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Could Jellybooks be the answer to discoverability woes?

A hot word in the publishing industry these days is discoverability. With the increasing amounts of content (or in this particular discussion, tons and tons of books) on the web, how can a consumer find a book if they aren’t looking for a specific title?  How can book browsing and discoverability translate from the physical store to online?

Yes, Amazon has the features of “Frequently Bought Together” and “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought,” but do these tools actually help you discover books you like and will purchase?

Jellybooks, a unique UK start-up founded by Andrew Rhomberg, helps customers find books based on more than just an algorithm—Jellybooks plans to help discover, share, and group buy ebooks.

Founder Andrew Rhomberg states on his LinkedIn page:

The discovery experience is more last.fm than Amazon, the sharing experience more YouTube than public library and the buying experience more Groupon than WHSmith, but without copying any of these services. Instead Jellybooks is being constructed from the ground up based on user insight/testing and best practices from industries outside publishing and retailing.

Launching in the spring, the book service has been compared to the likes of Groupon for its ebook deals, and offers an interesting model for discovering and purchasing ebooks. Using the service, you can download the first 10% of a book into a cloud library to read on any device about two to six weeks before the title arrives in physical stores. As a Publishing Perspectives article states, Jellybooks is “a useful tool for recommending books to friends via email and social networks, but also for bloggers, authors, and journalists.”

Jellybooks will then use customer information based on the books you have browsed, downloaded, and shared in order to provide you with “Sweet Deals.” Publishers choose which books can be included in the deals.

When you sign up for the invite to Jellybooks, there is an interesting explanation for the service’s name and a metaphor for sharing ebooks:

Jellies are fun + colourful treats that are meant to be shared.

At Jellybooks the treats are ebooks and we are creating
a fun + entertaining service to discover what to read next and
share great finds with friends.

Definitely an intriguing business model. Would you use Jellybooks?

One comment on “Could Jellybooks be the answer to discoverability woes?

  1. Leah Thompson
    January 2, 2012

    I appreciate the extent to which this group seems to be modeling itself on successful sites outside of publishing. We can get caught up in “how the industry does things” and miss really interesting opportunities.

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This entry was posted on January 1, 2012 by in Industry Research, Technology and tagged , , .

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