And A Launch of Our Own: Publishers Lunch Bookateria

We are excited to open the virtual doors to our latest innovation: Publishers Lunch Bookateria. It's a big online book discovery zone and store connected in all kinds of ways to Publishers Lunch and The fulfillment of a longtime goal of ours, it lets us connect the books and authors we talk about and cover all the time directly to informational pages about the books themselves (with easy links to purchase from a variety of major stores). In the same way that connecting deal reports to email addresses 12 years ago helped turn announcements in actionable pieces of business intelligence, we're hoping Bookateria is a transformative connection between our coverage and the books themselves.

The official press release is here. Bookateria was built and will be powered by Random House, Inc., which is providing technology, staff and support services--but it catalogs books from all publishers (over 2 million in-print titles available in the US) and all of the merchandising and editorial decisions are made by Publishers Lunch. It is a fully open site, available to all (e.g. none of the content is protected by a paywall).

As you'll see, Bookateria's primary focus is books making news: Our home page features a standing carousel of books in the news and special racks of titles of timely interest. So our exclusive aggregations that pull together Best of 2012 lists from all are now available as browsable book displays of the consensus very best fiction and nonfiction (along with our Best of... lists from previous years).

Bookateria also takes major data streams from Publishers Marketplace and connects them to book pages. So deal reports will now include links to some of the authors' other works, and a news feature will focus on recent deals of note. Books covered in the PM reviews database will appear weekly at Bookateria, with review highlights embedded in the book page's "reviews" tab. The top 50 selections from our proprietary bestseller list aggregations drive Bookateria's consensus, unique and children's bestseller lists.

We also pull together book expertise from all over--with lists of booksellers picks from Indie Bound, "Pennie's Picks," Barnes & Noble and Amazon all in one place, and individual "best of 2012" book lists from multiple sources--and we focus on new releases in a number of places. While the merchandising emphasis is on books that connect to the news, the "new releases" section provides browsable lists of new books in major categories and the search box gives access to that full catalog of millions of titles. (Among other things, Bookateria gives authors and agents an easy place to link their own titles, while letting customers pick from a variety of booksellers.)

What you see today is just the beginning of an ambitious plan that will be a work in progress for some time. Please check it out, and we welcome your ideas, suggestions, participation and referrals to book-lovers. (As an example, we have Facebook commenting connected to every individual book page--letting our core audience talk about books they love in public, without locking those comments into a single company's bookstore.) You may also see some metadata issues, particularly through search and the deeper parts of the catalog. Most of this is a function of what is in our primary catalog/metadata sources, and our ambition to provide a full catalog of books. We are working to fill in and fix data wherever possible and will have continuous refreshes and improvement coming in January. But we were ready to share the excitement with you, and start benefiting from the experience of live traffic.

On a personal note, I want to thank the whole Lunch/Marketplace team for their efforts, led by Roe D'Angelo, as well as the entire team at Random House, Inc., under the direction of Christine McNamara and daily management of Penny Chumley.