Interactive, page-flipping, previewing software is not new for publications, but we’re dipping into the Book2Look page preview software care of Neilsen so see what the latest generation has to offer.
Book2look ‘Biblets’ (terrible name, however ‘cute’ it’s meant to be) are interactive “look inside” book samples that you see on many online vendor sites such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble and the like. There are many competing platforms such as Page Turn Pro and the original Flipping Book. these all operate like conventional e-book readers but with limited sample content.
The purpose of Book2Look page preview
Germany’s Book2Look software is now extending into the social media age. The Biblet includes not only a reading sample of the book, but also many sharing options to social media and links to online reviews. The software creates several types of widget to be embedded online in vendor pages, catalogues and review sites. Hosted centrally by the provider in this case, the widgets are always available, consistent and enable a write-once, share many model of distribution. You only need to create the preview once on Book2Look and define where you want to share it.
Inside the Book2Look Biblet
Inside the preview (‘Biblet’), which opens like a book, you can access sample chapters or pages, audio clips, You Tube Videos, a selection of your chosen reviews, plus it automatically inserts information from Goodreads . It also includes any shop links you choose. All of this meta-content is define separately from the book content that you upload, so that you can update the preview and re-publish whenever you want. Once the links to the widgets and QR codes are set up, they retain the same link addresses, so they show the latest version with all the new features automatically and allow publishers to keep up with new developments.
Book2Look widgets use a fairly simple user interface – assuming you are familiar with social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Open the widget above and have a look around. There is a menu down the left side of the open widget although once you have clicked an item it will collapse. Click the icon with the three dots at the foot of the page and it will open again. If you are using a browser on a PC there is also a tab on the right side of the screen that says ‘Did you know?’ If you click that it will pull out the menu bar.
Book2Look offers the key features every book preview should have, but it also has its limitations. Outside of providing your own book cover and excerpts, you’re constrained by the Biblet’s design. Every Biblet’s user interface looks the same (including the buttons and the pop-ups that appear when you click them). You don’t have the flexibility to control or choose the layout and visual design of the widget as you would with an author website.
Nielsen is promoting Book2Look as a book marketing tool, to help authors with key aspects of book marketing because of the reach and promotional power it can provide. However, like all of these software previewers, it is charging for them as a commercial product. Payment for each Biblet is a one-off, so not subscription based (currently). Whether they will pay off is another matter, entirely dependant on the reach and penetration of the embed and social media links to increase sales. You can find Neilsen’s Book2Look offering at https://www.nielsenisbnstore.com/Home/Book2Look.
Don’t think of Book2Look page preview as an alternative to an author or publishers website. Biblets are about single book promotion, author websites are about books and author promotion. Book2Look is one tentacle reaching into the market, not the whole octopus and works best in tandem with a website, as well as other marketing tools such as social media. These widgets are made to be shared, and they’re well integrated with platforms like Twitter and Facebook.