Collecting data to support book ecosystems
What is exciting about ecosystems is their power to drive network effects – increased usage drives increased usage. What we see today in book markets in developing nations is a kind of reverse network effect. Weak demand leads to limited product that then fails to meet demand, thus weakening it further.
According to the Global Book Alliance, Malawi is home to about 2.2 million native speakers of Tumbuka and 2.2 million native speakers of Yao. And yet, because of the basic economics of publishing, there are fewer than 20 early reading books in either language.
A “successful” author in South Africa can expect to sell only about 2000 copies of her work.
Contrast this with the US market where 2 books for every US citizen are sold each year.
We would like to conduct research and collect data that captures the demand for books among the general population in the countries we work in.
Activity from PopUpBookShop sellers will be collected and organized by seasoned data scientists to provide a snapshot of potential market opportunity that is shared for free with local authors and publishers.
Book buyers will soon be able to join loyalty programs that create still more information that helps with appropriate and effective marketing programs.
Families in reading programs will report on their behavior, not only for information on program impact, but also to capture information that can be used by authors and publishers to inspire investment in creating more local books for families to share.