People still are not discovering books online, according to by Laura Hazard Owen’s article, “Why online book discovery is broken (and how to fix it).” Most people are discovering books in real stores and then purchasing them on Amazon.
It goes to show that books are real and people like looking through real books. (Me personally, I perfer online discovery and have been keeping track of my online discovery in the comments on this blog post, “Keeping track of how you discovered books.”)
Owen suggests that we need more online reviewers,
As bookstores go away, “we need more powerful book reviewers online,” said Matthew Baldacci, VP and associate publisher at St. Martin’s, in a panel on discovery. He was referring not to professional reviewers for outlets like the New York Times but citizen reviewers with a role similar to “the role that booksellers used to take…if we’re forced into a situation where physical bookstores are going away, then we have to have these people who are help us sell our books.”
I hope Balacii and Owen don’t mean those who wrote a ton of reviews. We already have that on amazon with power reviewers. Instead what we need is people who speak to a specific audience. Who who blog about a specific niche, so that readers gets specific recommendations. I would follow a book reviewer who covers public art.
I should start blogging more about specific books and you should too. 🙂
2 thoughts on “A solution to book discovery online”
A good idea. My books are very specific (about folklore in Cumbria, or about the Christmas Truce of 1914) and it’s easy for me to target those audiences. The Facebook adverts (targeting people with specific key words) work well for me. I wonder if fiction authors who write, for example, novels based on specific parts of the country or specific historic events sell better than more general novels.
Alan, you bring up an interesting point. Book discovery via an online ad on Facebook. I don’t believe I’ve ever discovered any books that way. I’m glad to hear it’s working for you.