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November 21, 2016

What is data-driven publishing?

The publishing industry is one of the most agile spheres worldwide. It has been evolving actively from the introduction of the printing press to the emergence of ebooks. There had always been one big factor that had caused the publishing evolution: the readers. The way they select, purchase and interact with books, their preferences and habits. However, some bits of the decision-making process has long stayed unchanged: the choice of what to be published, and what not. A fun fact about “Harry Potter”: the book  has been put down 12 times before being published. Such decisions had been primarily taken based on the editor’s gut feeling. But how stable is that?Welcome to the data-driven predictions!

Data has literally overflown every industry: capturing and analysing it has been seen as a much more reliable way to understand readers’ wishes. Data in publishing empowers decision-makers to grasp the preferences of the audience and foresee potential future trends much better.

What do readers want?

Initially information has been gathered via focus groups and surveys. However, this “limited” approach could not get the desirable results at scale. Digital reading has changed the data aggregation pattern. The connected devices makes it possible for publishers to track readers’ behaviour on their daily commute, or during sleepless nights. It is now possible for publishers to understand whether somebody reads poetry for an hour every day! All this very specific information coming straight from the horse’s mouth can be analyzed!

Data as a Magic Ball

Data is advantageous to everyone involved in the publishing process. Authors get the opportunity to test their plots through forums and glean better understanding of the audiences’ interests. Readers enjoy a two-way communication with authors. They can give feedback, express their preferences and realise the power of their opinion. And of course publishers – they get real information that help them predict the next bestseller and the type of books that are currently the hype. They get to know the end-users through behavioural data.

Less risk, more power.

November 11, 2016

What matters – nostalgia or functionality?

Traditional books versus ebooks?

The endless “war” between traditional books and ebooks has been taking place for way too long now. It all comes to individual reading preferences. Thus generalising seems obsolete. There’s the well-known nostalgia factor & more “human touch” for paper books. There are also the obvious practical advantages of ebooks. It is handy to pack a whole library in an e-reader. After all why should we choose between the two? Ebooks and traditional books can just be complimentary.

However, in this post, we will discuss the pros of ebooks.

  • Speed: With ebooks, “the time is now”. Ebooks are delivered almost instantaneously. You can purchase, download and start reading them within minutes, without leaving your chair. You don’t have to go to a bookstore to buy them, neither wait for them for days, weeks and sometimes more to arrive in the mail.
  • Nature: No mindless tree cutting. Ebooks are eco-friendly.
  • Travel: Anywhere, anytime. Ebooks are portable. Location does not matter. With an ePub reader like the BeetlerReader, device choice does not matter either. It is vital to be as flexible, as possible. And the lightweight is a massive advantage as well!
  • Space: You only need one-book space for storage. No dusty bookshelves, no boxes full of neglected books. Just you and your reading device.
  • Searchability: You can easily find the information you need without furiously flipping pages. BeetleReader has this feature for both fixed and reflowable ePubs.
  • Distribution: Ebooks are much easier to sell and distribute. There is an open online world!
  • Interactivity: Ebooks can be both text and audio-based. Fancy watching some video within the ebook: no problem! Of course, you can always purchase a paper book with a CD if that suits you!
  • Layout variations: While the traditional book smells nice and offers this physical touch, it has a fixed format. Reader must “consume” it as it is. BeetleReader offers a multi-page layout tailored to the reading preferences of the user!

Try BeetleReader out and guarantee your readers a first-class experience.

September 10, 2016

Why is responsive design key to digital reading?

responsive design BeetleReader

In our previous post, we have discussed the differences between PDF and ePub files. One of the most outstanding features of ePub is its versatility. PDF has a fixed design that seems similar across devices. Of course sometimes that mean unreadably small. The joy that EPUB offers is that it automatically reflows its contents (mainly text) to fill the available display space.  Exactly due to its responsive design, ePub encourages readers to use the device that they like using. Forcing readers to use a definite device or reader app is not acceptable nowadays.

When it comes to optimizing content to be readable on mobile devices, responsive design makes this possible. It fits the constraints of the device. User experience designers see responsive design as the victory of the users’ needs over their own aesthetic vision. Some users prioritize mobile over desktop reading, as they have spare time when travelling to work, or when waiting on another queue. What ePub’s philosophy lays on is that when you offer content, making it accessible and flexible from the get go will grant your target audience an enhanced user experience. The days of lengthy pdf files on little smartphone screens, text overlapping images etc are gone.

Many apps, devices and platforms have tried to nail interactive reading. Many have failed. However, the minimum expectations of the user nowadays should be met:

  • The way I want it and where I want it. Content must be tailored to my preferred device, not the other way around.
  • I can always change my mind and switch between devices. This must be easy to do.
  • I want to have a smooth reading experience without any page breaks, pictures being misformatted, missing videos and non-working audios.

BeetleReader is the ePub viewer that meets all of the above criteria thanks to its responsive design. Consider using our inquisitive BeetleReader for your business, get in touch!

Image source: https://lindaslinkstoliterature.files.wordpress.com