Cloud-hosted Book Samples for Online Bookshops

Book samples convert browsers into buyers. Use them to boost book sales!

This page provides details on the different means by which bookshops and retailers with their own web presence can use the Jellybooks DISCOVERY platform and the Jellybooks API to give readers the ability to peek inside books on bookshop web pages.

Integrating Online Book Samples into Online Book pages

Online book samples can be included in several ways such as:

  1. Plain text links such as “click here to read an excerpt” placed at the end of the short or long book description.
  2. Buttons such as “read sample”, “peek inside”, or “view excerpt” below the short description.
  3. Linked cover images with a sample opening when the reader clicks on the cover image – these may include call-too-action buttons to ‘peek inside’ or ‘book preview’.

Example 1

Screenshot of 'Read a sample here' text link on Falmouth Bookseller's website.
Online Sample of ‘Glory’ by Noviolet Bulawayo with a Read a Sample here text link at the end of the book description at Falmouth Booksellers (users of the Batch Services plug-in)

Example 2

Screenshot of Peek Inside button on Coles Books website
Online Sample of ‘Cook & Share’ by Mary Berry with a Peek Inside button on the Coles Books website (users of the Jellybooks API).

Example 3

Screenshot of Peek Inside button on Blackwells website
Online Sample of ‘Days Like These’ by Brian Bilston with a Book preview button on the Blackwell’s website (users of the Jellybooks API).

Example 4

Screenshot of Peek Inside button on Rossiter Books website
Sample of ‘The History of Britain in Just a Minute’ by Gyles Brandreth with combines used of buttons on cover and end of short description at Rossiter Books (users of the Batch services plug-in).

Experimenting with Online Samples

The easiest way to experiment with online samples is to access the Jellybooks bookshop portal to look up titles of interest and retrieve the relevant sample links.

No registration required - simply visit our EXPRESS Sample Page.

Screenshot of the Jellybooks Bookshop Portal.
Screenshot of the Express Sample Page for creating and retrieving sample links.

Bulk Access to Online Sample Links

We also have a range of options for bulk access to online samples, as well as programmatic access via our API or a range of third-party plug-ins.

(1) Bookshop Portal – Bulk export

By registering as a bookshop and logging into our bookshop partner portal [account required], bookshops can create a list of books they wish to import using our filters and then export this list as a CSV or XML file into their content management system (CMS).

(2) Third-party Plug-ins

Several third parties provide plug-ins for popular ecommerce platforms.

Batch Services (a commercial subsidiary of the Bookseller Association) offers support for Jellybooks samples as part of its plugin for the Batchline book importer tool (BCS plugin) from version 1.6 onwards

1Jump2 provides a feed import service for Woocommerce integrating various bibliographic feeds along with the Jellybooks DISCOVERY API for book samples.

(3) Jellybooks API

This is the most powerful and efficient way for programmatically importing sample links from Jellybooks. Each bookshop receives, on request, a bookshop-specific API key to access the API. Read the Jellybooks DISCOVERY API documentation for more information.

New books are added daily but most new books drop at 24:00 GMT on Wednesday. We therefore recommend that bookshops who update their website only weekly do so on Thursday mornings.

Popup/Modal Mode

Bookshop customers can read samples without leaving the bookshop website if the ‘modal mode’ provided by the Jellybooks DISCOVERY platform is enabled by the bookshop.

To enable ‘modal mode’ bookshops need to insert a piece of JavaScript code in the head section of the BOOKSHOP website.

Sample Links with Bookshop-specific Buy Links

Sample links can be customised individually via the Jellybooks bookshop portal. However, Jellybooks also offers registered Jellybooks API users the option to programmatically insert buy links, if the bookshop’s ecommerce pages follow a predictable pattern such as or similar (title and author information in the link structure should be avoided because they can lead to ambiguous link structures). Jellybooks can provide sample links pre-configured with the relevant buy buttons where bookshops follow predictable ISBN-based link structure. More details are provided on the sample customisation page for bookshops.

Screenshot showing customised sample with multiple buy links.
Screenshot of the Waterstones buy page at the end of the sample for ‘Open Water’ by Caleb Nelson (Penguin Books).
Bookshops using cloud-hosted samples by Jellybooks include among others Blackwell’s Books, Bookbugs & Dragontails, Book-ish, Bridgestreet Books, Coles Books, CUP Bookshop, Falmouth Bookseller, Mostly Books, Nickel Books, Rossiter Books, The Little Bookshop, and Truman Books.

Additional information for bookshops:

The Jellybooks DISCOVERY service was developed with financial support from Innovate UK and Arts Council England.