HarperCollins announced the launch of its BookGenie and Epic Reads book recommendation service. Both provide book recommendations through Facebook Messenger. With Bookgenie, readers request a recommendation based on a book they enjoyed, or select from curated recommendations. Epic Reads, related to the publisher’s YA-focused site, allows readers to specify what kind of mood they’re in, as well as what books and authors they enjoy.
HarperCollins vice president of marketing Carrie Bloxson said in the announcement, “We’re always looking for ways to help readers discover new books and authors. The BookGenie bot combines the power of artificial intelligence with personalized author and editor picks to deliver always-on recommendations for readers searching for their next great book.”
The Epic Reads Book Recommendation bot — an extension of their website, YouTube channel and social networking sites — was developed by Toronto-based chatbot company Massively. Epic Reads senior community manager Margot Woods said, “The number one question we get at Epic Reads is, ‘What book should I read next?’ Epic Reads is always looking for new ways to pair our community with their next YA read. Now, with the Epic Reads Recommendation Bot, we can scale conversations with our community and engage, share content, and deepen consumers’ connection with our brand.”
Random House had run a Facebook-based book recommendation app called Book Scout that launched in 2013, though it appears to have been retired. (We are waiting confirmation of its status.)