One of the few great downfalls of sites like Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and even Project Gutenberg is the enormity of the selection, too much of a good thing, in other words. A reading consumer could spend a lifetime sifting through the reading selections on Amazon alone, which is why user ratings, trackable preferences, and industry reviews are so helpful. There are even now protocols to review a review, a way of telling other consumers that this reader rating was particularly useful.
Now, BookLamp has set about to enable readers to receive recommendations on books they might like based on an enormous range of variables, everything from genre, book length, and similarity to other authors, even specifically down to how much of the work is devoted to love scenes; this model steps back from current book recommendations by other outlets which may base their data on overall book sales instead of content. By assigning percentages to these variables, BookLamp is able to make solid recommendations on readers’ likes and dislikes, as well as allow the readers to request recommendations based on books that are similar to a specific title or author.
This tool has been available for about two years, but for the first time it aims to bring its search capabilities to the general reading public. Working through publishers such as Random House, BookLamp will begin searching all of the publishers’ titles for its necessary variable percentages in order to help users sort for relevant books. BookLamp hopes to attract more publishers, but with the need to search each book in its entirety in order to get an accurate picture of what’s inside, the process can be a little slow. BookLamp’s current site is by no means an all-encompassing look at what books are available to readers, but is rather intended to be more of a demonstration of what BookLamp can do.
This partnership between the startup and the publishers can not only further sales of individual book titles, but of publishers’ entire catalogs. If readers are aware that specific publishers have signed on with BookLamp for this streamlined browse-friendly process, consumers are more likely to start their searching in those publishers’ catalogs of titles in order to take advantage of the leg work that BookLamp has already done for them.