Its interesting the consequences of something new that you don’t expect.
Whilst sorting out statistics today, I had occasion to investigate how our new downloadable e-books were going. We were very happy with the amount of titles already downloaded in just a few days, and only on the basis of a soft launch – online promotion only. We expect that it will grow even more as more of our users find the need to visit our website or catalogue and as we do more active promotion through our libraries and in the local media etc.
The interesting part was an unexpected, but not unwelcome spin off.
We already have e-audiobooks from the same vendor and although they have been heavily promoted for some time, they haven’t seen prolific use. They’ve been growing, but not dramatically. Yet since we soft launched our e-books, we have seen a third of our normal monthly loans of e-audiobooks happen in just a few days. The e-audio and e-books can be found through the same interface, which makes us think that either:
- our users have downloaded an e-audiobook, not realising that it is such (although it is quite clear on the difference between the two) OR
- our users are now discovering our e-audiobooks now that they have occasion to come across them AND
- they are more concerned with the content than the format, so they are taking the opportunity to try out the readily available e-audio
Until we can get some anecdotal evidence, we can’t say which of these it is (or something else altogether). Still it is interesting that in pointing our users to something that they have been looking for, they have discovered something that they didn’t expect, but were happy to find.
Sounds like the experience of serendipity when browsing the physical library shelves. Here’s our online serendipity. And it makes me wonder how else we could create that sort of serendipitous discovery online – but that’s the subject of another post maybe.
What was your ‘something new’ that brought about a bonus that you didn’t expect?