Hi everyone! Welcome to the F.A.Q. section of the site.

Within this section, I answer any and all questions that I get asked on a regular basis about Book Notification.

I also offer up a “How To” guide to explain how to use all of the features of the website.

If you have any other questions, there is a contact form at the bottom you can use. Happy to answer any and all questions.

Book Buddy

c Expand All C Collapse All

Site Questions

Following an author is very easy. Use our search engine to go to their page, then click the +Follow button under their name, as indicated here:

Follow Author

It will change to this icon after you follow them.

Following author

This means that if they have any new books coming out, you will get notified of them in the weekly e-mail, and it will be shown in your personalized calendar as well.

You can see a list of authors you currently follow in My Library under the My Authors tab, and can easily unfollow them by clicking the Unfollow button beside that author.

Yes we do. It is a personalized book calendar, which only shows authors that you actually follow and want to be notified of their books. When logged in, you can see it here.

To the left of each book by default is an empty checkbox. When you click that, it by default marks it as “read”. It also pops up the book manage screen like below:

If all you want to do is mark a book read, you can close this popup. However this also gives you the option to:

– Change the status from “Read” to “Did Not Finish”, “Want To Read”, or “Not Interested”.
– Reset the status of the book to unread by clicking “None”.
– Make any private notes about the book that are only viewable to you.
– Change the date you read the book.
– Give a rating of the book.
– Write a review of the book, which will be shown on the books page.

You can also disable this popup in your settings. What this means is that when you click on a checkbox, a checkmark will appear and the book will be marked as read. Then if you want to do anything else, you can click on the checkmarked checkbox to make the book manage popup appear.

Beside any book, click the checkbox. By default, this marks it as “read”. However it also opens up the Book Manage popup. On this, you can then change the status to “Did Not Finish”, “Want To Read” or “Not Interested”.

Click on the checkmarked checkbox beside the book which looks like this , then click the “None” status and it will reset it to unread.

You can create your own custom tags for any books on your list.

Here are a few examples of how you can use this feature:

Audiobook: Want to make a note of the books you listened to, as opposed to those you read? Use a tag like “Audiobook” or “Listened To”.

Recommended by Frank: Do you have different friends that recommend books to you? Then you can tag those books so you can keep track of your friends recommendations.

Owned: Want to note that you own a book? Tag it as owned. Or you could tag it “Borrowed” if you got it from a friend, or the library.

Physical Copy: Want to categorize books you own by whether they are a physical book or an ebook? Use tags like this to do so.

Bedroom Bookcase: Want to keep track of where books are around your house? Go for it!

The best part of all this is it is entirely up to you. You get to create the tags, and they are exclusive to you.

To tag books currently on your list, click any checkmarked checkbox beside a book, and that will bring you to the Book Manage Screen. Click the “My Tags” tab and start tagging away.

Here’s an example book I have tagged:

On this tab is a list of ALL your tags, and green tags are the tags you have assigned for that book.

So in this particular instance, I’ve indicated that I have the book on Audible , that I really enjoyed the narrator, that I listened to the book, and also that the author is from the UK.

Now what about viewing all your tags? Simply browse on over to My Books where the My Tags section is. You can filter all of your books (Both on My Books and Want To Read) by a tag, and delete tags straight from that page:

The number on a blue background beside the year a book was published is the average rating of a book, as ranked by our users. The number on a green background to the left of a book title is your own personal rating of that book.

We’ve had a few complaints from people in regard to how the calendar works on their mobile device or ipad, when they are looking to mark books read and select the date.

Unfortunately, this is functionality built into all mobile devices however we believe most people aren’t aware of how they work.

You don’t have to scroll through various years just to add that book you read back in 2004.

When you click the dropdown for “Date Read”, at the very top left it lists the current year.

Click that, and you can change the year to whatever you need. That’s a lot faster process then cycling through many years!

To the left of each book title is an icon based on what you have set for that book. Here is an explanation of what each icon means:

You have not set any status on this book.

You have marked that you have read this book.

You have marked this book as “Want To Read”. You can see a list of all books marked as this in your library.

