Bookish is back in the news again today with some sad tidings. PW is reporting that Caroline Marks, who took over as head of Bookish from Paulo Lemgruber in October 2011, has left the startup.
There’s no word yet on who will replace her, and according to a spokesman the search has started for a new CEO. But the 3 major publishers who invested in Bookish, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette, are still planning to move forward with the site. “The reasons for Bookish remain in place, and the partners are committed as ever to it,” the spokesperson said.
When Bookish was announced last May it was described as a site which would make recommendations about books that would appeal to a reader’s particular taste.The site was inspired by sites like IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes that mix information about movies with reviews and news. If anything, this site would start where Booklamp is and expand from there.
There were plans to post editorial content including breaking news, author interviews, excerpts, reviews and other marketing materials that publishers feel will help readers pick a book. The site was supposed to function as an independent unit from its 3 parents, but considering that it is a marketing site first and foremost I do not see how that will happen.
While it’s good to see the major publishers experiment with new concepts I do think that they should stick with ones which might generate revenue. Bookish is now beginning to look like it is a foray into running a jobs program for the publishing industry. Do you think I kid? This site was supposed to launch before Labor Day. Considering that the original launch date referred to the holiday last year, that is an impressive delay.