We are passionate about fiction but there are probably as many half-read novels on our shelves as ones we’ve finished.Buying books isn't cheap. They take more of our time and effort than watching a DVD. We invest our emotions and have high expectations. To not enjoy a novel is frustrating. To give up completely feels like a waste. We wanted to be sure that every time we cracked the spine on a new purchase, we were going to be getting something we loved.
It’s not an easy thing to do.
Where do you look to find a new book? If you search on the high street, online or in the media, you’ll often only be shown the novels that the sellers and publishers are promoting that month. It doesn’t necessarily make them the most gripping or best quality – and it certainly doesn’t automatically make them right for you.
Even if you escape the marketing hype, it’s hard to know what you’re going to get. The ways in which books are described is confusing. What do terms like ‘Literary Fiction’ or ‘Book Club Fiction’ really mean? Wouldn’t Harry Potter and The Game of Thrones series both be found in the Fantasy section? Broad, vague categories help nobody out.
Reviews and personal recommendations are tricky, too. Tastes vary wildly and what one reader loves, another will hate. You only need to look at the feedback for your favourite novel on traditional review sites to see there are people who’ll have given it one star. And who’s to say that reviews are always honest? They could just as easily have come from the author’s rival as the author’s best friend.
Bookaxe matches readers to the right book at the right price, every time..
We go beyond traditional book categories, adding radically different data points to the ways in which we describe fiction. This means readers can be more targeted in their searches and allows us to make more precise and reliable recommendations.
We know that quality content matters. By creating detailed profiles for every Bookaxe reader and only showing the opinions of people with similar tastes, we ensure that readers can trust our reviews.
We save our users money, allowing them to set the price they are willing to pay for books on their watchlist. We continually monitor dozens of global retailers and send alerts when thresholds are met.
We connect likeminded readers. Bookaxe users can create, organise and annotate their own virtual bookcases, as well as browse the bookcases of readers with comparable profiles in order to find their perfect read.
Bookaxe was founded by Lucy Cruickshanks and Scott Cruickshanks.
As well as being a devoted reader, Lucy is a multi-award shortlisted author, published by a major international publisher and with her novels available across the world. She understands from both sides of the page how difficult it is to match the right readers with the right books.
Lucy’s work has had fantastic feedback from the press, bloggers and readers worldwide, but she’s also had her share of one star reviews. Her novels don't fit neatly into traditional categories and have been variously described as Literary, Suspense, Historical and Thriller by booksellers and the media. They’re stories of hope but set against backdrops of war and vice. One has a pink jacket. Both have images of young women staring towards the horizon, despite male viewpoints outnumbering the women by two-to-one. Some of her worst reviews have come from readers who disliked a novel’s swearing or violence. Others had hoped the characters would fall in love. It’s not the readers’ fault they didn’t enjoy the books. If they’d had a better way to understand the type of story they were getting, they wouldn’t have wasted their money and time.
Scott spent far too many years at university, picking up a doctorate and a thing or two about data analytics along the way. He has as much knowledge and enthusiasm for books and publishing as Lucy, having supported every step of her career. When he recognised an opportunity to apply his in-depth statistical skills and experience to helping get the right books into the hands of the right readers, Bookaxe was born.