Collections of books are an important part of selling books. Books by subject, by recency, by popularity, etc., are key elements of sales and marketing campaigns. ReaderBound provides unmatched capabilities for supporting a diversity of book collections. Out of the box, Readerbound supports several dozen different collection types; but it also has the ability to easily create new types and to mix and match the rules to create even more types. Within ReaderBound, the super power of a collection is to present it in various ways with a minimum of effort: as a landing page, as a featured list on some general purpose page, and as the core of a catalog.

It is clear that you can't sell all of your books all of the time; even more to the point, people are not interested in all of them all at the same time; so you need different ways to break up your list for a diversity of purposes. Additionally, these subsidiary lists should be automated and your website should make good use of them. Lastly, these lists should cover all the standard book related categorizations: press, imprint, subject, also-by, format, publication date, and etc; but you should also be able to easily create wholly new categorizations that suit your requirements, and certainly without intervention from programmers.

I say "lastly", but actually being able to do something with the lists is also important. With a Readerbound site, the 2 main uses are to build automated landing pages that feature the entire list and to provide a 'block' that can be embedded in a higher-purpose landing page: It's clear how you want something like a 'category landing page' to behave, but being able to combine, say, an imprint with 'recency' is a super-power, and in hindsight, just as necessary.

The next level is something that we are currently developing in partnership with several clients, and that is automatic generation of catalogs based on a list. A catalog has the additional requirements of supporting custom design and custom text, so as to spin off a print-quality PDF at the click of a button. For Readerbound clients that are making use of the integrated ecommerce solution, some lists have the additional capability of providing the basis of a discount; this allows a list to be basis of a campaign that, as far as the website goes, takes only a few minutes to configure.

Being able to manage these things from within the system is an appreciable saving in time and effort and allows sales and marketing folks to better allocate to more lucrative tasks. Automation and ease of management also means that just trying things out is readily done — and if an experiment doesn't work out, it is trivial to unravel it.

From the perspective of your clients, people who are buying books and people who are writing books, supporting their ability to navigate through your list is the most basic of requirements. The better they can explore all the axes of your list, the better they can find relevant works. When their starting point is specific work, most axes are obvious, but sometimes your list is understood by something unique: Check out the "Casting" notation at Playwrights Canada Press — this is exactly tuned for a person searching for something that they have only general parameters for. I should note that this is a custom feature we built for Playwrights, but it is powered from their ONIX data and is thus fully automatic. When a person's starting point is more general, that's when different landing pages and featured collections are important. 

And in the vein of custom features, we recently added 'faceting' to the collections solution. You can see it here: "Refine results" on pages like this: We have started rolling this out to existing clients, which is a rather nice feature of being a Readerbound client. If you'd like to get in on the action, drop us a note, we're always interested to meet new publishers.