Bowker Hopes to Optimize Discoverability

One of the major opportunities presented by “the digital transition” is improving the discoverability of books, print and electronic, and making it easier to share those discoveries across various social networks and ecommerce platforms.

Bowker’s relaunched bookwire.com, powered by their Books in Print® database, hopes to make it easy to search, discover and purchase over 20 million book titles, including “print, e-books, audio books and more.”

Bookwire features popular category pages that readers can access to get information about bestsellers and new releases, and find titles that match their discovery interests. Bookwire™ Author Pages and the Bookwire Author Index features author biographies and links to all titles available on Bookwire.com. Bookwire and Bowker’s SEO Title Cards make it easy for readers to share titles with their friends on major social networks and conveniently links each title to multiple online retailers including Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and Borders where they can purchase the books they discover.

Authors and Publishers that purchase ISBNs and provision bibliographic details about their titles automatically receive a FREE SEO Title Card – a search-optimized web page featuring information about their titles which is included in the Bookwire® Index. Bookwire listings can be enhanced by upgrading by upgrading their SEO Title Cards to a premium subscription for as little as $60 per title per year* providing cost-effective ways to search-optimize and make titles more discoverable to consumers and book buyers.

The database, currently soft-launched in public Beta mode, is clearly a work-in-progress as a search for author Matt Ruff only generated one listing, his most recent book, BAD MONKEYS… but its SEO Title Card includes his other three books under “Other Titles by this Author”, as well as the Spanish edition of Sewer, Gas and Electric.

A Google Search for Alcantarillado, Gas y Electricidad doesn’t include the Bookwire listing on the first page of results, nor one for Amazon, but BookFinder — an independent subsidiary of AbeBooks, which is owned by Amazon — is the 3rd result, with OpenLibrary, B&N and LibraryThing following.

A Google Search for Sewer, Gas and Electric returns its Amazon listing first, followed by Ruff’s own site and Google Books, the latter being the 800-pound gorilla in the discoverability room.

How long will it take Bowker’s SEO Title Cards to establish enough authority to rank among other “authoritative” and well-established discovery channels? Will their “Buy From” options be limited to Amazon, B&N and Borders, or will IndieBound and publishers’ own direct-to-consumer options be included?

And when Google Editions launches later this year, will it immediately and automatically outrank all retailers, publishers and author sites, forcing a complete overhaul of SEO and DTC strategies?

We’ll have a follow-up with Bowker in the next couple of days. Stay tuned!

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