a book.
Arrival of the ebook! Of which I am a partial fan for its applications in confined spaces whilst travelling very long distances. Well strictly speaking I have never read a book as an ebook so my uses for one are hypothetical, I suppose.
But I have read many online or offline articles and journals on netbook at home, in numerous different rooms of the house, so the principal has not escaped me. I truly recognise the increasing yearly percentages of ebook sales. The ownership and uses of handheld devices are continuing to expand as are the subject areas and quality of content. Ebooks can be downloaded almost anytime and read anytime, anywhere. Fidelity to academic texts’ print content is now able to be remarkable, as is also found in some areas of childrens publishing. Note-taking, page-marking developed already. This was once a failing in ebooks for students but not always now in new publishing.
I must point out that I see ebooks as having a serious place in the current as well as future marketplace. The current I would suspect is fiction by a large way but the future is still wide open as the youth versus elderly mix blurs over time and becomes, like mail-order, a high-quality norm for all sales. Though to a percentage. Uses and need for the physical and tactile book will always remain but for how long and how big will be the interesting finale.
The point of the link above is that parallel to the huge content improvement in ebooks, is the need to engage with and pursue the world of semantic analytics in order to develop full marketing potential for books.
This would appear to be done with ever greater sophistication in some retail and insurance companies and in sports arenas. Using and refining collection of data and algorithms is the next step for the publishing industry in the eternal need to keep its product in the best possible position to sell.
Sadly I am not a technical person, nor one that pushes at the boundary just to see it snap but even with the dear old Amstrad you could see a better way of communicating knowledge beckoning. If it is there and sells more books, more knowledge (whether it is fiction, poetry or the A-Z of all subjects) then like data-mining, cloud-computing and any other recent trends that have become vital, it needs to be embraced.
The problem is, where will it leave the medium, small publishers and self-publishing authors. I hope they will be able to swim with the tide of personal appearance at festivals and bookshops with hard-cpy books(!!) and social networking as well as being on ebook sites. People will read their work it will be harder to sell in quantity, but it ever was…..
Like the small-scale in the film and music industry the small-scale in publishing will have to be faster and creative in finding its market, its sales.