Books in the Media (BIM), launched today (13th November) in beta, pulls together book reviews from a huge variety of sources ranging across all the national newspapers, consumer monthlies, specialist book journals and radio & TV books coverage.
The Bookseller’s chief executive Nigel Roby explained: “The challenge for all of us as readers is to decide which book to read next. Fewer of us buy newspapers and those papers publish fewer book reviews. Books in the Media pulls together hundreds of reviews and recommendations, weights them, sorts them into genres and delivers them each week via email.”
Alongside the weekly email newsletter, Books in the Media publishes short extracts from each review and links out to the original source. “We all tend to be a bit tribal in our media,” said Roby. “If you happen to be a Daily Mail reader, then you are very unlikely to know that The Guardian has raved about a new novel that might just be spot on for your next purchase. Books in the Media will mean you don’t miss out.”
As well as national media and magazines, Books in the Media includes shortlists and winners of major book prizes when they are announced. As reviews coverage in the press has been squeezed, prizes have become an important way for readers to discover new books.
The aim of Books in the Media is to drive customers to physical bookshops and support independents. Roby commented: “It was important to get Books in the Media launched in time for Christmas book-buying. Despite recent announcements on business rates relief, operating on the High Street is tough and we want to help indies in any way we can.”
After its beta launch, the Books in the Media service moves on to developing a range of added value content and functionality for subscribers to The Bookseller including advanced search options, a database of book prizes with key dates, a bespoke branded digital download of the week’s top reviews for independents and a BIM widget for shops to include on their own websites and digital communications.