The BookNet Canada team has been slaving away for over a year developing the ultimate paperless catalogue (special thanks to Carol Gordon and Meghan MacDonald), and we’re almost set to launch. BNC CataList is an online catalogue that’s going to take the heavy lifting out of building a catalogue by using a publisher’s own ONIX files to fill in the majority of each of their title entries.
It’s better than print and it’s better than PDF. CataList is efficient, updateable, customizable and interactive.
It’s efficient because it saves time, for publishers and booksellers. It also saves storage space. And it saves you a whole lot of money when you not only save on staff time and warehousing, but also save on printing and shipping costs. And perhaps the most important savings in all this are environmental. It saves trees, energy, water, air, and, I guess, even animals since they use trees and air and water.
CataList is updateable because it refreshes every 24 hours. If you update your ONIX files, then any changes in pub date, price, format, etc., are all caught and automatically updated. No more outdated catalogues and no more scurrying to inform everyone of each change and no more trying to stay on top of all publisher changes on the receiving end. (Oh! Did we just save you even more time? I think so.)
CataList is customizable because it allows publishers and wholesalers to send clients a catalogue that is specially tailored for their needs. They can create catalogues for specific buyers in which they can exchange notes. Buyers can now receive catalogues that contain only the books that pertain to their stores. This function will come in handy for publicists and media, too.
What I think it the most impressive part of CataList is how interactive it is. It’s not just that you can communicate on the catalogue page, but your catalogues can now include multimedia. You’ll be able to watch book trailers or author interviews that have been embedded right into the book pages. And you can also find additional visuals, including extra author photos or BLADs right there.
The entire book pitch (sales, publicity, rights or otherwise) can be included in these online catalogue pages. That’s what seals the deal for me. No more emailing links, mailing BLADs, emailing more links, etc., etc. It’s going to make it much easier to inform, pitch and follow up. And this is why I was pushing for a while to have the CataList slogan to be “You’re welcome,” which, sadly, not everyone went for.
So when will your lives be made easier by our mighty invention?
March 2011 (a.k.a, next month).
What should you do with yourselves in the meantime?
Make sure you’re participating in BiblioShare and creating good quality metadata files. Ask us metadata questions, BiblioShare questions and CataList questions. You can also sign up for more detailed CataList email updates or get the basics through our weekly eNews.