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Silver Spring, MD
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Stories To Tell is a full service book publishing company for independent authors. We provide editing, design, publishing, and marketing of fiction and non-fiction. We specialize in sophisticated, unique illustrated book design.

Stories To Tell Books BLOG

What Do Readers Want?

Biff Barnes

Would you like to know how to make your book more appealing to readers? Would it help the revision and editing process if you knew which sections of the book readers found most interesting and which they skipped over?

Tools to answer questions like these may soon be available on Scribd, a social publishing website sometimes called the You Tube for documents. Visitors can browse millions of documents or “upload your PDF, Word, and Power Point docs to share with the world’s largest community of readers.”

Scribd CEO Trip Adler recently announced that the site would offer a free tool, Scribd Stats. The new statistics will provide, he said, “new data on reading that’s never been available before."


Jason Kincaid of Tech Crunch described some of types of data available with the new package including:

  • Data on search queries that led people to your document
  • Data on what people are searching for within your document
  • Graphs that allow you to track your document’s popularity over time
  • Data analyzing Scribd’s Read Cast feature which let’s readers share content they’ve just read on Facebook or Twitter

 “Perhaps the most interesting feature of the new Scribd Stats package is the heat maps that will run down the side of each document…,” said E.B. Boyd of Fast Company. [see image above] “The heat map represents the entire document. Red indicates pages that users spent the most amount of time on, blue the least. Clicking on a section of the heat map takes you to that particular page in the document.”

Ann Westpheling, Scribd’s new strategic partnership manager who recently joined the company after 11 years in publishing marketing, said…“If I create an excerpt with material from three romantic novels, I can now see which author drove the most traffic. Experimentation [with different marketing strategies] becomes more meaningful.”

The implications of the new data are potentially enormous.

Boyd said, ”The stats could provide insight into how long people read different kinds of material--leading, perhaps, to new optimal lengths for different genres of books--as well as how reading speeds vary by day of the week or by age of reader--which could also lead to changes in how authors write.”

Click here to read Jason Kincaid’s Tech Crunch article. 

Click here to read E.B. Boyd’s Fast Company article.

Click here to visite the Scribd website.