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Are there any open e-book file formats which support gathering of anonymous statistics (e.g. how many times an e-book has been opened) by the content creator?

By "support", include both the support in the file format itself, as well as support in at least one widely used e-book reader program/device that can read said format to actually send the statistics back to the creator.

  • Are there closed ebook formats that support this? – John Dec 21 '13 at 8:03
  • @John - probably but with a closed format, it's near impossible to be sure. That's why the question is so restricted. – DVK Dec 21 '13 at 14:36
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Note that companies controlling both the devices/apps and the store (e.g., Amazon or Kobo) perform analytics routinely, exactly because they can gather info from the reading system (app or device firmware). They even share their findings with the publishers (to make them "optimize" their eBooks, so that they can sell more)

EDIT: see "/data lessons/", presentation by Tamblyn (Kobo) given at BiB12: http://youtu.be/eQfJ3NWiPmU

Some guys tried to build a company (Hiptype) around the concept of "google analytics" for eBooks, but they did not succeed and went out of money. Their solution was basically embedding JS code into EPUB eBooks. This type of solution is quite doomed, because if the reading system disallows network communication (e.g., iBooks does), the ebook cannot "phone home" the reading statistics. The same holds true for remotely-hosted images (like those used to log the visitors of a web page).

Finally, no ebook standard that I am aware of has explicit mechanisms to collect such statistics. And, even if they had, the actual availability of such a feature would be depending on the reading system implementer.

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