One concept in digital publishing that has tons of potential for greatness but that has yet to deliver on the capabilities is social reading. A number of different platforms are available that all seem to offer the same features: in text highlighting, quote sharing via social media, the ability to interact within the text with other readers, and more.
So with these capabilities, why aren’t more people delving into sharing thoughts and dialogue within the virtual pages of their ebooks? And what will breathe new life into a really interesting digital enhancement in order to encourage more consumers to see books on a global participation scale?
Italian publisher Mondadori announced this week that it has bought Hong Kong-based social reading service Anobii from Sainsbury’s in an effort to “put the readers at the center” of its publishing focus. This reader-centric attitude is something that many publishers around the world have been accused of losing sight of, and with the incorporation of social reading capabilities into its business model, hopefully this is a sign that publishers are going back to thinking of their clients first.
“The acquisition of Anobii,” said Ernesto Mauri, chief executive of the Mondadori Group, in a press release on the acquisition, “reinforces our development strategy for books that perfectly represents its main focus of putting the reader at the centre. A platform that will enable us to listen to people is fundamental for digital development in book publishing and for the creation of the publishing house of the future.”
With its user base of around one million users worldwide–about 300,000 of which are in Italy–Anobii was a great choice for Mondadori to work with, given the high percentage of users who are already likely Mondadori customers.