At the end of the first week in May, three major publishers announced their intention to create a joint online venture called Bookish.com. This comes at a time when bricks-and-mortar bookstores are having serious financial problems; Michigan-based Borders Group, for example, may have to close all its stores, since it’s reported that they can’t find a buyer. So how do publishers replace the physical bookstore experience, where readers could easily discover books? Bookish.com is one possible answer. (Of course, the library is another.)
- Publishers make a plan: a ‘one stop’ book site (New York Times/Julie Bosman) “The site intends to provide information for all things literary: suggestions on what books to buy, reviews of books, excerpts from books and news about authors. Visitors will also be able to buy books directly from the site or from other retailers and write recommendations and reviews for other readers. The publishers — Simon & Schuster, Penguin Group USA and Hachette Book Group — hope the site will become a catch-all destination for readers in the way that music lovers visit Pitchfork.com for reviews and information.”
- ‘What should I read?’ A new site called Bookish hopes to tell you (Christian Science Monitor/Husna Haq) “Bookish isn’t the first site to attempt to create an online community of bibliophiles. The social reading site Goodreads offers that already and is growing at a rapid clip of about 100,000 new users per month. But Goodreads has suffered from problems like reviews posted for books that aren’t yet written and a tendency to spam users and their contacts. Complaints have been rolling in.”
- Bookish wants to help you find your next book (Information Today/Theresa Cramer) “On the business end, Bookish will have a dual revenue stream. On one side, there will be advertisements on the site. [Bookish CEO Paulo] Lemgruber says that, at least in part, this is where AOL Huffington Post comes in: ‘They will provide access to their tools, but will also give us a wonderful platform for our editorial content. Additionally, AOL will act as our advertising sales team.’ Bookish, however, plans to also get into the book-selling business. Bookish is dedicated to working closely with book retailers, according to the press release, and in the coming weeks will reach out to explore ways to complement the retailers’ efforts and enhance all reader experiences.”
- 5 ways to screw up “Bookish” (Huffington Post/Laura E. Kelly) “When I read that Bookish founder Paulo Lemgruber said, ‘The main goal of Bookish is to make recommendations about books that will appeal to a reader’s particular taste,’ my heart sank. Amazon already does this in spades. Why compete with them (and who really finds Amazon’s soulless algorithmic recommendations that useful)?”
Bookish should not be (but probably will be) confused with Booki.sh, the e-book streaming site we mentioned in 4cast #215. Nor should it be confused with the New Zealand Bookish site. Nor with any of the myriad online book clubs and blogs with “Bookish” in their names.