Just took a late lunch, and had a fascinating read from the WSJ: "Your E-Book is Reading You"! This is great 4th of July or Canada Day reading material!
I don't know why it had never dawned to me that device manufactures (Kindle, iPad, Nook) are collecting the equivalent of web analytics on our "book reading habits". For instance ... with respect the Hunger Games trilogy ... "Nearly 18,000 Kindle readers have highlighted the same line from the second book in the series: "Because sometimes things happen topeople and they're not equipped to deal with them."
Or ... "The perfect man, according to data collected by digital publisher Coliloquy from romance-novel readers, has a European accent and is in his 30s with black hair and green eyes. Optimal chest-hair level: 'slightly hairy.' " (definitely not me, folks, except for the green eyes!)
Apparently the device manufacturers are only just starting to share this data with publishers. I'll leave you with one more quote from the article: "For centuries, reading has largely been a solitary and private act, an intimate exchange between the reader and the words on the page. But the rise of digital books has prompted a profound shift in the way we read, transforming the activity into something measurable and quasi-public." Use of these kind of analytics will transform the use and publishing of books. As a user of Google Analytics for years, "I get it"!
Just in case the WSJ ultimately removes the article from their free web site, here is a pdf copy hosted on NorthStarNerd.org. However, the WSJ article has a video interview and slideshow in addition to this article. Worth a visit.
Welcome to the Brave New World (pun intended); Hopefully not Fahrenheit 451!
Photo credit: Wall Street Journal and William Duke