I’m a big fan of Feedbooks, both as an author and reader. Analytics, a newly added feature, proves that for a self-publisher this service is a great landing page to bring new readers – and an ever improving way to learn who they are.
There are self-publishing sites which offer statistics of a book (f.e. Smashwords), but this one sets a completely new standard in how much info you can get from the facts accompanying book download.
Five sections collect data by:
:. downloads – number of downloads per day
:. clients – which application or browser a book was accessed from
:. formats – a list of formats in which a book was downloaded
:. countries – which countries the readers come from
:. favourites – users who favoured a book
Why is it so useful? You can learn many new things about your reader, and adjust the channels where you’re looking for him. And knowing a reader better and better is a core of a self-publisher’s success.
Let’s analyze my book, Password Incorrect. A whole idea for a book, a collection of tech-fiction stories, was to approach geeks – iPhone users. Imagine my surprise when I saw in analytics, that it’s Aldiko with 51% to be a leading access point.
Aldiko is a superb e-reading app for Android devices. If you have iPhone, you probably use Stanza. But Stanza is “only” 16,9%. I have to put much more focus on readers using other devices than iPhone/iPod/iPad. More than half of my readers are Android users. This great opportunity needs to be explored.
When it comes to formats a clear winner is ePub – and probably nothing will change it. There is no reason to work on a special pdf version of a book, f.e. to place it at Scribd. EPub format is the future. And if you need pdf, you can always go to Feedbooks and download it – it’s there yet, being automatically generated when you click a “publish” button.
Another surprise – there are only 2,4% of Kindle downloads. I was expecting much more here. This means it really makes sense to focus on mobile phone users.
Number of downloads is a potentially great tool to check the effectiveness of book promotion. If you’re tweeting a book link, you can check how many extra downloads the book gets this day. This is also perfect to compare the effectiveness of social networks.
The information about countries can also be very useful. I’m a Polish writer. Thanks to analytics I know that my efforts (many efforts) to draw attention of Polish readers to a self-published English book are not bringing any results – only 1,4% of readers come from Poland. I’ll cut this part of promotional activity. Instead I’ll schedule more tweets to appear in a day-time for American readers. Japan, a classic mobile reading country – I have to find a way to get there…
As you see, analytics can be a source of valuable data you can use for book promotion. But there are at least three more strong reasons to self-publish with Feedbooks:
Accessability :. The service is not only available via web (it’s worth mentioning it has a mobile version, too). It can be accessed through e-reading applications, naming only Aldiko, Stanza, Bookshelf and Ibis Reader. Those apps are a great start to experience reading books on a mobile device.
Offer :. There are a few services, which utilize resources of Project Gutenberg, but only Feedbooks is adding up an ever expanding catalog of self-published original books. Being here you get both at once – and for free.
Formatting :. Opposite to other self-publishing sites, at Feedbooks you have a special panel to create a book. Preparing a book is like pasting a text into a blog post. The biggest benefits are a good formatting (with no surprises from your own self-formatted Word doc) and a hyperlinked table of content. For somebody, who doesn’t want to spend too much time with Calibre, it’s an easy way to make a full advantage of an e-book format.
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