Wednesday, December 25, 2013

New Startups Focus on Tracking eBook Reading Data


How long does it take for someone to complete a book? When reading a steamy erotica, are you lingering over the sex scenes? Do readers ever finish the books they start, or skip right to the end? New startups are seeking to address these questions with new software and they intend on opening it up to writers, indie authors and publishers.

New startups such as Oyster are selling critical user data to companies about their subscribers, who access a copious amount of titles for a low monthly fee. These eBooks can then be read on a myriad of iOS, Android and mobile devices.

"Self-published writers are going to eat this up," said Mark Coker, the chief executive of Smashwords, a large independent publisher. "Many seem to value their books more than their kids. They want anything that might help them reach more readers."

Smashwords recently inked a deal with Harper Collins backed Scribd, to contribute over 250,000 titles to the platform. Before that, they also ironed out a contract with Oyster, to have their titles on that platform too. The intention is for Smashwords to get plenty of data about their title, that they would not normally be able to capture themselves.

Analysing reading data is playing a crucial role in the evolutionary growth in Amazon and Barnes and Noble. For years, those two companies have been guarding their data and not relaying it to their publishing friends. This data is exploited to promote books that are fashionable in any given day and the ones people tend to read, cover to cover.

Scribd has only been offering their eBook subscription platform in October and already they are massing a treasure trove of data. The longer a mystery novel is, the more likely readers are to jump to the end to see who done it. People are more likely to finish biographies than business titles, but a chapter of a yoga book is all they need. They speed through romances faster than religious titles, and erotica fastest of all. "We're going to be pretty open about sharing this data so people can use it to publish better books," said Trip Adler, Scribd's chief executive.

Meanwhile, Oyster’s data shows that readers are 25% more likely to finish books that are broken up into shorter chapters. That is an inevitable consequence of people reading in short sessions during the day on an iPhone.

So how does Scribd and Oyster sell their data to companies? The companies declined to outline their business model, but publishers said Scribd and Oyster offered slightly different deals. On Oyster, once a person reads more than 10% of the book, it is officially considered "read." Oyster then has to pay the publisher a standard wholesale fee. With Scribd, it is more complicated. If the reader reads more than 10% but less than 50%, it counts for a tenth of a sale. Above 50%, it is a full sale.

Will authors ever be able to get access to this data? Likely, if they are signed to a major publisher, they already have agreements to get it from the ebook subscription companies? How about Smashwords? They likely will provide authors who publish on their platform how things are doing, once the data pours in and they develop software to monitor it. When it comes to big overview statistical data on specific genres, to assist authors on what is being read the most, and maybe advise them on what to write? Well, this is sorely lacking at this point.

New Startups Focus on Tracking eBook Reading Data is a post from: E-Reader News

Samsung Plans New PRO Line of Tablets


Samsung has made in known in no uncertain terms of the huge ambitions they harbor of making it big in the tablet sphere. Not content with playing second fiddle to Apple and its iPad range, Samsung has lined up a slew of tablet launches for 2014 across several segments. Among the tablet devices being readied for launch include Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1, and the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. there is also the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite which will be aimed sqarely at the budget tablet segment. However, none of these stands confirmed as of now, and can have its origin traced to a leak by a Samsung insider duly picked up by SamMobile.

Among the details that have surfaced, the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite will be launched first, by the second week of January and will be the cheapest of the lot. With a 7 inch display, it will also be the smallest tablet offering as well. Galaxy Tab 8.4 and 10.1 is expected to be launched towards third week of January, followed by the big daddy of all, the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 towards end January or early February. Again, these are prone to changes though all four should be seen along store shelves around major markets in the world by Q1, 2014. Further, the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is also rumored to offer stylus support and is aimed at business professionals or other productive tasks.

Watch out for the detailed specifications and other launch details later. With the CES just round the corner, there sure will be more on this at the show. Keep watching.

Samsung Plans New PRO Line of Tablets is a post from: E-Reader News

Instapaper Daily Launches – Top Daily Stories


Instapaper Daily has made a soft landing. So if you have missed it coming, that's understandable considering it made the least noise doing so. Instapaper Daily can best be described as a 'sparse news site' that provides its user with the most read news stories. Of course there is the 'Instapaper' feature that categorizes the news stories according to the topic, which means users can have news as per the topic of their choice, which can be anything like politics, sports, health and so on.

There also is the convenient 'Read later' button that allows users to save a particular story to Instapaper for reading later. A timeline along the bottom provides users with the link to articles for another day of the year and so on, allowing users to jump to from conveniently.

Overall, a nice development which should appeal to the users, particularly those who are already hooked on to Instapaper.

Instapaper Daily Launches – Top Daily Stories is a post from: E-Reader News