I'm sure this has been addressed before, but I feel the need to post about it.
To anyone who works for BN: Picked Just for You has so much potential!
Currently, the Picked Just for You function is almost worthless. It offers a mere three suggestions, and none of them have yet fit my interests.
I suggest that BN take a cue from Netflix. Netflix uses what movies people have previously watched, how they rated these movies, and a personal preference survey to provide future movie suggestions.
I think that such a system would work even better for books than for movies.
Yes, people read widely. But people watch movies in an even more wide range (many more genres). And when people pick a genre (e.g., comedy with movies or nonfiction with books), it is pretty easy to see patterns in personal preference for intra-genre selections.
Yes, building a "smart" suggestion platform can be expensive, but I believe, with the growth of e-reading, targeted suggestions could pay dividends.
If BN didn't want to take into account previous purchases to suggest future books,, they could simply conduct an optional survey on reading interests. For example, do you like historical fiction? If so, from what era(s)? Do you like sports novels? If so, about what sports? This could very easily be done, and could probably be integrated with the keyword search function that is already in place.
Even asking whether you prefer male or female oriented books would be a great start (all of the suggested quick-reads are nickel romance novels). The lists of novels (staff picks, quick reads, etc.) could be listed based on relevance to the reader's interests.
Or it could simply be based on the star rating system that's in place. The more stars, the more similar books it suggests (and already Books Like This One is in place, so this wouldn't be too difficult either).
It just frustrates me that there is so much potential with Picked Just for You. When you go into a physical bookstore, your experience is guided in a sense-- you gravitate to the sections that interest you and similar books are usually placed near one another. As of now, e-reading does not have this guidance. At least with me, buying an e-book seems like a spastic process.