You have marked this book as “Did Not Finish”.

You have marked this book as “Not Interested”, as in you have no interest in reading it.

Only you can see what you have set each book status as. You can change it at anytime by clicking on the icon, and choosing a different status.

You need to export your data from Goodreads first. Please note that you must use their website. The Goodreads mobile app does not support exporting. Here is the process:

  1. When logged into Goodreads, click here.
  2. Click on “Export Library” at the top.
  3. Note: This may take some time depending on the size of your library.
  4. When done, it will allow you to download a CSV file. Download that.
  5. Go to your settings page and scroll down to Goodreads Import. Click the + sign beside it to expand it.
  6. Choose the file on your computer, and then click “Start Import”.

If all goes well, you should receive an e-mail confirming the Goodreads Import has begun, and a second e-mail when it is complete and all books on your list are matched.

We have a video we made in Windows showing the process, using Chrome. This will differ slightly of course if you are using a different device, but the general process is the same.

If you run into any issues, don’t hesitate to contact us.

We do not OFFICIALLY support this at this time, but unofficially – we can give it a go. If you are able to export your reading list from any of these websites or apps, and send it to hello@booknotification.com and we can have a look and see if we’re able to do it for you.

Because each author not on the site has to be audited by a human, prior to adding. Let me quickly explain the process:

  1. Claire imports her list from Goodreads. It has exactly 1,000 books on it.
  2. Our system auto-matches as best as it can with the books and authors we have in the system.
  3. At this point, 850 books matched perfectly. Claire’s “read” status and book rating are carried over and converted.
  4. The other 150 books that were unable to be matched show up on an internal page, where we then have to “audit” the list prior to the import being complete.

This is where things get tricky. Some of the book matches are easy. The Goodreads sheet may have the book “Jack Reacher #1: Killing Floor” on it, while our system has “Killing Floor”. We click a button to tell our system that is a match, and in the future any time that book comes in it will auto match that so we don’t have to do it again.

However there are authors we don’t have, and we have to audit their entire list prior to adding them. Let’s say one of the books on Claire’s list was Cujo by Stephen King, and we didn’t have Stephen King on our site yet(perish the thought!). We have to audit Stephen Kings entire book list. Every book, every edition, every collection, every co-author and so on. Even if Claire only had that one book by Stephen King on her list, we still have to audit his ENTIRE list prior to adding.

So that’s where, unfortunately, the process can take time. Now the good thing about this is it’s future-proofing the site. The more Goodreads imports that come in, the more we work on these and adding authors, the less audits we will have to make in the future. But I just want to make you aware that depending on the size if your Goodreads import file, if you import it in 2023, the time it will take to complete it will range from a day to a couple of months.

On each author list is the “Print Options” button as shown below:

Simply click that, and you will have the option of printing it directly, or saving it as an RTF file, CSV spreadsheet or PDF. Please note at this time, you cannot print a specific series but only a full authors listing. However, you could choose the CSV or RTF option and then edit it.

On each page is a contact form. You can send the authors name there and we will add them as soon as we can. Depending on the size of the author, the turnaround time can take from a few hours to 7 days.

If you search for an author and they aren’t listed, a page will appear notifying you of this. There will also be a contact form, with the name you searched for already automatically filled in so you can simply click “Send”.

Go to your settings page. You can change the display name and change or upload a profile picture there.

You can choose any default bookstore on your settings page. Simply click the drop-down, select one and it will automatically save as your default bookstore.

This will be the first site you see linked beside a book when on desktop, so clicking the “GO” button beside a book will take you to your default bookstores website. If you select ebay as your default bookstore for example, then click “Go” beside It by Stephen King, it will take you to ebays listing of It by Stephen King, and allow you to purchase it.

This feature is even more important on mobile. Due to space limitations, there is no drop-down and instead each book link takes you to your default bookstore. We use geo-targeting and use Amazon as everyone’s default store. So if you are an American vacationing in France, and attempt to purchase a book via our links on your iPhone, it would take you to Amazon France instead of Amazon.com. By setting Amazon.com as your default bookstore, it means no matter where you are in the world, the book links will take you straight there.

