Thursday, September 18, 2008

Publishers Lunch Launch Bookstore Maps

Announced today is an ambitious and long needed new bookstore locator product from Publishers Lunch. The database product pulls together store location information from 4200 bookstores selling new titles across the US.

If you are not a subscriber to Publishers Lunch (and face it who isn't) this should provide the motivation you need. Here is more information from their press release:
We are now live at PublishersMarketplace with our latest database project, one of our most ambitious and most essential compilations yet. Charting the landscape of physical retailers that support the entire business, we have compiled and vetted data on over 4,200 stores selling new books across the country.

The database presents basic information for each store, while also cataloging hundreds of associated bookstore websites. Most dramatic of all, we have made the information visual as well, displaying it on Google-powered maps.

A variety of search options make it easy to access the data in multiple ways: You can scan by state, 33 major metropolitan areas, zip code, and store type (chain; indie; etc.), or browse a number of specialty stores (children's; mystery; etc.) Stores are color-coded to easily and quickly distinguish among the four largest chains, general indies, college bookstores and specialty stores.

And special features add utility of particular interest for "trade" use: newly opened and recently closed stores are specially tagged, and we recently added the ability for stores to contribute rich information about the kinds of special events and readings they offer and whom to contact about author bookings.

An "add/update/remove a store" link on the main Bookstore Maps page makes it easy for stores to contribute and correct data and submit information for those Events fields so that publishers can learn more about their capabilities. We also need to bolster the lists of specialty stores and are eager to hear from organizations with comprehensive, vetted data.

Right now this resource is viewable only via PublishersMarketplace, though we are working on variety of additional uses, including a free-standing version for general users. Among the special uses we would be delighted to explore with any of you are:

* Using the database as an always up-to-date and comprehensive "store finder" to run on any publisher's web site, to help support the entire ecosystem of physical and online retail

* Generating national Tour Maps for particular authors, to embed on author sites and pages

* Developing a variety of proprietary in-house versions, using our visual interface as a way of storing your own data about accounts, a way to test visual mapping of POS data, and more

(We're already looking at incorporating feeds of data about author appearances, but help/ideas are most welcome.)

Needless to say, this feature is the culmination of a tremendous amount of work by many people. We are particularly grateful for the generous assistance of Barnes & Noble, Borders Group, the American Booksellers Association, the directors of all of the regional booksellers associations, the folks at publishing houses who viewed our demos and offered feedback, and the many freelance researchers who worked with us in compiling and correcting the data. We look forward to your suggestions for improving and employing this new resource, and to community contributions to the data itself.

To check out Bookstore Maps, just go here:
[we'll add it to the PM menu bar shortly]

To view sample events data, visit these store links and click the "Events" tab:
Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center VT

Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park WA

The Globe Corner Bookstore, Cambridge MA

Stanford University Bookstore, Stanford CA
When Bowker was sold by Reed, we lost American Book Trade Directory and American Library Directory once the dust had settled. Had we kept them I would like to think we could have done something like this with those data base products. Assuming PL carves out this bookstore information as a separate product I don't see how other databases could compete on quality or price. Now, Bowker should do somthing similar with the Publisher's Wholesalers and Distributors database in advance of someone beating them to it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In France, we have Place des Libraires, a site where you could localise bookstore as the publisher marketplace, and books ! Because locate the availability of books is more important than locating bookstores, isn't it ?