The publishing industry is an ever-evolving organism. Authors and readers alike are a vital part of this industry and are constantly changing the trends within it. Literary agents, editors, and publishers are always on the lookout for the newest trends in the publishing world. As technology develops so quickly, so must the publishing industry. Data-driven decisions are essential building blocks for all modern industries and publishing is no exception.
Literary agents and publishing houses traditionally had to trust their gut and look at past market behavior to predict which books would be successful. This can lead to publishers releasing books with no potential as well as skipping on many would-be bestsellers. Harry Potter had been rejected 12 times and Twilight had been passed over 14 times before being picked up. How many amazing writers never had their chance to see their book on the New York Times bestsellers list due to poor decision-making from the publisher? The methods for gathering data are becoming more and more effective with new technologies and data is changing the book publishing game.
Deciding What Readers Are Looking For
Now that books are available in a digital form, collecting data becomes much easier. For instance we can see when readers are reading, how long they took to finish reading the book, which genres are most popular at a given time, etc. You can literally tell which books are keeping people up at night. With the ability to measure real-time behaviors and preferences, you can find strong overall trends in the industry as well as microcosms of intrigue in each individual genre or segment of the publishing market.
Data not only helps us choose which books should be published, but how to best go about selling them. The behavioral data that is now accessible to literary agents, editors, and even yourself, can help decide which books to publish. This same data can also help to craft individualized messaging along with the targeting of your marketing campaigns. Technological progress in this space will help publishers continue to gather more and more pertinent data and sell more books.
Data Helps Everyone
This data-driven world we live in doesn’t just help the publishers though. It also helps the readers by giving them better recommendations to the kind of books they will enjoy.
It also offers authors lots of avenues to validate their work. Authors can communicate directly with potential readers through online writing communities and get feedback from their readers. This decreases the uncertainty that people will not like your story and can also help validate your novel’s market demand. Authors have WAY more access to reader preferences than ever before.
And the benefit to the readers is that they can read exactly what they want. Authors and their stories are more accessible than ever. Improved engagement between the author and reader can help the author keep writing stories that his/her audience likes and makes the reader more inclined to read that author’s work.
A Bright, Data-Driven Future
Data-driven decisions even the playing field by giving all writers the same chance to get noticed. Thus making the publishing industry much more fair and objective.
(c) Ali Albazaz, CEO at Inkitt Publishing