With this new generation of our website, we're trying something a little bit different. And it speaks very much to the company we're becoming.
We developed the underlying concepts for this website by asking: Who is coming to the sourcebooks.com web site? What do they expect to see? What do they want to do?
As a result, our site has moved from being a purely catalog site. You can still find our books—in fact, our search functionality has been seriously improved—but the site’s much more about the people with whom we work. And that turns out to be authors, readers and other people interested in the transformation/digital development of the book.
We believe that publishers are in the business of making authors known (to make public=to publish). In fact, for a very forward-thinking publisher, Sourcebooks has some old-fashioned ideas about what it is that makes a “publisher.” So we set up a whole section of the website aimed at authors. Part of that section explains who we are, for example:
We publish authors not books.
We invest in authors and their careers — and help our authors to build long-term, meaningful relationships with their readers. The fact that year after year our authors return to publish their new books with Sourcebooks is one of our greatest joys.
The Buzz @ Sourcebooks explains just some of what we do for our authors. In fact, I was tempted to call that section “what we’re doing for our authors TODAY.” It’s where you’ll see some of what our publicity and marketing people are doing for the books and authors we’re publishing.
The Authors section is also where you’ll find our submission guidelines and an explanation of what we’re interested in publishing.
By far the most comments that we get on the sourcebooks.com site has to do with the books and authors we publish, and they’re from Readers. When are you publishing this author’s next book? What’s the right order in which to read this author’s books? Do you have a reading group guide for this book? This is where we aim to answer the very practical questions you have about the authors you know and love.
Beyond that, we’re also going try some broader experiments. So the Readers section of sourcebooks.com is all about helping or supporting discovery or as we think about it:
Helping you discover your next great read.
We have some tools that we’ll be introducing down the road for Readers because it’s clear that there are lots and lots of ways to discover great books (and not just the books that we, Sourcebooks, publish).
Sourcebooks Next represents the future that we're working on. We hope to show you what we learn as we learn it (or a bit later depending on how busy we get...). It’s where we’ll post our new apps or web apps or our new community sites. And we’ll talk about what we’re seeing in the industry. Again, not just what we’re working on, but what others are doing as well.
The book publishing industry is in transformation, and we believe that transformation could be great for books and authors. The initiatives you’ll see here are focused on the same goal:
Unleashing the power of books and authors
This is the heart of Sourcebooks Next.
One last note: we plan for this site to be perpetually in development. So expect to see changes, from tweaks to major redesigns. We would of course appreciate your help and input. Please tell us about problems or annoyances and share any ideas for new sections or redesigns.
And obviously, we’re launching with the expectation that we will have loads of changes immediately. Any recommendations (either short- or long-term)? That’s what comments are for. Just let us know.
Looking forward to our conversation,