What’s New With… SharedBook?

By Neal Comment

caroline-vanderlip.jpgEarlier this year, SharedBook unveiled a collaborative venture with Golden Book to personalize children’s books like The Poky Little Puppy, and when we met with the company’s CEO, Caroline Vanderlip (right), at their Wall Street headquarters a few weeks back, she was enthusiastic about extending that model further. SharedBook has established additional partnerships with publishers participating in its online children’s book store, where consumers can order books with customized dedication pages. The program is set up so that publishers can still maintain their online footprintse; a personalized edition of Pinkalicious, for example, is available for $34.95 from either the HarperCollins website or the SharedBook children’s store. (The most recent partnership, established just this week, brings LucasBooks into the fold with a personalized edition of a new novel about the Millennium Falcon—the first time the personalization option has been made available for a frontlist title.)

And SharedBook’s collaborations aren’t limited to publishing houses—the company has also created affiliate relationships with independent bookstores like Tattered Cover (Denver, CO) and Capitol Book and News (Montgomery, AL) as well as websites like Grandparents.com and Kidmondo.

Vanderlip also filled us in on the most recent developments with Book It!, the newest version of the former “Blog2Print” widget, a tool enabling readers to select content from any participating site, save it to a clipboard, then create a book around it. “Content owners are showing as strong an interest in that as the consumers,” she told us, as we delved into the potential applications for academic coursework and the ways in which the prepared content could be further personalized before publication. See, in a similar vein, last year’s “Create-a-Cookbook” project… one of several new ways of packaging and selling content that Vanderlip optimistically predicts will help transform the economics of the publishing industry. “We’ve had some good luck with people who finally understand what our tools can do,” she said of the past year’s developments. “There’s been an enormous research effort to find more and more ways to enhance the product… digital innovations with value propositions to the end user. Some companies are more limited in what they’re willing to do than others, but I think that’s always the case.”