What a fabulous innovation, and just in time for me to plan a few drop-in signings on my travels from Detroit to Boston and back next month! I did a preliminary search by plugging in "Pennsylvania," and this looks great - a huge list of bookstores and their locations and contact info popped up! Once we decide on our driving route, I can pick out what bookstores I want to stop at along the way, and even contact them ahead of time - how cool is that?
Publishers Marketplace is introducing a bookstore database called Bookstore Maps that will have both trade and public versions and could have a variety of uses for publishers, booksellers and other organizations.
The database is combined with Google Map, creating what Publishers Marketplace founder Michael Cader called "a visual database of stores."
Booksellers are encouraged to contribute information about their stores to the database, particularly publicity information for the trade version. This would include event coordinator contacts and descriptions of the store's capabilities and offsite event partners. "So if a publisher is looking for a store in Chapel Hill that can draw 2,000, they can find it here," Cader said.
Some publishers are considering using the database as an interface for gathering information about accounts. Rather than an Excel spreadsheet, the data would show up in map form. Among other things, the data could be used by publishers to map out store tours or look at previous tour or book sales information on national, regional and local bases.
Publishers are also interested in using Bookstore Maps in the "store-finder" sections of their public websites. Newspapers and other online media might use the database in similar ways. "This gets to the heart of local service journalism," Cader said.
Eventually Cader might collect sales and inventory information from independents and chains that could be displayed on Bookstore Maps.
So far, most of the information comes from the American Booksellers Association, chain stores and news reports. The next step is to round out specialty store information, Cader said.
To travel around Bookstore Maps, <a href="http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/stores/">click here.</a>