By Erin L. Cox | @ErinLCoxFifteen years ago, publishers had very little direct connection to their readers. Bookstore workers and librarians were the intermediaries who talked to the public and reported back information on trends and reader interests. Unfortunately for publishers, this information often came too late to inform acquisitions for a next season of books, making that data all but useless.
Readers had their own challenges.
Because there was limited shelf space in bookstores and libraries, if someone wanted to buy a book but missed getting the book in the first few weeks after the publication date, they might have to wait until the book came out in paperback or for it to become available at the library—or for it to come on a special order. And when they did get the book, they’d often have to leave it at home when they went out or traveled because they didn’t want to be lugging a heavy hardcover around.
Contemporary technology has eased many such challenges for publishers and readers, although many problems haven’t been entirely solved.
Barcelona-based BTwinBooks is a company focused on forging greater connections between publishers and readers and readers and books through tackling the issues of discoverability, juggling multiple formats, lagging backlist sales, content accessibility, and data analysis through their technology solutions.
The Future of Reading
BTwinBooks connects the print and digital copy of each book using its unique technology, allowing readers to be able to read an ebook or listen to an audio book when on the go and the print copy has been left at home. “Life is not physical or digital, why should the reading experience be?” asks co-founder and CEO Fernando San Martin in an article in The Bookseller last year.
Based on Internet of Things (IoT) principles, this technology manages the digital identity of physical objects on the cloud through assigning specific codes which connect print books with their digital representation—whether an ebook, an audio book, or other related content.
BTwinBooks allows book buyers to take their books anywhere they want to go. If they don’t want to carry around a print copy, they can listen to the audio or read the ebook, allowing for a seamless reading experience without having to pay for a different format of the same book.
The Future of Publishing
For publishers, BTwinBooks addresses two critical problems—discoverability and insufficient backlist sales. Because of the glut of content in the marketplace, it is impossible for readers to discover new books. And, most marketing dollars are devoted to promoting new books, not backlist titles, even though sales from those titles can continue to flow to the bottom line.
BTwinBooks addresses these two problems by creating a direct connection to readers. Their proprietary technology allows publishers to track reading habits, providing a window into the reader’s world. If publishers understand what books a reader has recently read, it is possible to recommend other titles, both frontlist and backlist, that might be of interest. Publishers can also personalize marketing actions to make the outreach more authentic, manage pre-publication sales to better pinpoint initial print runs, and protect ebooks from piracy.
All reader data is made available to publishers via their own dedicated sites which can be monitored in real time. BTwinBooks’ technology also protects both author and publisher intellectual property by batching content and providing it in a unique, encrypted format.
The Future for Everyone
Although some say that readers are buying so many ebooks that print book sales are languishing or that there’s so much content that people are giving up on reading books entirely, the reality is that readers are reading print and ebooks at similar rates as always. But the industry needs more sophisticated tools to capture that information and connect publishers to readers to books. BTwinBooks has created just those tools to help publishers and readers alike.
BTwinBooks will be at the Frankfurt Book Fair (October 10-14). For more information or to schedule a meeting, please contact Josep M. Mas at firstname.lastname@example.org.