One of the things that reading consumers lost with the transition to a digital book purchasing environment is the ability to walk into a well-stocked bookstore and browse the shelves, picking up books with enticing titles or covers, flipping them over to read the blurb, and maybe reading the first few chapters of an attention getting book. The loss of this level of interaction with new titles and authors is what many have criticized about the current climate of digital publishing and online retailing.
But digital solutions company YUDU has a new feature that hopes to return some of that discovery and interaction to readers, despite the adoption of digital reading. With its new BookSnacking feature, authors and publishers can release portions of their works for readers regardless of device compatibility, share those sections through social media or in conjunction with promotions, and track the metrics of reader involvement with those work samples through YUDU’s integrated analytics.
“Ultimately what we want to provide publishers and authors with using BookSnacking is the opportunity to provide readers with sample chapters and other such things that increase their likelihood of purchasing the book, either in a digital or physical format,” explained Nicholas Kleanthous, Marketing Analyst & Webmaster, YUDU Media. “In this sense it can be a complementary marketing tool. Suppose a publisher wants to, in the run up to the release of new book, have an author perform live readings of that book, they can then follow that up with a release of the particular chapter or part he read through social media using BookSnacking.”
A number of tools that claim to help authors and publishers increase the effectiveness of their promotions and overcome that continuing book discovery problem actually are simply repeats of other tools. BookSnacking, on the surface, would seem to be a parallel to the option to read a sample chapter on a retailer’s website, but it actually provides more than that. Unlike conventional approaches to sample chapters of ebooks, BookSnacking makes the process of book discovery not only more streamlined for the readers but also more informational for the rights holders.
“It differs from existing preview options in that a lot of those aren’t necessarily responsive. Our BookSnacking product reacts to the device to render using the best performing reader for that device (either HTML or Flash). As mentioned, it’s also completely platform agnostic and provides the opportunity for publishers and authors to gather in-depth analytics on usage, so they can tailor their marketing and PR strategies surrounding certain books and authors accordingly. There’s also a range of new more technical features, such as progressive rendering, which means resolution increases with zoom. While this may sound somewhat esoteric to any publisher, it greatly enhances performance and as we both know, in a Netflix/iTunes world, consumers are going to expect similar levels of performance from streaming in text content as well.”