How to engage new readers with Book2Look widgets


19 October 2016
Untitled-01546.png book2look widgets
A new tool from Nielsen presents unified book data, and an easy route to your bookshop, wherever your book is mentioned

Engaging new readers using Nielsen Book2Look widgets

julia howJulia How co-founded The Witcherley Book Company in 2013. They now have a list of over 50 titles in an expanding catalogue, mainly covering puzzle books and comedy fiction. Here Julia talks about how The Witcherley Book Company have been using Nielsen Book2Look widgets for engaging their readers.

Around 40% of the world’s population has an Internet connection. Back in 1995, it was just 1%. Does that make it easy for publishers to get their books found by everyone online? Not really.  As Internet usage increases, the amount of content on the web is increasing exponentially. To give you an even more precise figure, the amount of content on the Internet has started to double every 9-24 months.

So how do publishers go about getting their books found amongst this plethora of content? For a start; it helps to try something different – a new format, for example - to take your readers by surprise, and give them a better experience than they are used to. Nielsen Book2Look widgets do just that. They allow book publishers to share book extracts on their websites and on author websites, whilst also encouraging readers to share what they have found on social media.

We signed up to Book2Look widgets as soon as we heard of them, and have benefited from the range of features ever since. Here are some of the benefits:


QR codes

QR codes are a marketers’ marmite. They either work for you, or they don’t at all. Our main use for QR codes is in the back matter of other books in a series, but they have also been very useful on printed promotional materials: on leaflets, catalogues, bookmarks etc. With the increased use of mobile phones to access and buy products, they allow us to link through to a professional online book display.

ONIX and analytics

Smart publishers know the value of using an international standard to supply their book data, for instance using ONIX. Nielsen Book2Look data and images can now be loaded via ONIX, making it easy to use for publishers everywhere and provide a consistent source of data to data aggregators such as Nielsen Book and others. Google analytics can be embedded on each page too, so that you can fully analyse your reader journey.


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Once the links to the widgets and QR codes are set up, they retain the same link addresses, so we haven’t had to change where they are embedded or printed, as they show the latest version with all the new features, automatically and simply allow us to keep up with new developments while we retain full control of the material presented.


The results

We’ve added the widgets to the company and author websites, and have seen them shared on some social media sites. Although we’ve not had masses of widget views (in the 100s rather than the 1000s), our first widget, set up in 2014, continues to receive views. We have seen follow-throughs to the shop links of 12-20%.

We’ve been pleased with the Book2Look widgets and look for opportunities to use them, and to update them with new material and to exploit new features. We plan to continue using them for our future fiction books. We’re excited this leading edge tool is accessible to a small publisher and look forward to future developments.

Click on a jacket image below to see it in action

Book to Look widget


Julia How
Julia spent 30 years working in IT on life insurance, pensions and accountancy before moving into publishing. Increased digitization in book production made the transition easy. She established The Witcherley Book Company in 2013 with a partner, initially to publish the partners’ own books. The company now has a list of over 50 titles in an expanding catalogue, mainly covering puzzle books and comedy fiction. Julia is pleased to say that publishing has been more varied and is vastly more interesting, challenging and fun than the previous day job.


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