Tag Archives: behavior

How quickly do you give up a disappointing book? If it is around page 50, you are not alone


Ebook stores, like Amazon, Apple and Google that have created a complete system for discovering, downloading, and reading digital books have a great advantage: they can track what their customers actually read, for how long, and which parts of books they skip. No one advertises the tracking feature that much, and the companies don’t share the data with publishers or writers. Anyone who has ever written anything, however, can understand the value of that information.

jellybooks, reading statistic

How a test group read a successful novel. Source: Jellybooks

Jellybooks is an enterprise that has specialized in discovering the information about the way people read, and it can deliver the results to its customers (who tend to be big publishers). The company introduced a few key results from its reader tracking program at the publishing conference Digital Book World in New York in March 2016. Here are some highlights:

– Fewer than 50% of the books tested were finished by a majority of readers.
– 5% of the books Jellybooks tested were completed by more than 75% of readers.
– If readers quit a book, they typically do it in the early chapters.
– Women try to go on even if they don’t like a book until they have read 50 to 100 pages.
– If men don’t like a book, they tend to give up after 30 to 50 pages.
– 60% of books fell into a range where 25% to 50% of test readers finished them.

jellybooks, reading statistic

A less successful novel loses readers until a percentage of people stay with it. Source: Jellybooks.

The key difference with this method (automated tracking) and asking readers the same thing is that the automated system is more honest than answers by survey participants. Does a tracking system like this provide valuable information for authors and publishers? Certainly. The real far-reaching question is what an author or a publisher does with that information?

Here is what The New York Times learned from one of Jellybooks tests that publishers had requested:

– One European publisher reduced its marketing budget for a book after the test showed that 90% of readers gave up after only five chapters.
– A German publisher decided to increase marketing on a debut crime novel after data indicated that nearly 70% of readers finished it.

A nonfiction book, like a travel guide (that Klaava Media publishes) is often read and used in a different way as a novel. It is common to browse a nonfiction book, read chapter 7, then chapter 11, view a photo gallery in chapter 12, and return to the beginning. Still, it would be valuable both for the publisher and the author to learn which chapters are always read and which ones skipped.

Book subscription services, like 24 Symbols, Bookmate, and Scribd can also collect plenty of information on their customers’ reading behavior. Jellybooks readers are volunteers who get a book and agree to share the collected data with the company. The same applies to book retailers and subscription services: we have agreed to let them collect data as we use their services.

jellybooks, reading statistic

This novel lost 90% of its readers in early pages. The publisher ended its marketing program for the book. Source: Jellybooks.

Research: Literacy culture is critical to the success of individuals and nations


For more than 40 years, John W. Miller at Central Connecticut State University has analyzed the reasons and consequences for literacy and illiteracy from the society’s point of view. When he decided to analyze all the countries of the world, the result was a ranking for the World’s Most Literate Nations. Nordic countries top the list.
Apple iPad, ebook, eyeglasses, books,
Top 10 literate countries in the world are:

1. Finland
2. Norway
3. Iceland
4. Denmark
5. Sweden
6. Switzerland
7. United States
8. Germany
9. Latvia
10. Netherlands

The research didn’t measure the usual yardstick – percentage how many citizens in each country are literate, but literate behaviors and supporting resources in each country. The criteria for the analysis were:

– Number of libraries and their book selection.
– Number of newspapers, their circulation and online availability.
– Education system resources.
– Education system results, especially concerning literacy.
– Number of computers at homes (not tablets or smartphones, but only computers).

Miller intended to analyze data on 200 countries, but was able to collect reliable data from 61 countries. He concludes the importance of literary culture: “The factors we examine present a complex and nuanced portrait of a nation’s cultural vitality. And what the rankings strongly suggest and world literacy demonstrates is that these kinds of literate behaviors are critical to the success of individuals and nations in the knowledge-based economies that define our global future.”

It is quite remarkable how European countries, especially Northern European nations, hold top positions in the ranking for the most literate nations.

The report World’s Most Literate Nations by Connecticut State University is available here.

Via Takepart.

What customers really want? Erkki Leppänen’s book has the answer


When we buy something, we usually have reasonable arguments for the purchase. We really believe our own reasoning, and why wouldn’t we. If a marketer wants to learn what is really going on in consumers’ minds when they make purchase decisions, it is a good idea to pick up Erkki Leppänen’s book What Customers Really Want. The book argues that the real reasons for purchase decisions are something else than consumers tell.

from the book; What customers really want by Erkki Leppänen.

What Customers Really Want is available at all major online bookstores.

More information about the book and free sample download here.
book cover image, What customers really want

from the book: What customers really want, Erkki Leppänen.