The digital era has changed how people discover their next book. It used to be you walked into a bookstore and read signs that said: Fiction, Sports, Philosophy, Local, etc., and then tunneled in from there to the jacket copy and book itself.
Modern megastore retailers are excellent at purposefully confusing their store traffic, as they know this increases the cash register ring via unexpected finds. And that is obviously one of the joys of bookstore browsing. Even though elderly customers complain when Wal-mart puts the milk in the far reaches of the store, Wal-mart knows they are forcing them to discover more in other categories as they walk about. (The thoughtful chain stores at least put benches in those distant sections.)
A similar product locator challenge occurs at supermarkets, as you gaze forlornly down the aisle. Look how much better the signs have become in the past decade, but they still only take you so far and leave many (males especially!) marching up and down the wrong aisle (path). I expect in the future digital aisle signs will improve that particular experience.
Publerati wants to make sure readers of our ebooks are as happy as possible. We realize that no matter what product one buys, you are “buying an expectation.” Reading a new author requires a certain risk, which we understand. Key to our mission is to discover new talent and bring them to audiences of both ebook readers and print publishers, plus others seeking to acquire rights. And also to help excellent new fiction from published authors find readers when the print world has given up on trying a less commercial genre such as literary fiction.
Today we added new interest descriptors on our site for the ebooks we sell to help guide readers with more information than simple categories. It is okay to say that “readers of book x will enjoy book y” and Goodreads does an excellent job of this. But even that system can leave a reader disappointed, so we feel providing meaningful tags that set more-informed reader expectations can only help in the book discovery process.
Please take a look and let us know what you think. And give some thought about the kind of descriptors you feel would help you make better choices and share them with us. Any print publishers or other rights inquiries should visit the RIGHTS section of our Website. Happy Martin Luther King Junior weekend everyone. Hope you enjoyed this post. Please share with others if you did.