Please contact us so we can update your e-mail address.

At the bottom of each authors page, the “Author Discussion” section is there. This is our name for the comments section. In this section, you can discuss whatever you want about an author. You can comment on how much you love them, what your favourite books are etc.

If there is a store that you purchase books from on a regular basis, and would like us to list, you can contact us and we will look to add them.

To list a program, they need to have an affiliate program meaning when we refer people to them to purchase books, we also receive a small commission.

Unfortunately, we have applied for both AbeBooks and Chapters affiliate programs and neither responded, which is why they aren’t listed.

General Questions

Well first – you don’t have to choose us over other sites. If you use Goodreads, or the Book Collector app, or any other book websites to manage your library then you can continue to do so. There’s no pressure to switch to just using Book Notification. Mark your books read on both Goodreads and Book Notification, etc.

Of course, our hope is that one day you will start using us exclusively! Here are a few reasons where I feel we stand out compared to other websites:

  1. Human Audited Clean Lists. For each author we add to the website, we click a magic button that essentially brings in every book and edition that author has ever written. Most other sites do that, then release that information to the public. However that can result in a disorganized mess, with duplicate, missing and incorrect books. Instead, we take the time to audit each author, organize all of their books into each series, look for duplicate books with different titles, take the time to make sure each book actually exists, and check if there is a chronological order. We go the extra mile for each author listing, including contacting the author if we need to check something, calling our friends at libraries to look up an older book we have no access to, or checking the authors website and social media in case they have any exclusive books available outside of retailers.
  2. New Book Notification. It’s the core of our site, and we feel we are the best at notifying you of new books by your favourite authors. That’s the primary purpose I started this site: because I wasn’t happy with the other websites out there. I was missing new books by authors as their lists were incomplete, some sites limit how many authors you can follow, and other sites were notifying me when a new edition of a book was released. It was frustrating, and now thanks to creating this site, I’m no longer missing out on new books by my favourite authors.
  3. Printable and Exportable Lists. Nice and clean printable book lists for all authors. Plus, you can export it into various formats such as CSV and RTF and edit it to your heart’s content. We plan on adding many more customization options related to printing in the near future as well.
  4. This Is YOUR Website. My aim is to make this the ultimate site for book lovers. The only way I can do that is if I accomodate every request someone has. I strive to do that. Any e-mail suggestion or feature I receive, I aim to incorporate. As an example – Book Notification uses a 10 star rating system. I explain why we went with that in a below FAQ. As of this writing, 6 months after beta launch, I’ve received just one e-mail from a user stating that they don’t like that, and would prefer a 5 star rating system. On our to do list, is the ability for a user to toggle a button in their settings, and across the site they will only see 5 stars if that is what they want. That’s just an example of how I want to make sure every single user of the site is accomodated.
  5. So Many Features!. With so much more planned too! Currently, you can follow authors to get notified of new books. You can print book lists. You can mark books read, and create a TBR list. You can rate books, see average ratings for books, have a personalized book calendar and so much more. And all that is just us getting started. There will be so many more features down the road such as a recommendation engine, a friends system, ability to custom tag books, reading challenges, stats and streaks, and so much more. You can keep track of what we incorporate via our road map.

Humans. There is no resource out there that is 100% perfect in regard to its book listings. Amazon, Goodreads, NoveList – they are primarily automatically generated and we have noticed many, many errors over the years. So all of our listings have humans dealing with them and we can spend hours working on authors just to get their publication and chronological order correct, and filing new books correctly.

Excellent! I love to hear that! Either head on over to our contact page or fill in the contact form on any page of the site and we can chat about it. Seriously – ANYTHING you think that can improve your experience, no matter how big or small, let me know!

While we don’t have an app, you can make a website shortcut to Book Notification on your home screen and then it functions like an app.

Here are instructions for the primary mobile operating systems – contact us with your operating system and browser if you don’t see it listed below so we can give you instructions if it is possible.

