Nielsen launches new online search and selection service to much acclaim

Nielsen recently launched its new search & selection service - BookData Online - which has been well received both by existing users and new customers. The new service will replace two existing legacy products: BookFind-Online and LibWeb both of which have been the mainstay of the industry in the retail and library sectors respectively for some time.

BookData Online - brings together two years of research and feedback delivering a comprehensive tool for booksellers, libraries and publishers.

Paul Dibble, Head of Data Sales, said: "This service offers a range of benefits, including fast, easy and efficient search & discovery, the ability to receive the very latest new title information via an email notification process, export and list manager facilities have been improved and, as you would expect, tailored access levels allow clients to provide higher levels of customer service to the end user.

Along with the comprehensive coverage the industry expects from Nielsen's online services, we have been able to add much more enriched content and include new functionality, making it the most effective and user-friendly search and discovery service available."

Nielsen started with a soft launch at London Book Fair which encouraged booksellers to sign up for a free trial of BookData Online prior to the hard launch. This allowed the company to gain invaluable feedback which was then fed through to the Product Development Team who then ensured these were implemented. Paul Meads, from Bookworm in Retford, currently uses the CD-ROM but was delighted to have the opportunity of trialing the new online service and doubly pleased when he won a bottle of champagne in the free prize draw:

"I found BookData Online a very useful tool. In fact the 30 day trial probably wasn't long enough to do it justice, as it had so many features. Obviously the best part about it was the fact that it was so up-to-date, which I, along with my staff and my customers, found a great advantage over the CD-ROM version."

Similarly Caerphilly Library started using BookData online before it was launched and were so delighted with the service they signed up to it. Elizabeth Roberts who is the Support Services Manager at the Library had this to say: "we have been using BookData Online since early June and have been very impressed by its search facilities and by the wide range of information presented against each title. We have also experienced a very high hit rate in our searches for a range of stock categories."

Jon Windus, Product Development Director, explained how the company uses feedback from the industry to drive product development:

"BookData Online is the culmination of a continual feedback process we have in place where customers and staff can feed through ideas and suggestions for improvements to the service. The key features mentioned above have been a direct result of feedback from customers worldwide and from our in-house team. But it doesn't stop there.

Further enhancements are planned for later this year, including the facility to download library quality MARC format records directly into an LMS. Also on the schedule is an application interface (API) so Library and Bookshop Management Systems can query the database using Web Services and bring back the results they need.

Nielsen Book occupies a unique position at the centre of the supply chain and offers an unrivalled proposition. To consolidate this position we will be including the following new services in the coming year: BookScan sales information, allowing titles to be ranked when searching the database, and BookNet ordering functionality, providing the most comprehensive service available that will allow search, selection and ordering in one service. Ensuring a consistency of data quality with the added advantages of BookScan Sales Data and BookNet ordering."

A growing number of publishers have found the search and selection service that Nielsen offers beneficial. It offers publishers the opportunity of not only looking at their own titles but those of their rivals. This has a growing benefit for those that don't want to compete with other titles within their group and to ensure good press coverage and market awareness. Tabitha Ward, UK Sales at Octopus Publishing Group has found it an invaluable tool: "BookData Online has proved itself to be an invaluable tool for us to monitor the details of our own books and also to examine the competition and look forward to what's due to be published in the coming months. It's great to have access to so much information in one place, at your finger-tips and to be able to filter and print it to suit our exact needs."