Upcoming site Bookish wants to be the digital destination for readers of all types - casual to diehard. Today, the new site was announced as a joint venture between AOL Huffington Post Media Group and three major publishers - Hachette, Penguin and Simon & Schuster.
It looks as though one of the main, if not THE main function of Bookish will be a recommendation platform. The site is said to be "designed to answer the question 'what should I read next.'" The site will be editorially independent and will provide unique content specialized for readers of all different types of genres.
This quote from Bookish's CEO Paulo Lemgruber sure makes it sound like it's possible that an entire social network devoted to books could spring out of the fairly modest "recommendation engine" an content distribution concept that it currently advertises:
Bookish enjoys the support of significant, established players in the publishing and online space. Nobody is more intimately familiar with the multitude of elements that make a book appealing than its publisher. In addition to working with Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group (USA) and Simon & Schuster, we look forward to working with the entire publishing and book-selling community to make Bookish an exciting destination that will delight readers. We are also thrilled to work closely with AOL Huffington Post Media Group to tap into its groundbreaking ability to start real-time conversations around content and partnering with AOL on our advertising sales effort.
"Real time conversations around content," huh? Book nerds rejoice! The release makes sure to mention how authors could play into the mix as well, making me think that the site may have some sort of author-contacting-direct-fan-page type deal built in. It may not exactly turn into a Facebook for authors and book nerds, but who knows? I'm just spitballing here.
Then again, there's this:
Bookish will feature exclusive content covering a wide selection of titles and formats. It will also offer readers the convenience of purchasing print and digital books directly or through other retailers. Bookish is dedicated to working closely with book retailers, and in the coming weeks will reach out to explore ways to complement the retailers' efforts and enhance all reader experiences.
So will it look more like an Amazon competitor? It would surely be tough to compete in that realm.
Or as paidcontent points out, it might take the shape of a hulu for books with industry competitors teaming up in a money-making venture.
Or all of the above. The only thing we know is that Bookish will arrive this summer. All that's on the site right now is a sign up for email notifications of the launch and a prompt. It asks what book I remember most from my childhood. The answer would be The Phantom Tollbooth, thank you very much.