Looking Into the Future of Discoverability

There are more books available now to more people at a lower cost than any time in history, which only makes the following question harder to answer: What should you read next?

Goodreads, perhaps more than any other start-up in the book discovery space, has made real progress into solving that problem for readers – and for publishers.

Goodreads is Facebook for books. It’s a social network that allows users to track their reading, share recommendations with friends and even form virtual book clubs. It now has 12 million registered users – small by social networking standards, but a number that should have publishers salivating considering it’s pure book-reading folks who are eager to share their reading life. Not to mention that it’s nearly doubled in a year and grown by 2 million since Aug.

The architect behind Goodreads and the executor of its future is Otis Chandler, the company’s founder and CEO. Perhaps more than anyone else, Chandler will help determine the future of ebook discoverability.

We sat down with Chandler and talked about the site’s fantastic growth, how publishers can use Goodreads to make their book sales pop, and why Goodreads isn’t going to become a bookseller…yet.

Read more.

Related: Qloo: Another New Book Discovery Platform

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The rest of the day’s top news:

Kindle Buy Buttons Gone for Big Six Titles (DBW)
Around midnight last night, buy buttons disappeared from Amazon.com for the Kindle editions of big six titles. Other large publishers like Scholastic and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt seem to be unaffected. An Amazon spokesperson has told Digital Book World that the issue is a technical glitch in the Kindle store and that Amazon is working to resolve it. The issue had not been fixed at the time of this writing.

Newsweek/Daily Beast Gets Into Ebook Business (DBW)
Newsweek/Daily Beast published its first ebook today, Why Romney Lost: And What the GOP Can Do About It, by contributing editor David Frum. A partnership with Vook powers the program.

Fighting Showrooming (PaidContent)
In an attempt to fight the trend of people coming into its stores to browse and then leaving to buy things on the Web, Target is adding C|Net reviews to 28 products in its nearly 2,000 stores. The theory? If purchasing decisions are made easier on the spot, maybe purchases will happen on the spot.

Random House Gets Religion (PW)
Perhaps eyeing HarperCollins earnings buoyed by the acquisition of Christian publisher Thomas Nelson, Random House’s Crown imprint is launching a new religious division, Convergent Books.

Ebooks in New Zealand (DBW)
The popularity of smartphones and tablets in New Zealand is driving demand for ebooks in the island-nation, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Commerce. As an English-speaking market outside of the U.S., it’s attractive to U.S.-based publishers looking to expand ebook operations abroad. Learn how to break in to selling ebooks in the country.

Getting Tough up North (TeleRead)
A new bill that goes into effect today in Canada makes it illegal to break any kind of “digital lock” (read: digital-rights-management software).

HMH Acquires Wiley Trade Assets (Pub Lunch)
Wiley continue to jettison its trade publishing assets (in favor of online education). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is the beneficiary this time, picking up the CliffsNotes and Webster’s brands, among others. Last time it was Google buying Frommer’s. Official release.

Macmillan Acquires Educational Software Co. (DBW)
In its second acquisition in six months, Macmillan has acquired Sapling Learning, a homework and learning software firm for higher-ed. and high school.

Ruckus Media 2.0 (DBW)
Children’s digital bookseller/discovery start-up Ruckus Media will be launching the next iteration of its software at the end of November. It has also added an impressive list of publishers to its roster, including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Hachette. Related: Ruckus to Promote Education and Discovery.

Goodnight Print (DBW)
HarperCollins is bringing the children’s classic Goodnight Moon to the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch on the 65th anniversary of the book’s first edition.

Ebooks for the Holidays (Appnewser)
Ebooks don’t make a great gift. For one thing, unwrapping them is way less fun than this. Livrada is trying to make it a tad more fun with ebook gift cards.


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