Announcement from S&S, Penguin Group USA, and Hachette Book Group!
Publishers Make a Plan: A ‘One Stop’ Book Site
By JULIE BOSMAN
Published: May 6, 2011
Publishers have spent a lot of time and money building their own company Web sites with fresh information on their books and authors. The trouble is, very few book buyers visit them.In search of an alternative, three major publishers said on Friday that they would create a new venture, called Bookish.com, which is expected to make its debut late this summer. 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. The AOLHuffington Post Media Group will provide advertising sales support and steer traffic to the site through its digital properties.“There’s a frustration with book consumers that there’s no one-stop shopping when it comes to information about books and authors,” said Carolyn Reidy, the president and chief executive of Simon & Schuster. “We need to try to recreate the discovery of new books that currently happens in the physical environment, but which we don’t believe is currently happening online.”As bookstore chains like Borders have liquidated many stores, pressure grows on publishers to depend less on brick-and-mortar retail outlets to promote their books. But few have found easy and effective ways to communicate directly with readers, who are already confounded by too many choices in the book marketplace.“We thought it would be really good if we could come up with a site that embraced all the amazing marketing materials that publishers have been doing on their own sites and put them together on one site,” said David Shanks, the chief executive of Penguin. “With the purpose of answering the question for the consumer, ‘Which book should I read next?’ ”The venture will be led by Paulo Lemgruber, who developed digital businesses for Comcast and Reed Elsevier, and Charlie Rogers, the former editor in chief for digital media at NBC Universal. Mr. Rogers will be editor in chief of the site.Mr. Lemgruber said he would have a staff of 20 people, who will select books from at least 14 participating publishers.The three publishers that provided start-up financing have committed to financing the company until it becomes profitable. Mr. Lemgruber declined to say when he thought that would be.He said that the creators found some inspiration in film sites like Imdb.com, Rotten Tomatoes and Netflix for their comprehensive content.
Look how awesome that is! A huge book site with excerpts and all those (excuse the pun) bookish things. I can't wait for this! All those great publishers + one site = epic. :)Happy reading!Grace