Interesting Data on Reading

Data has been collected from the beginning of time. After all, a census is data collection. It is collecting data on population size. We can benefit from good data. Good data can help us make informed business decisions.

man readingOver the past couple of years, I have written a few times on the data that digital reading provides book sellers, authors, and publishers. Sellers like Amazon and Kobo that have proprietary readers can track users reading habits. This compiled data can be extremely beneficial to authors and publishers.

Amazon does not share much readership data. Kobo shares a little. The one entity that is sharing the most data is Jellybooks. I have previously shared data from Jellybooks on this blog. Jellybooks provides readers with ebooks free of charge in exchange for tracking and sharing their reading data. The company embeds a piece of Javascript software into the ebook file. The software records the readers’ data when the users click a button at the end of the chapter.

Most recently, Jellybooks explored whether gender affects reading. As you probably already know, 58% of book purchases are made by women. So, it is not surprising that the Jellybook readership is made up of 80% women and 20% men. Jellybooks looked at their data to determine who was more likely to finish a book: a man or a woman.

Interestingly, Jellybooks is finding that gender does not make a difference in book completion rates. Both sexes have equal probability of finishing a book they start. This finding holds true across all genres.

Jellybooks did find one interesting gender-specific difference in reading. They discovered that men decide much faster than women if they like a book or not. In a previous post, I reported that Jellybooks has found that most readers decide in the first 10 to 40 percent if they like a book enough to finish it or not. Looking at gender specific data, Jellybooks has found that men give up on a book much sooner than women do.

As I have said before, having a strong beginning to your book is essential for hooking readers. This is especially true if you have a book for men. This new data from Jellybooks shows that you must capture a man’s attention quickly, or you will lose him. Get to the point right out of the gate, don’t ramble, and build suspense early to keep your male readers hooked.

Related Posts:
Collecting Reading Data
What are People Reading?
Hitting the Bull’s Eye

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