Bookstores Galore: Kramerbooks & Afterwords
Stuff We Love: Jellybooks
The next segment of Stuff We Love features an interview with the founder of Jellybooks, Andrew Rhomberg. Jellybooks is a digital platform that mimics the physical experience of book browsing, as one would at a bookstore. If you’re an avid reader and book lover be sure to check out what Jellybooks has to offer!
Pubslush: What is the concept behind Jellybooks?
AR: The key concept is that most sites selling books online -printed or digital - suck from a design point of view and provide a very poor experience for discovering new books.
These ecommerce sites are great for finding a book where you already know the title or author and they help you buy and check them out in under 60 seconds, but they do not replicate the warm, fun and entertaining feeling of visiting a physical bookstore, where you can leisurely browse books in a relaxed atmosphere. We are trying to bring some of that fun book shop experience back into the digital world.
Pubslush: What is the goal of the site?
AR: First and foremost we try to help readers discover exciting new books to read, with a focus on titles outside the most-popular of best-selling lists.
Secondly, we try to give authors, big and small, new or established, digital tools to get readers interested in their books through samples, viral sharing or sweet deals.
Pubslush: Who is the audience?
AR: We focus on the avid reader, who reads a book a week.
Pubslush: What changes or adaptations can be expected in the future?
AR: We listen, listen, listen.
Initially, we had no categories, because we did not want a complex, multi-nested interface for looking up books. However, after listening to our users, we categorize as part of the “strawberry” release, but this will be different. These will be categories pre-defined by us or the user and they will function more like browser tabs to quickly zoom into a narrower range of books. They are not a search tool, but a personalization tool.
Also coming are widgets for authors, bloggers, reviewers and others to put the Jellybooks sample and share buttons on their own homepage, blog or website. This will be the “cherry” release.
Soon, we will also have “Send to Kindle” support and a host of other features.
Above all, we are working on ways to personalize and help readers discover new books in a last.fm style for books kind of fashion.
And off course many are waiting for our “pineapple” release, when we launch the “sweet deals” – group buying ebooks at ½ price.
Pubslush: Who created the idea for the site and why?
I had worked in ebooks for a few years and came to the conclusion that there had to be a better and more exciting ways to discover and sell books, so I set out designing a better experience and recruiting folks to help me build it. My colleagues have been fantastic in moving from concept to live product.
Pubslush: If you could tell our community only ONE thing about Jellybooks, what would it be?
Jellybooks is different, it is fun, it is about sampling and it is about sharing what you discover with your friends.
A big thank you to Andrew for sharing with us! Now go forth, Slushers, into the digital world of books and get to reading!
Pubslush on the Road: R.J. Julia
On June 19th, the Pubslush team was lucky enough to visit R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Connecticut to talk social media and self-publishing with a great audience.
R.J. Julia, located in Madison’s town center, is the perfect bookstore to get lost in. With its cozy interior, extensive selection of books, and great café, we will certainly be visiting again. During our visit, we had the opportunity to meet and greet members of the community, discuss Pubslush’s website, and talk about promoting a book using various forms of social media. We also had a chance to ask Denise Santisteban, R.J. Julia’s Events Manager, some questions about the store, its history, and what’s planned for this summer!
In AWE right now. Take me here!