Android – Chrome

  1. Visit https://www.BookNotification.com on your mobile device
  2. Click the 3 dots at the very top right
  3. Click “Add to Home Screen” on the menu that opens
  4. I’d rename it to “Book Notification” for short
  5. Click “Add”
  6. A popup appears just confirming you want to add it click “Add to Home Screen”

You should now see it on your home screen. If you tap it, it will open straight to Book Notification and kind of functions as an app in that regard. You can move it around etc.

Android – Samsung Browser

  1. Visit https://www.BookNotification.com on your mobile device
  2. Click the 3 lines at the bottom right
  3. Click “Add Page To…”
  4. Click “Home Screen”
  5. Confirm “Add to Home Screen”

iPhone/iPad – Safari

  1. Visit https://www.BookNotification.com on your mobile device
  2. Click the “Share” button on the bottom of the page. It’s a square with an arrow.
  3. Choose the “Add to Home Screen” Option.
  4. Name it “Book Notification”
  5. Click “Add”

At this time, you can only search by authors. But we plan on allowing you the ability to search by series or book title in the near future. It’s a bit tricky due to the quantity of book series and books we have in the database, so we need to work on that being instantaneous like the author search prior to implementing it.

Not at this time, but this is planned for the future at some point.

The star ratings system was something I spent a long time on researching, prior to launching Book Notification.

First, a universal ratings system in regard to books is tricky. Everyone defines theirs differently. I spoke to many people prior to launching the site. Some only give a book 5 out of 5 if they would ever re-read it. Others rate any books they like as 5 out of 5, and any they don’t like as 1 out of 5, with no in-between. Everyone has different feelings on it.

But the one consistency I saw that was that many people felt a 5 star system was just too limiting. People were complaining a lot about wanting a half star system etc, especially as all book sites display ratings with decimal points as opposed to absolute numbers. People felt handcuffed by the 5 star system, especially when it comes to rating books either 3 or 4 stars.

So that’s why I came up with the 10 point system instead. It allows people who were feeling handcuffed by the system to be able to have more flexibility with their ratings if they choose. But people don’t have to use that if they don’t want to. Want to stick with the 5 star system? Any 5 star book is a 10 on Book Notification. Any 4 star book is an 8 on Book Notification etc. Our Goodreads import system converts them automatically.

If you choose not to read any book rated below 4 stars, then with our system you would choose not to read any book rated below 8 stars.

Also as I do want to accommodate all users and their preferences, we have on our to do list at some point to incorporate the option to only see 5 star ratings. We would still use our 10 star system, but if you toggle that option, from your perspective, you would only see book ratings scaled by 5 stars.

Not at this time, but this is planned as an option in the future due to popular demand.

Genres are very difficult to list. Most books don’t fit cleanly into one single genre. Many authors also write in various different genres, so it can make things a bit confusing when you see an author like Stephen King with books in over 10 different genres.

We do plan on using genres in regards to books and authors at some point. It will be a big part of our recommendations engine. We just haven’t decided the best way to handle it yet. So genres are coming for sure – we just want to make sure we handle the implementation of it perfectly.

Not at this time, but this is one of our higher priority items to add to the site – the ability to tag books.

We are going to allow custom tags. So if you want to track all the books you own, and want tags stating “ebook” or “hardcover”, you’ll be able to tag them as that. If you want to tag books where they are located in your house, such as “Bedroom bookshelf” or “Basement bookcase” or even tag books such as “Lent book to Steve” then you’ll be able to do so.

So it is coming, and is on the priority feature list.

At this time we do not have an app. Our website is designed to be used on any device, with special modifications used for mobile so if you are browsing on your phone, the experience should be just as good.

In saying that I totally get it – there’s just something about an “app” over a mobile website that is appealing. We are planning on launching a mobile app at some stage down the road. It is a lot of work due to different operating systems and all of the work involved in that – but it’s in the planning stages. We want to launch more of our primary features first, so that we can code all the features at once, as opposed to having to code every feature we add for the website and various operating systems.

However you can add our website to your home screen, and it will function as if it was an app. Here are the instructions to do so and please contact us with your operating system and browser if you don’t see it listed below so we can give you instructions if it is possible.

