Think of that e-book you read last week. Did you read it all in one sitting? Did you jump ahead to the juicy stuff? Did you search for key words? Did you read it more than once? Did you highlight any passages or read them over several times? Well, all this was recorded in the bowels of a computer somewhere, and while you are reading this blog it may well be being analyzed by someone who wants to understand reader behavior in order to improve marketing and promotional strategies.
Many will feel alarmed at this sort of intrusion, and certainly this is an argument in favor of only reading print books. But this does offer a great opportunity for authors. Think about it. When you log into your author page and you see someone has bought your book, have you ever asked yourself what that person did with your book? Did they read it at all? Did they quit halfway through it? Did they reread certain sections several times? Did they highlight certain passages or search for certain words? All this information could be made available to you along with the software to analyze it. That way you could change your writing to better please your readers.
I am constantly amazed by how fast things are moving along in this wild new frontier of e-publishing. I hope these changes will result in a better future, but I am troubled by some of the possible implications. Is Big Brother watching us?
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