Penguin Random House was looking for a new way to connect with readers in a world that has been transformed by the Internet. What proactive, outside-of-the-box ideas would help a traditional book publisher successfully navigate the choppy waters of the digital age?
No matter how hard online retailers try, they can’t escape a simple fact: nothing beats a personal recommendation from someone you know and trust. We wanted to put the human element back into book discovery by serving up easily accessible recommendations from real people.
Spontaneously unearthing new books has become rare, and algorithms just aren’t the same. We needed to burst the filter bubble and help readers rediscover the joy of serendipitous discovery.
We created a unique digital community for book lovers – “My Independent Bookshop”. It has a simple mission: share the books you love now, and discover the books you’ll love next. Users set up their own personalised bookshop stocked with favourite titles and reviews, creating a space just right for browsing and unearthing.
Described by the Guardian as “the most talked-about announcement of the London Book Fair”, My Independent Bookshop has attracted over 400,000 visitors, with more than 3,000 bookshops created. On average, viewers browse seven bookshops, with a significant dwell time of 9m 50s on the site – all contributing to a 3.3% click-to-buy rate.
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