Zola Recommends

The best API-driven recommendation engine in the business

Best-in-Class Recommendation Engine

Our open, API-based recommendation engine uses proprietary technology to create effective, targeted recommendations.

We balance normalized rankings, algorithms, semantic tagging, and human curation in our secret sauce, layering the best of each approach to produce a constantly improving data set covering nearly one million titles—and growing.

The result is great recommendations for readers of all types, untainted by pay-for-placement or other "revenue optimization" strategies used in commercial recommendation.

Zola Recommends provides millions of recommendations each month to libraries and bookstores across North America.

L.A. Times

Semantic Analysis

Our proprietary, scalable, text-based, n-gram comparisons between texts create over 3.1 billion book-to-book relationships weighted for better accuracy and more nuanced rankings. What that means: recommendations that go beyond the obvious, digging deep into content to identify common themes.


We use customized rules around standard taxonomies and audience codes to ensure appropriate recommendations within categories and audience types.

Human Curation

On top of our sophisticated algorithm, we integrate human knowledge and taste to offer surprising, unique recommendations.


This is Bob! He was the head book buyer at Barnes & Noble for a decade. Now he brings his deep knowledge to curate book lists for Zola Recommends.


Over the past four years, more than a dozen category experts have contributed tens of thousands of book recommendations and reviewed hundreds of thousands more to ensure quality.

The Zola Recommends API

API response

Flexibility Gives You Control

The API returns JSON data using a RESTful interface. A continuous deployment model means improvements are constantly pushed.

You control what data to display and how it appears in your platform.

Our public API enables our clients to invent new uses for recommendations at any point of contact:

  • Point of checkout
  • Mobile, apps & websites
  • Internal staff-facing tools

Ready to take our rec engine for a test drive? Get in touch:

Questions? Contact Us

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