ENTRIES TAGGED "discovery"

A Nate Silver book recommendation engine

The algorithm's role in discovery and serendipity

It’s NCAA tournament time here in the U.S. and plenty of bracketologists are turning to Nate Silver for his statistical expertise. Silver, of course, is known for his book, The Signal and the Noise, as well as predicting presidential elections and Major League Baseball player performance. I’m not aware of any statistical analysis he’s done in the book recommendation space but I know someone who has applied Silver’s thinking to help us figure out what book we should read next.

I’m talking about Stephanie Sun and a terrific article she wrote called Nate Silverizing Book Recommendations. I encourage you to read the entire piece, even if it’s been awhile since your last statistics class.

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What’s going on with readers today?

Some of the Goodreads member survey results will surprise you

You might recall an article a few months ago that asked the question, “What do readers want?”. It was a call for publishing types to submit questions that Goodreads could ask their members. Your questions ultimately formed the basis of the Goodreads member survey.

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Towards a better book recommendation service

The ideal discovery platform requires not one, but many input sources

The ideal content discovery service has yet to be invented. Plenty have tried but none have truly succeeded. The latest is venture is BookScout from Random House. It’s a nifty Facebook app that uses your social graph to help you discover relevant content. As Laura Hazard Owen recently discovered though, it’s far from perfect.

Reading Laura’s post reminded me of something a wise person told me last year: Just because I’m Facebook friends with you doesn’t mean we have the same reading interests. In fact, I’d be willing to bet my reading interests don’t map very well to any of my friends, real or virtual.

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Extracting value from uncertain data

2013 is the year you need to embrace "big data"

At TOC NY 2012 I made a point of telling attendees they need to learn the essentials of “big data.” It was still a fairly new concept then and a completely foreign one to most of the crowd. What a difference a year makes.

At next month’s TOC NY we’ll continue the dialog about big data and how it’s a resource every publisher needs to embrace. One of those TOC NY sessions features Rich Maraschi from IBM; I’ll have the pleasure of joining Rich in this session to help take big data from concept to reality.

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Reader survey results

We asked readers how they discover and purchase books

When Joe Wikert and I first began talking about doing a survey of readers’ book-buying habits, I had something specific in mind. While every day brings news of another publisher starting up or perhaps of a new online community for readers or authors–and sometimes several in a single day–most of these new entities will disappear in time, some to be swallowed up by a larger entity, others to simply turn out the lights. A small number–two or three in any given category–might manage to stick around for the long term.

And, yes, only two or three: as the hard economics of the Internet makes clear, the Internet is not for wusses. It’s an undemocratic medium with a small number of companies lording it over the thousands of champions of the Long Tail. A safe prediction is that the multitude of book-related sites will be winnowed down to a small number in time. But what will those sites be and what will characterize a successful book-oriented service in the coming years?

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A short survey about turning discovery into sales

Where do you go for information when making a personal purchase?

When I moved recently from the West Coast to the East, I had to part with many beloved things. Friends and a great climate, of course, but unexpectedly I had to leave behind a clutch of wonderful bookstores, where I would browse for hours on a Saturday afternoon, buying many more books than I ever had the time to read. Bookish tourists should stop in Santa Cruz, CA and visit the marvelous Bookshop Santa Cruz and the great used bookstore, Logos Books. The more academically inclined will want to step into The Literary Guillotine, which features many titles selected by the faculty of the local campus of The University of California. But here where I now live, in Westchester County, NY, the bookstores are few in number and all lack the charm of my former hometown.

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Three questions for…Christian Damke of Skoobe

Subscription models improve discovery and offer a new revenue stream

This short interview with Christian Damke of Skoobe is a preview to the the Elusive ‘Netflix of Ebooks’ session he’s part of at TOC NY 2013 in February.  Use the discount code below to register for the event and learn more about the Skoobe model.

1. What is Skoobe?

Skoobe is an ebook subscription service for smartphones and tablets featuring fiction and non-fiction trade books. Members can read as many books as they want. There are no out-of-stock titles at Skoobe; every ebook is available always and everywhere. The free app allows you to read extracts of all available books without registration or payment and is also widely used [as a discovery tool] to find new books for later purchase. The membership costs 9.99 Euros per month and is automatically renewed every month. Since our launch in February 2012 we have been consistently among the most downloaded apps in the books category and have been awarded 4.5 stars on average both in the Appstore as well as in Google Play.

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TOC Trifecta: This week’s must-reads (10/11/12)

A healthy dose of Shakespeare, discovery, and recovery

  1. Shakespeare for the rest of us — Thanks to the new Sourcebooks product I might even be able to understand Shakespeare now.
  2. Rethinking discovery — It’s not about bestsellers but it does require both curation and algorithms.
  3. Five stages of publishing grief — Where are you in this process. Our weekly newsletter can help you get from denial to acceptance in record time, so sign up today.
Each of these articles were featured in this week’s TOC newsletter. They’re the best of the best. We spend (way too) many hours reading every publishing article, blog post, and tweet so that you don’t have to. If you find our filtering of the content fire hose useful be sure to sign up here for your own subscription to our weekly newsletter.
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