There are a number of startups who are using technology to find out how readers read certain types of book. With services like Scribd and Oyster, which provide thousands of books to subscribers for a flat monthly fee, these companies analyze data from how readers use their books.
I’m not sure how to think of this. On the one hand, it is interesting to know when a reader lost interest in your book, or what sections they found more appealing. But on the other hand, it may also kill creativity since now you’ll be tempted to write more formulaic stories.
David Streitfel reports for The New York Times.
Scribd is just beginning to analyze the data from its subscribers. Some general insights: 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.
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