What is the Future of “Social Bookselling”?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

Do you only buy the books your friends suggest? Perhaps not.

By Edward Nawotka


It has long been a maxim in book marketing that “word-of-mouth” is the best. The same can be said for “handselling” in bookstores. So what happens when both move online? Book oriented social networking, nee bookselling, sites are proliferating. Copia and Bookish, in the US, and aNobii in the UK (as discussed in today’s feature story).

The goal of aNobii is to “intercept readers before they go to Amazon,” or so says CEO Matteo Berlucchi, the principle being that people you trust can recommend a book “better than any algorithm” can.

As bookselling begins to morph into this sophisticated and highly-networked form, will it work? Are the social aspects of book reading being overstated? Is taking recommendations strictly from your circle of friends putting yourself in too much of a silo? And what role can third-party authorities, such as booksellers and critics, play in this brave new world?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.