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An Entrepreneur Can Fill The Missing Link Between Readers And Publishers? The sad reality is that bookstores today are becoming a niche experience of the past.

By Hitesh Jain

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Imagine you have heard of this great book, which you want to read tonight but you find it difficult to decide whether to buy it or not. Moreover, you would like to know if it's a good read and after an extensive research just to find out if it will be worth your time and money, you really wish there was a smarter way!

With rapid innovations in technology and the internet, the traditional supply chain of book publication is shifting towards the digital revolution in the industry. E-commerce techniques have enhanced the relationship between the customer and their buying experience because the published product is becoming more virtualized and the roles of the authors, publishers, distributors, resellers and customers are ever-evolving.

You might notice how good it feels when you are able to walk in to a bookstore, hold the book, flip through the pages and then take home that exciting read. How often does that happen today? The sad reality is that bookstores today are becoming a niche experience of the past. The challenges that a reader encounters, float around the fact that finding a book isn't just enough. This is because being able to choose the right book is critical but it's not convenient to spend an hour skimming through multiple review websites to decide if that book is a good one.

One such medium that helps the reader bridge this gap is Book2look, an interactive book sample that contains sample pages, audio & video clips and online reviews crawled from thousands of websites, blogs, newspapers, journals and magazines. This viral sample is the perfect look-inside solution created by publisher with shop links thus making the point of discovery, the point of sale. And of course the reader can buy the book directly from the online shop no matter where they discovered it. The reader can also easily share the Biblet or post a clip of their favourite quotes via social network, email, embed it on a website or a blog.

Nowadays, internet technology and the lowering of publication thresholds are no longer limited to publishers. Readers can also freely perform as authors and publishers via different online bookstores, blogs and social media platforms. Everyone has a chance to self-publish their own work and become an author. These authors can come in contact with their target audience directly, sell their books and become indie-publishers taking the whole book publishing experience to the next level.

Publishers are key to the process of book publishing as they excise control over all major decisions that include designing, editorial, promotions and so on. Their troubles usually go unnoticed because if the book didn't do well and could not connect with the audience, the publishers' commitments become easily questionable. From a publishers' point of view, it gets difficult to have access to analytical data that is crucial for determining reader engagement, marketing, sales figures, which are essential for a maximum effect.

Stepping in again, Book2look offers retailers with a versatile, bespoke version of Biblets for their online shop/blog with a sophisticated marketing tool. Besides the above USPs, another reason for publishers and retailers to choose Book2look is for the wealth of analytical data about their Biblets available to them through the dashboard consisting of number of views, embedding websites, click throughs, time spent in Biblets, pages viewed in Biblets, shop link clicks, top active communities and many more.

The most important thing to note is that publishing is a business. As a business, publishers need to hone their marketing approach and promotional events to boost sales and revenues. They do this by gathering information through reader analytics, a data-based approach to measure reader engagement. Reader analytics is a tool that also helps authors and publishers maximize outreach, using limited resources. Moreover, it helps them determine prior to publication date which titles will gain popularity if publicized well.

Another fresh approach of how entrepreneurs are trying to bridge the gap between readers and publishers is through innovative book marketing techniques. By offering readers an opportunity to not only look inside but also "meet inside' the book creates the perfect selling opportunity. Lectory (http://lectory.me), a social media approach to reading demonstrates this concept through its services. It facilitates social readings by authors, where readers can talk to their favourite authors inside their books.

On an average, 1.8 million new titles are produced every year by member countries of the International Publishers' Association. This puts the market size at about 4 million new titles every year. With an estimated value of US $151 billion at customer prices, book publishing is the largest of the publishing and entertainment industries.This extends some food for thought as to how and why entrepreneurs today are striving to fill the missing link between readers and publishers in the most effective way possible.

Hitesh Jain

Founder & CEO, WITS Interactive

Technopreneur & Technical Evangelist. Passionate about Design & Innovation. Driven by the essence of a distinct vision, Hitesh instituted WITS Interactive in 2003. He is the key architect for the initial structure of WITS Interactive's projects and oversees all our teams. He leverages his extensive experience to generate ideas, offers support and articulates practical solutions for clients.

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