I went to my local Barnes & Noble and bought two books from authors that were new to me. I received a short piece of paper with my receipt that said, “If you like these books, you should try…” and proceeded to give me five choices. Which was nice.
It would have been nicer if the list included different authors than the ones I just bought.
I appreciate the idea, but I think Barnes & Noble needs to take it up a notch.
Let’s say I bought The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. Now, if I’m getting a story written by Hans Christian Andersen, then I already know about good old Hans. If I like the story, I’ll go to Hans’s website and see what else he has written.
So instead of telling me about a fairy tale author I already heard about, use that little piece of paper at the end of my receipt and tell me about The Grimm Brothers. And then tell me why I should give The Grimm Brothers a chance. Is it because they both write fairy tales? Is it because the stories are set in a similar region of Europe? Better yet, tell me about a lesser known author like Charles Perrault, the author of Sleeping Beauty, or a collection of fairy tales outside of Europe. I’m good with just one recommendation as long as there is a thoughtful reason behind it.
Am I asking too much from technology? I probably am.
Oh, and why did I buy these two books from authors I haven’t read before? Because I saw the end caps that the booksellers had created. The displays had been inspired by popular movies, TV and current events. I never would have looked for these books if the theme hadn’t caught my eye.