Torchin' For Books Data

Image - iStockphoto: nevodka
Image – iStockphoto: nevodka

Nobody came forward to say we have too much books data. The fact that we cannot see the size and shape of the publishing industry today, however, strikes some as more problematic than others.

And shortly after The community’s #FutureChat on the problem of missing data, I was reminded once more of how many folks don’t even realize that we’re in the dark.

Writing here about the first recruitment efforts of the London-based digital author-services start-up Reedsy, I found DC Thomson Ventures’ Nick Verkroost saying, “In the UK alone, self-publishing accounts for 20 percent of all ebooks.”

Well, actually, Verkroost doesn’t know that. Which is not to say that he doesn’t believe he knows that. He probably thinks he knows. At the least, he probably thinks somebody knows. But, in fact, none of us knows the size or scope of self-publishing today, nor do we know how many ebooks there are in the marketplace nor authors grinding them out.

This is because we have neither the sales data nor the consistent use of content-tracking identifiers (ISBNs) to tell us how many ebooks there are out there.

We’re all guessing. And depending on your point of view, that’s nothing to worry about or it’s a sorry state of affairs.

Read the Full Story at The FutureBook

Join us each Friday for a #FutureChat session with The Bookseller’s FutureBook community. We’ll be live on Twitter, at 4 p.m. London time, 11 a.m. New York time, 8 a.m. Los Angeles, 5 p.m. Berlin, 3 p.m. GMT. 

By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

The FutureBook: #FutureChat recap: Torchin’ for books data

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