Dispatches from the Digital Revolution
It seems like new book-related sites are popping up all over the place on practically a daily basis. Whether discoverability-focused, sales-driven, or community-based, book-related sites and discoverability tools are emerging all over the Internet, and possibly in a few unexpected places.
Here are two recent examples I’ve come across in my travels:
Slice Bookshelf as a fairly new offering, still in beta, from Slice.com. Slice, the original solution, was created as a tool for online shopping. In short, users can register for free and link their email accounts, and then the solution will automatically identify online purchases and compile them in one place–your Slice account. From there, you can quickly see just how much money you’ve been spending, which packages are on their way to you, and whether or not they’ve been delivered. The corresponding smartphone app will give you alerts when your packages are out for delivery.
Well, now Slice has released a book-specific solution based on similar principles that is designed for discoverability and social sharing. The service scans your email for receipts for book purchases from places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble and will add your purchases right to your virtual shelf. But fret not–the site has privacy controls so you can keep any books you’d prefer not to share hidden from public viewing.
Slice bookshelf is also linked through Facebook. It’s an interesting tool; there are lists such as “Most added” which gives a glimpse into what people are buying in a specific week. The site also lets users ask a question, such as what to read next, or to start discussions.
Though I am a Slice.com user, I have not registered for the bookshelf offering. If you are a user, comment below and let us know what you think of it!
Bookworm.com, also currently in beta, is the latest offering from Quidsi, the parent company of Soap.com, Diapers.com, Wag.com, BeautyBar.com, and several other themed ecommerce sites. (By the way, Quidsi was acquired by Amazon, but the company still operates independently.)
Bookworm is an online children’s bookstore (yes, physical books) with categories ranging from “baby” up to “teen.” Here’s a little blurb from their “About” page, because I think this sums it up better than I could paraphrase:
There’s nothing more magical than giving a child a book – inviting them on a journey to discover faraway places and characters that will stay with them for life. What if the book-shopping experience could be just as transporting?
Our story began with a simple, but innovative, idea: create a children’s bookstore that combines the magic of the corner bookshop you remember with the convenience of an easy-to-shop online destination. With its clean navigation and helpful, interactive features, Bookworm.com makes it easier than ever to find well-loved classics, new favorites, award-winners and best-sellers. It’s a place designed especially for you, with a curated shopping experience where getting that essential recommendation from a trusted shop owner happens without leaving your house.
Another interesting feature is that since this bookstore belongs to what Quidsi has branded as “the familyhood,” users can shop across any of the nine sites and earn free two-day shipping with an order total of $49 combined from any of the stores. Everything is put into one shopping cart, with one checkout process. Coupon offers are also displayed with the item you’re browsing, so you can simply check a box and take advantage of that discount. The site’s design is cute, engaging, and the curated lists present users with specific categories, such as “Around the World,” “Life & Relationships,” “Growing Up,” and “Interactive” to guide their shopping experience.
These days, readers have plenty of options for their book-related activities, and while that, in some ways, presents its own set of challenges, it’s exciting to see so many new avenues focusing on books. What I liked about these two examples in particular was the fact that they integrated their offerings in places where their users are already shopping, browsing, and exploring. It makes securing an audience that much easier, and it gives more exposure to authors, books, and publishers.
What do you think of these offerings?
What book-related sites have you unexpectedly stumbled across in your travels?