In case you’ve ever dreamed of a content aggregator focused on the higher end of the cultural ladder, last month’s BookExpo saw the launch of Mediander, a “knowledge engine” and ecommerce site described as your “one-stop destination for all different kinds of content including information, books, and videos.”
Mediander isn’t just a blog or knowledge base; it could serve as the connection between publishers and the literary set that forms their core demographic. As a recent Publishing Perspectives post put it, Mediander “promises an answer for Internet information overload.”
We recently spoke to Michael J. Fine, Founder and CEO, and Kaethe Fine, Creative Director, to learn more.
Could you tell us a bit more about Mediander and what you plan to do with it?
Michael: It’s often confused for a search engine, but it’s more like walking into an immense bookstore; it’s a research tool.
Kaethe: With Mediander Connects, each place you go to research a topic has videos, books and 50+ topics connected to that original topic via our connectedness algorithm that takes one topic and ranks other content in the interface.
Our “CultureMap” section is all editorial in-house pieces and presentations on given topics written by authors under contract. There’s huge b2b potential in crafting “CultureMaps” for any purpose.
One unique feature: with a simple click, you can move from a specific book to a larger topic and vice versa. It’s a custom bookshop providing users with an intuitive new way to learn about books.
How directly do you work with publishers?
Michael: We come from a culture that appreciates what publishers do; I think we will have very powerful relationships going forward.
We have had constructive meetings with every major book publisher and with many of the important, mid-sized houses as well. Every one of them has given us universally positive feedback and is enthusiastic about the unique business opportunities available for them with Mediander. On the retail side, we have signed eBook agreements with all but one of the major publishers, and we have relationships with many, many more through our fulfillment partner, Ingram Book Company, the largest book distributor in the United States.
We currently take orders for over 1.5 million books.
Here’s a quick YouTube summary of the site:
How do you see those relationships expanding, and what are you doing on the promotional front?
Kaethe: We’ve barely begun reaching out to individual industries that have a presence in our data set, and we are still formulating our outreach to advertisers and publishers.
Over the next few weeks we may be expanding our catalog from 1.5 million titles to over 2 million hardcover, paperback, audiobook and eBook titles.
Michael: On the promotion side, we are just beginning to ramp up a host of exciting advertising vehicles on the site for both traditional publishers and self-published authors. We can offer run-of-site display ads as well as exclusive, publisher-only access to the BookShop section of the site. And soon we will be able to offer sponsorship and “native advertising” opportunities within our content sections—Mediander Blog and social media to start, and eventually Mediander CultureMaps.
Publishers are ideally situated to take advantage of these kinds of opportunities; they have the intellectual property and an innate understanding of how media works. We will help publishers take advantage of all the creative promotional opportunities available to them on Mediander.
Do we see Mediander as a potential partner for our clients in the publishing world?