Editor's Note: Noise Pollution: Why more data isn't better data
Echoing Mark Twain's famous turn about "lies, damned lies and statistics," the key, Silver would say, is to find the useful data among the noise. As he points out, IBM estimates that there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of new information created per day and, without smart approaches to parsing and interpreting that data, we're prone to focus on the information that tells us what we want to hear and ignore the rest.
We are entering an age in which data—meta and otherwise—is being presented as the salve for many of publishing's pain points. Good data can produce wonderful results—offering insights into your customers and their behaviors, and informing critical business decisions. But as this just-passed campaign season taught us, more information isn't necessarily better information, and those who can tell the difference—and suss out the good information, even when it tells us things we don't want to hear—will reap rewards.
It's an idea that's all over Book Business' annual Business Tips issue: From Brett Sandusky's dive into agile publishing (p. 16); to Paul Bogaards approach to publicity (p. 13); to our guest columnists' take on book pricing (p. 11); to James Sturdivant's feature on selling direct (p. 20); to Andrew Brenneman's advice on metadata (p. 34).
Take a look for yourself. We think our annual tips issue will help you tune out the noise, and tune into the sweet sounds of publishing success.