Data students release book on publishing

The buzz says that data is important but what do we know about data? Can data change how we market books, empower readers to discover their favorite book among 5 million available titles or enhance user experience through gamification?

Six Digital Data Strategist students, armed with a cocktail of storytelling, design and data-driven business development, explored these areas and wrote a book on opportunities that data can bring to the industry of publishing. The book was released today on the on the publishing conference “If Book Then - Stockholm”, hosted by the publishing platform company Publit and trade magazine Svensk Handel.

In the book, the authors look at current observations, insights and trends given by data and how this is already being applied and how it can be applied to the publishing industry.

We asked the group to tell us about some of the content and how it is relevant for publishers, authors, stores and others in the publishing industry.

“One area we cover is e-books: With the increased amount of e-books being read – e-books are actually now the most popular format for adult fiction titles – data can tell what stories are the most popular and how people interact with the books. Since so much data is tracked, and e-books are “reading the readers”, publishers need to develop new skills in data analytics to be able to listen to the readers and understand what they actually want and what they will pay for.

For instance, data says that 30% of people will stop reading after page 50. Why is this? Maybe it is because readers like to read shorter texts today or maybe it is because there has been a change in lifestyle. It could also be a design matter. The underlying reasons can vary and the analysis needs to be done by each publisher or store. One thing is for sure; it is really valuable for a publisher to get those insights, to be able to take appropriate and relevant actions.

Examples on such actions could be to start publishing shorter novels instead of Proust, or A/B split test fonts and images to see how the design can be improved. By tracking readers’ insights and patterns, it is possible to see what people actually like and want more of to predict trends on how to target the readers.

Book authors have the opportunity to tweak books according to the trends based on the reader data. And readers have a chance to get more of the type of books they actually enjoy!

Download the book to your smartphone or pad here:

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The team from left to right: from left to right: Sofia Parker, Magnus Jonsson, Astrid Kowalczyk, Jasmin Yaya, Christina Holmstoel and Tom Gustafsson