Sunday 11 March 2012

The Book Club - new website to find good kids' books at good prices

The Book Club website has literally only just launched so be prepared for some teething problems and look out for lots of new features in the pipeline as they find their feet. So what exactly does it offer ? Well, it's a site focused on getting kids to enjoy reading, featuring books they've carefully selected and offering the best prices available. But the innovative thing is, you can sign up and get involved by leaving comments or reviews, answering polls or getting your friends to sign up, and you'll earn points. And what do points make? Prizes ! Well, no, actually that's not true, they can be converted into money to spend on books on the site. (If you want to sign up and earn me a few points into the bargain, my special referral link is here - thanks !)

They sound totally loony great fun so I'm hoping it will be a really enjoyable site to discover. Their description of themselves is as follows : "The Book Club team walk around their multi-coloured, magical little office (next to a little stream) constantly thinking of new ways to help make reading more fun and easy. We know how language develops in children and we think of ways to apply the theory to real lives. Our team currently reads around 700 books a month and reviews and categorises each one to make selecting books better for parents.

We found that existing children's book websites did one of two things: sell for rock-bottom prices without providing much information, or provided some nice information, but on a really limited selection of books. That's because one was only interested in money and so had no time or attention to detail, and the other was only interested in the books which they produced themselves so couldn't offer any range. There was no community which wanted to help and at the same time didn't mind about making money from directly selling the books.

We're the first interest social-network in the market.

We believe that people like to interact with each other and talk about books in an environment which is respectful, safe and doesn't have pictures of us at the pub last Friday (!) We think that people want to be part of something new.

Our team is headed by Charlie Jones who has experience in bookselling, in business and has two degrees in Linguistics (a Masters from Cambridge and a BA from the University of Leeds). Language development drives everything we do and this is supported by consultant teachers who advise on both Primary and Secondary schooling.

The Book Club makes money when it works with publishers to promote their titles. Every book we agree to feature is first read and reviewed by our team - if it's not good enough, it doesn't make it onto the site."

It sounds like an interesting concept. I've only just signed up myself so time will tell if it really takes off and gets lots of people discussing and discovering new books.

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