Revamped Website Launched

Welsh Books Council

Revamped Website Launched - 20 December 2010

The new version of Gwales, which has been financed by the Welsh Assembly Government, has a fresh, new interface while maintaining the features which have proved so popular since the site was first launched in November 1999, such as details of New Books, Forthcoming Titles, Special Offers, Reviews and Bestsellers.

The Search system has been strengthened, with suggestions based on titles bought by other customers featured for the first time. It is possible to search by title, category, author, publisher or keyword and children’s books can be accessed by subject or age range.  Full bibliographical information is provided for each book, as well as further information supplied by the publishers, such as tables of contents or author biographies, all in an accessible layout.

A new section has also been added entitled ‘Readers’ Recommendations’ where any user can list suggestions for other readers.  To launch the new section, the author Bethan Gwanas has created a list of ‘Sexy Books’, and Mairwen Thorne lists her favourite titles.

All the features on the Gwales website are available either in English or Welsh, allowing users to take advantage of the facilities in their chosen language.

Titles on sale on Gwales are also available from bookshops throughout Wales and beyond, while a safe online ordering facility is available for those wishing to order electronically.

In welcoming this development Alun Ffred Jones, the Minister for Heritage, said: ‘I’m pleased that we as a Government were able to support this venture to facilitate the ordering of the increased range of books from Wales.  I’m sure that the new version will build on the success of the Gwales website since it was established in 1999.’

Separate versions of Gwales are available for the use of bookshops and libraries, along with an offline version used by the Books Council’s Representatives and Schools Officers when they are on the road.  The Council’s corporate website, namely, contains information about the organisation’s services and campaigns, while the Welsh Book Trade Information site,, provides advice and information on the book trade in Wales.

According to Phil Davies, the Council’s Head of Information Services: ‘We are confident that the public will react favourably to the new version of Gwales.  We know from the enquiries we get from all corners of the world that demand for books from Wales is on the increase, and we are very pleased to be able to provide an electronic shop window of which the book trade in Wales can be proud.’

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