We just finished up the first phase of our Paperight project, and are very excited to be moving forward! This is our internal report on the status of content on the Paperight site, and how we hope to grow it in the coming months. As always, we value your thoughts and feedback – so feel free to leave us a comment and say that you stopped by!
In the first phase of Paperight’s development, Project Dagobah, the broad goal of the Paperight content team was to have 1000 products listed on Paperight.com in four months (November 2011-February 2012). The aim was to source and provide valuable product items, which would not only be of value to the Paperight customer, but which would also make the concept of Paperight more tangible to publishers.
The “victory condition” for this aspect of Project Dagobah, then, was that 1000 valuable product items be available on Paperight.com by the 29th February 2012. This goal was officially met on the 28th of February 2012, with 1001 product items (Woo!).
Reaching this target required research of product leads, sourcing of documents, compilation of metadata, and the listing of each product on Paperight.com, in addition to the prepping of documents for sale via the site. A visualisation of the total time spent on each of these tasksets, relative to each other, is provided below.
Research & analysis of product items now listed on Paperight.com
The product items currently listed on Paperight.com are predominantly works that are in the public domain, but do include some exclusively licensed items that we have acquired a license to distribute. The decision to source from free and available content online was one borne out of the need to acquire a substantial database of products within a short timeframe. The table below roughly illustrates the composition of the current Paperight products database, based on year of publication.
The majority of these works were sourced by combing through lists of “popular/top”, “most downloaded”, and “most purchased” lists on various websites which sell or offer free access to public domain works. Other resources used for sourcing product leads included public domain curation and review websites, as well as compiled lists of the “best books of all time”, setwork lists, and the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners’ list (links to each of these resources can be found on the Paperight Wiki). Given that Paperight is only beginning to flourish, it was not practical to attempt market research with bonafide Paperight users. Thus, these online resources have been used as a proxy for potential Paperight users, and have given us a clearer indication of the genres and authors that online buyers have shown interest in. While the Paperight service is an offline one, we believe that there will be similarities and significant overlap between the preferences of Paperight users and those of online buyers.