A while ago, I read an interesting article in a Swedish newspaper about how the e-book might change the process for how books (novels, stories) are written in the future.
Today the romantic idea of the novelist, sitting on his/her own writing stories and high literature, is partly fading away.
As the book market to a large extent has moved online and reading on digital devices is booming, the creation of literature itself might also be affected moving forward.
The reader is part of the creation
We know that all online content can be measured, analysed and tweaked for the target audience. That is one of the benefits of working with inbound. But for some reason most readers still think that all novels are written from the heart of a genius writer. Today that is obviously still the case to a large extent, but as soon as an e-book is published and read, the reading becomes part of the creation of future literature.
Measure and tweak
As all other online content, the behaviour of the e-book reader can be tracked in a detailed way. The publishing houses can for example gather data of in what pace the book is being read, when and what pages are not read at all– indicating these segments are not interesting enough to the reader. Furthermore: How many readers stop reading the book before it is finished and when do they stop?
Based on this type of data the publishing houses can tweak stories for future publishing and hopefully reach a larger audience and increase sales.
Is online data draining or stimulating the creation of literature?
Considering this shift from a standalone genius novelist working towards a writing process which needs to consider data gathered from the readers, online seems to force financial interests to steer the creation of literature in a stronger way in the future. Could this be seen as something draining the art of literature and fiction?
Maybe, but it could also be interpreted in positive light of inbound as something stimulating for literature. Data gathered from the readers can be used in a great way to optimise literature into even better tailored, amazing stories for the readers. The creation of literature will then move from being the art of one person to a (indirect) social activity.
If you are interested in how e-books are consumed, you can read some stats on global e-book revenue from 2009 until today.