Friday, June 29, 2012

Coliloquy in the Wall Street Journal

Illustration by John Cuneo, via
The Wall Street Journal has published an article about how "big data" from ebooks is informing the way those books are published, sold, and in my case, written.

I'm disappointed that the article led with the alarmist angle, including the title and graphic -- don't you love Scary Eyes Kindle? -- but I'm not surprised. Fear is always a juicy hook, as those teases for your local TV news prove ("What are the four things under your kitchen sink that could kill you? Channel 6 investigates!"). I would've preferred a greater emphasis on the intriguing positives about this technology, including my publisher Coliloquy's goals of allowing readers to shape their own experiences through interactivity, establishing feedback loops between readers and author, and turning reading into a more social experience.

But Coliloquy does get a nice long profile at the end of the article, including a brief mention of my Parish Mail series and a nifty example from my Coliloquy slate-mate Tawna Fenske on the kind of impact reader data can have on our writing.

What did you think of the article? Is data gathering from ebooks good? Bad? Or is it just data-- until someone uses it for good or bad?

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