Books / Uncategorized

writers can track their readers?

I don’t have an e-reader. I’m just not ready for it.

But I can see the advantages of e-readers, and not just the convenience. Writers are now using the data collected from e-readers to make their writing better.

I think this is great. Some people commenting on this article, not so much.

Because of e-readers, writers and publishers can tell how long it took for someone to read a book, whether they stopped mid-way and didn’t pick it up for a month, or whether or not the reader even finished it. If I had a book out, this info would be so important.

So [data from e-readers] can give the author specific feedback. You know, ’35 percent of the people who bought this book quit after the first two chapters.’

That’s the kind of vital information a writer wants to know. Personally, if I had an e-reader, I wouldn’t mind having this kind of data collected from me. What do I care whether someone out there knows that I read like a snail? As long as it helps a fellow writer, I don’t mind.

Maybe it could be something a reader opts into, allowing access to their reading stats. I may not be rushing out to buy an e-reader, but kudos to those who could be helping authors everywhere.

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7 thoughts on “writers can track their readers?

  1. Personally, I love e-readers. But not always. At first I resisted the idea, thinking that holding the paper in my hands was absolutely necessary for the reading experience. But after several talks with my son (an avid reader and tech buff), he finally convinced me that an e-reader made sense for me. And you know what? He was right! I’ve never read more than I do now. Between the Kindle, the iPad and the iPhone, any book I’m reading is synched up so that I can read anywhere, anytime. Without the hassle of hauling a book around. Must admit it’s pretty nice.

    As for the collection of statistics, as I writer I would love to have this information as well. As a reader, I have no problem with a publisher knowing how I go about reading a book. I do think the opt-in idea is good, though. Generally speaking, I think all of us want to know when data is collected about us or what we’re doing, so telling us about the collection process and allowing us to choose to participate is definitely a good idea.

    • I can see the appeal of an e-reader, and I’ll probably get one some day. Books, for me, means trawling through second-hand shops and finding that elusive book that’s been on my list for a year; that excitement I get when I snatch it up. It’s like finding a rare Pokemon! Then comes all the pride of seeing them on my bookshelf… It’s just too good for electronics at the moment :]

      • Well, I use an e-reader, but I love real books. I’m a collector of first edition hardbacks and have a pretty good library built so far (they are in some nice shelves right behind me right now as I sit at my desk). Like you, I love visiting used bookstores, but for me, I’m looking for that elusive great deal on a missing first edition. Over time, I’ve gotten lucky and found a few, but mostly I just enjoy the feel and smell of a good old bookstore. Unfortunately, most of the good first editions I buy I end up finding on the internet. Convenient, but not nearly as fun.

      • Ohh that’s awesome :] There’s something amazing about old hardcover books. I have a 1937 copy of the Hunchback of Notre Dame and it’s beautiful. It’s not even a first edition, but it’s so lovely! I bought it for $2, such a steal 😀 I can only imagine how amazing your bookshelves must look!

  2. I heard about this data collection on MPR yesterday. I had to agree with what the authors they interviewed said: “This information is useful and interesting, but will it affect my creative process or greatly change how I write books? No.” (Paraphrased). I also do have a Kindle, which I am growing to like, and I can’t say I mind if publishers gather info on how I read.

    • I can see what you mean. I often need to stop myself and think of the reader when I’m writing, and usually its asking myself whether something is boring or not. I can imagine that if I had a book published, I’d use this kind of information to understand story structure better, and realise what works for the reader and what doesn’t.

    • I can see what you mean. I often need to stop myself and think of the reader when I’m writing, and usually its asking myself whether something is boring or not. I can imagine that if I had a book published, I’d use this kind of information to understand story structure better, and realise what works for the reader and what doesn’t.

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