How will the industry use the reader data it will eventually get when e-booksellers such as Kobo and Barnes & Noble begin sharing it?
. . . .
In short, what do you do when you know that 50% of readers only get half-way through a book written by one of your top authors? Do you tell them? Do you suggest ways they change future titles? Do you fret over whether future books will sell, and cancel all contracts? Do you do nothing?
. . . .
Of course publishers are already anticipating this transition: Anthony Forbes Watson has said the industry will shift towards “science graduates who can write a paragraph”, while Richard Charkin has talked of algorithms displacing alcorithms.
We have been here before too. When BookScan (known then as BookTrack) first emerged, bringing with it real sales data for the first time, there was at times a painful transition as authors and publishers discovered that what went out of the warehouse, was not necessarily related to what was sold through tills. What then emerged was a clash between those who wanted to publish based on intuition, and those who wanted to use sales data to inform these decisions: and sometimes block them.
Link to the rest at FutureBook