•   over 5 years ago

The current state of book discovery, or Reader's Advisory

As an ex Amazonian and former acquisitions editor when the world of publishing talks about book discovery, frequently those talking about book discovery are really talking about why aren't people discovery MY book.

Libarians have been involved in Book discovery to the point where multiple books and even graduate level classes are taught on the topic. It's a field of work that has been around long enough for people to write histories about the field of book discovery.

The Wikipedia has a lot of links to resources
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Readers'_advisory

Here is an example of what one library offers online, you can email a Librarian and have them suggest you books based on some questions.
http://www.kdl.org/books_and_more/go/recommend_main

Trust, in my opinion, is the hardest element for any solution to create when it comes to book discovery. Readers invest both money and time when they read a suggested book and building trust with readers will be the key problem any solution has to overcome.

Personally, I've recently discovered that won't be able to travel to NYC for the Hackathon but the two areas that I think could be explored are
1. Book Blurbs, are on almost every book but are stuck in the 19th century. When one author recomends another authors book that recomendation will have a lot of authority because of the previous connection between reader and author. There is an existing body of powerful book recomendations that can be harnessed.
2. Book Bloggers are a pretty powerful force, figuring out how to create a metadata mashup that directed their many dispersed reviews to readers could be a powerful force. A survey by Bowker in 2009 9.77% of book buyers at Amazon.com said they bought a specific book because of online book reviews, for comparision being on a best seller list was 3.44%.

  • 3 comments

  •   •   over 5 years ago

    You are talking about powerful web crawlers to search both book blurbs and the book blogs. i think amazon must be out there, doing this. but perhaps the visualization of their data is wrong. if they made it 3 dimensional then the more random books would be visible

  •   •   over 5 years ago

    Don't assume that Amazon is doing this, they only pull in outside reviews from a very select few places otherwise all the reviews are from their customers. The thing about blurbs is every publisher should know every blurb that matches every book, but blurbs are very much analog things and are actually largely missing from the digital world.

  •   •   over 5 years ago

    If you are using blogger reviews, just make sure you follow copyright and don't post the entire review, credit the blogger, and link back to the post. Or even better, get bloggers involved. (I'm a book blogger, so I have strong feelings about this. There are too many people trying to use our work without benefitting us)

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