Recently, when Sarah B and I went to Nottingham for our Publisher for a Day kick off, there were tons of lovely enthusiastic readers. But there were also quite a few people who, upon hearing, “Free books!” called back, “I don’t read.”
Once I had stopped weeping, I realised that what they meant, for the most part, is, “I don’t read books.” But that is simply and only because they haven’t found the perfect book for them.
With over 150,000 books published in 2010 (according to the Publishers Association PDF), there is undoubtedly a book for everyone.
Any good children’s bookseller would be able to help you find yours, but it is unlikely that a reluctant or a flat-out-refusing reader would venture into a bookshop. It is also not the case, sadly, that everyone has access to a good children’s bookseller.
When we were thinking about our new list and how people were going to choose the best book for them, we thought about jackets, and titles, and descriptions and our ingredients… But what if all that still isn’t enough?
Since we are not yet at the stage where we have a live person for you to ask any time of day or night (but feel free to ask us in Twitter, a near-enough equivalent) we’ve come up with our book sorting feature.
The concept started out as sliders but we ended up with impossible arguments about whether a book like Constable & Toop was a little bit funny or a little bit sad, because we couldn’t have both.
After much agonising trying to squeeze the content of our first 17 books into a numerical designation in an Excel spreadsheet, we realised that it would be much easier to rank things in relation to each other.
You can click on whatever genre interests you and sort our books form most to least. So, clicking on “humorous” will get you our funniest books in the top left and our least funny in the bottom right. (You can scroll pages too.)
It still generates debate (and if you’ve ready lots of our books and want to weigh in on our scaling, please do!) but we love this little tool. What do you think? Has it helped you find one of our books that you didn’t know about?
It would be insane to try to do this with every book ever published, but we are planning to build this in for all our books from the beginning. If you are looking for a way to discover new books beyond our list, you might check out small demons. It links books together by places, objects, music references, sports teams, “books mentioned in other books”, etc. Very clickable, but sadly not focused enough on the young adult world.