Publishing should fight ebook retailers for more data

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9 Responses to “Publishing should fight ebook retailers for more data”

  1. The situation is moderately better for indie authors. We do have access to near-realtime sales data on Kindle sales, Createspace orders, Kobo and Smashwords sales. So we know how many books we’ve sold. Our non-retailer web presence is typically wholly owned and controlled by us, so we know where people are coming from, and how many people we send to the online retailers.

    But we still don’t have access to the depth of information Amazon has. I want to see the referrer fields for people who got to my Amazon book page, the search terms people used on Amazon to find my book, the search engine results that send people to Amazon, and most of all, the association between other books people liked and bought and my own books (e.g. all the data that feeds the recommendation engine.)

  2. Stooge says:

    If Google is engaged in a “creepy, privacy-invading” trawl through readers’ data it doesn’t magically become OK if they share it with you, Cory.

  3. Not a solution, but makes me wonder, one way around to get info on customers is to buy publicity on Amazon for your book that is for sale on Amazon. Can’t configure Google ads to sell only on Amazon though.

  4. kmoser says:

    It’s a mystery to me why large companies continue to dominate the e-book sales market. Isn’t this supposed to be the age of mom-and-pop shops selling downloads via their own websites?

    •  It’s the DRM, at least partly.  Publishers could sell direct to readers, but Kindle is entrenched as the leader and you can only sell Kindle DRM’d stuff through Amazon.  The other major option is Adobe DRM, but that doesn’t work on Kindles.   We’re a small publisher and sell through the big stores (most of our sales) and direct from our site, as well, since we’re DRM-free.  The other half of the problem is discovery– Amazon has a recommendation engine and is a one-stop shop, which is much easier than going from publisher site to publisher site looking for something to read.

  5. chrism says:

    The Bookseller’s website seems to be down. Which, as an indicator of the industry’s attitude to all  things internet-related, is oddly apt…

  6. jackeason says:

    Ask yourself this Cory, would the major publishing houses make the sales figures for your book public? I think not…

  7. Jack W Perry says:

    Good points. The hoarding of data by the big retailers hurts publishers from being as effective as they could be. Hopefully this will change as the market matures.

  8. fkastrider says:

    Cory, Cory, Cory … Don’t you know that the most famous Fiction published today is the Quarterly Royalty Statement (aka Hollywood Accounting).

    The reason they won’t tell you how much you are selling is because they don’t want to share the income with you. You should be able to get this information directly from Amazon, but you may have signed the rights away.

    Just go and read the things by Kristine Rusch to get a feeling of how messed up things are.

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