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On Wed, 15 Oct 2003, Ian Graham wrote:
> On Wed, 15 Oct 2003, Simon St.Laurent wrote:
> > email@example.com (Ian Graham) writes:
> > >Is there any data explaining 'why' people by technical (e.g. XML)
> > >books?
> > The main theories are that people buy books:
> > * Because they NEED them to solve an immediate problem
> Theories are good, but data is better. For example, has anyone (O'Reilly
> or others) surveyed purchasers -- or prospetive purchasers -- to find out
> what they are looking for?
I think that it would be difficult for O'Reilly (or any other publisher)
to provide this information because they usually don't interface with the
end customer. They sell books through retailers. Companies, such as
Borders, don't gaither that information. I have lots of O'Reilly books
and don't remember a single time that I have interfaced with them.
However, I assume that Amazon has developed a 'KM nee AI' system that
tracks the buying trends of individuals and maybe even groups of
individuals and buying trends.
When you buy a book from Amazon before you check out they have a screen
that says something to the effect "Customers who have bought "Foo" also
bought "Foo+" to give you one last chance to add to your order. The last
book I bought from Amazon was an XSLT book (XSLT & XPath by John Gardner
and Zarella Rendon) and I noticed that I was prompted that other customers
had bought other XSLT books - I remember thinking that I would like to
know who those other cusomters were because I value the opinions of my
peers more than Amazon. The interesting thing was the books that were
referenced were XSLT books that I would consider the most popular and the
best (there are 39 books on XSLT available on Amazon and I think 3 were
> I agree in principle with many of your epotential explanations, but I'd
> sure like to see some real data.
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