Thursday, June 26, 2008, 8:44 PM
I recently discovered what I think may be the most exciting book website since Amazon - BookRabbit.com.
As I've been investigating the world of online book marketing, I realised that unlike movies or other media, there is no common meeting place for book enthusiasts. There are countless blogs, low-population forums and websites dedicated to reading and writing, but to try to leverage them for marketing is a daunting task. They are simply spread too thin. The new Book Roast blog is a valiant effort, but still there is no IMDB.com for books.
Until now, that is. At least potentially. BookRabbit.com is a website at once a social networking site and online store for book lovers. They offer a selection of titles that rivals Amazon in both choice and price, but the shopping experience is wrapped up in a library of 'bookshelves' uploaded by the site's users.
Here's how it works: You upload a picture of your bookshelf (here's mine, though it's really a pile on the floor) and then tag your books. The system then finds other users who have the same books, so you can browse what else they have, say hello, comment on the books, or even go and buy them. It's a very well put together website, with bags of potential. It's only a couple of months old, but already I see big things ahead for it - IF it takes off.
The most interesting thing, though, is the potential for author marketing. When you register, you can designate yourself as an author. Using RSS, you can hook it up to your blog, so you can maintain your journal in one place. You can talk about your books in the same place readers are browsing and buying them. And community blogs like Book Roast can feed right into it. It's the step forward in author-reader interaction I believe the Internet has been crying out for up to now. Really, I think it's brilliant, and it deserves to succeed. And the only way it'll do that is by people like us getting involved.*
*One small issue - it's a UK site, so not much use for Americans wanting to buy, but you can still interact.