After the publisher-supported site Bookish.com delayed its summer, 2011 launch date and changed management several times, many in the book business wondered if it would ever arrive. Just as rumors had begun to die down, the site launched last night.
Aimed at consumers, it’s a Johnny-come-lately to online book merchandising. As Ron Charles of the Washington Post notes with tongue-in-cheek, “If you’re one of the countless people wondering, ‘Why isn’t there anywhere to buy books online?’ we’ve got good news: Bookish went live last night.” The press release offers details on what is billed as a “one-stop, comprehensive online destination designed to connect readers with books and authors.
The site is sponsored by publishers Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group and Penguin Group, with participation from 16 other publishers.
Users can buy books directly from Bookish, with B&T handling fulfillment. There are also links to online retailers, including ABA’s IndieBound.
The site will include author interviews (a conversation between Michael Koryta and Michael Connelly is currently featured), book excerpts and reviews.
It also aims to provide a “state- of-the-art recommendation tool…from a proprietary algorithm that factors in editorial themes, professional and consumer reviews, publishing house editor insights, awards and more.”
At this point, it’s not working that well. Entering The Power Trip by Jackie Collins brings up the following results. Hemingway might be pleased with the comparison.