Culture is future » Innovation and digital

07.23.2012

Article - Tell me how you read, I will tell you who you are

Unlike other cultural supports, the book keeps the mystery on the real behavior of readers. Indeed, it is hard to know, once they buy the book, if they read it in its entirety, and how long it took him. The digital book allows to bring the readers’ habits out in the open, and maybe make the meeting between authors and readers easier. 

Romance, crime fiction and science fiction are read faster than literary fiction

We now do statistics on reading ! The data collected by Barnes&Nobles (25-30% of the e-book market), Kobo (8 million users), or Kindle (Amazon) highlight qualitative and quantitative consumption habits we did not know. The average reading speed on Kobo of the readers of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy Hunger Games is 57 pages per hour and 18 000 readers of the second tome on Kindle underlined the same sentence ! Another example, novels are generally read straight through while nonfiction books are read in fits and starts and readers prefer to tear through all the books in the series, almost as if they were reading a single novel.

An interactivity as efficient as a TV series ?

This new knowledge give writes and editors new leads. Treating with disdain the critics about the death of creative risks, and thus of great literature, or the accusation of personal data violation, Barnes&Nobles tries to identify the moment of the book when the reader’s attention weakens in order to insert an interactive digital content (video, link …). Others, like Sourcebooks, test the market by publishing online books submitted to the questions and suggestions of the readers, which will be incorporated in the print version. Some authors even create twists and turns of the plot around the 10% of the book, that is the limit of the extracts with can download on Amazon, in order to encourage the readers to buy the book.

Towards the applicative book and new narrative possibilities offered to authors and editors

Beyond those attempts to optimize the content of books and the readers’ expectations, it is the return of the active fiction. Coliloquy, American new digital editor, solicits the reader at different times of the reading. The author is then asked to write several versions of his book based on what the readers liked, the time spent on every chapter and the most followed characters. To those who think that the readers is looking for suspense above all and let the narrator guide him, Coliloquy retorts that 90% of the buyers of their books finish them and 67% read them again. Good reasons to wait for the Kadath of Walrus Editions (on iBookStore) where the words disappear as we read them …

 

To go further :