For those of you who don’t keep up with Publisher Weekly, there was an interesting article posted May 9, (Amazon as Publisher, Publishers as E-tailers), about a new site (yet to go up) called bookish. According to TIME’s Techland, bookish will go live on Labor Day.
The new site promises to be part content, part retailer and part recommendation engine—think IMDB for books. The big difference between this site and something like Goodreads, is that bookish is backed by Simon & Schuster, the Hachette Book Group and Penguin—who, let’s face it, are trying to find a way to recover a major portion of book sales from Amazon.
While this latest site will hope to draw book lovers in with a a mix of social and editorial content featuring breaking news, interviews, excerpts and reviews, the push is to inform readers about upcoming books, focus branding with updates about “favorite” authors, and close sales.
Bookish will be headed by Paulo Lemgruber, who told Publisher’s Weekly the site would run independent of publisher influence, despite backing by three major publishing houses. Uh . . . really? To quote the Techland article:
Users will see book recommends based on the information they input, i.e. the more information you surrender, the more ostensibly spot-on the recommendation engine and “personalized” ads. Though nothing’s been divulged about the recommendation algorithm itself, the announcement did include news of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group’s involvement as the ad sales team. (Translation: Your information will probably be handed straight to them.)
You’ll probably only be recommended books from the three major US publishers connected to the site, but they are 3 of the 6 largest publishers of English language books in the US, and we do have to applaud these old house publishers for finally pulling their head out of the sand and banding together in an earnest attempt to establish their own broad-spectrum retail platform and attempt to compete with Amazon. Though at this point, it may be far too little, far too late.
If you’re interested in tracking it, you can go to bookish.com and submit your email.