Android – Chrome

  1. Visit https://www.BookNotification.com on your mobile device
  2. Click the 3 dots at the very top right
  3. Click “Add to Home Screen” on the menu that opens
  4. I’d rename it to “Book Notification” for short
  5. Click “Add”
  6. A popup appears just confirming you want to add it click “Add to Home Screen”

You should now see it on your home screen. If you tap it, it will open straight to Book Notification and kind of functions as an app in that regard. You can move it around etc.

Android – Samsung Browser

  1. Visit https://www.BookNotification.com on your mobile device
  2. Click the 3 lines at the bottom right
  3. Click “Add Page To…”
  4. Click “Home Screen”
  5. Confirm “Add to Home Screen”

iPhone/iPad – Safari

  1. Visit https://www.BookNotification.com on your mobile device
  2. Click the “Share” button on the bottom of the page. It’s a square with an arrow.
  3. Choose the “Add to Home Screen” Option.
  4. Name it “Book Notification”
  5. Click “Add”

At this time, we have a simple page under My Account where you can list how many books you aim to read this year.

We are planning on having a much more thorough reading challenge page displayed, tracking every book you have read that year. We also want statistics, statistics and more statistics! We love stats.

Like many features planned for the site, we want to make sure it is a home run swing for the get-go. We aim to have the reading challenge section at the very least done before the end of 2023.

Not really. You may see some magazines on an authors page under the anthology section. This is because they have written a short story in that magazine. Sometimes, the short story won an award which is why we have it there. But at this time, we do not go out of our way to list magazines with a story by an author. This may change in the future.

A few may come in here and there and be listed for a variety of reasons, but we do not at this time actively aim to add comic books. Down the road? Maybe. But it is an incredible amount of work, and quite frankly there are some incredible options out there such as CLZ. We don’t think we can do anywhere near as good a job as them when it comes to comic books.

This is a catch-all question as I just wanted to have a section here related to anthologies.

Currently, whether an author has edited an anthology or has written a short story in it – it’s all thrown together under the anthology section. And it’s all a bit of a mess.

I have some really cool plans for the anthology section of each author. I want to list if they were an editor or a writer. I also want to highlight the short story they have written, and a few other things.

Unfortunately, it is very low on the priority list simply due to low interest from users. I’ve ran book sites since 2011 and I’ve had the anthology section like that on those sites since then, and I can count on one hand the amount of people that have ever e-mailed me with issues in regard to the anthology section.

So rest assured, there are some cool plans related to anthologies. It’s just not going to be done anytime soon.

At this time, no. We are planning on adding this feature at some point though.

Yes you can. Go to your “Settings” page and at the bottom is a “Delete Account” button. There will be a few steps related to it so you don’t accidently click on it and delete everything. Please note this will erase everything you have ever done on the site, and is also removed from our database backups. So there is NO restoring the data after deletion.

You would be referring to “Book Buddy”, as shown below:

When I launched this site in beta on January 1st, 2023, Book Buddy was all over the site. I thought it would be fun to have on the site, and brighten it up. So many sites I find are boring, and I thought a book-related mascot would liven things up.

A few months into the launch of the website, my friends wife registered. The first thing she asked was “Isn’t this site targeted towards adults?” and then said that she felt she was on a kids site, due to Book Buddy. Shen then backed it up by providing a book newsletter from her daughters school, which had a similar mascot on it.

It was one of those things where I thanked her for the feedback, but didn’t plan on changing it. I had the idea for “Book Buddy” years before I even launched the website. I wasn’t going to change the entire site due to one persons opinion. I had videos made featuring Book Buddy, and had various plans involving the mascot.

Then I slept on it, woke up the next day and realized “darn it, she’s right”. I completely understood. So I’ve pulled Book Buddy back from most areas of the site. Book Buddy will still appear in a few small areas around the site, but is for the most part dead.

Thanks for killing Book Buddy, Alana. You killed the child inside me as well. Next time I come visit, I’m not bringing any timbits.

This is a question I get asked quite often as I run a couple of other sites dedicated to book listings in order.

In short – no. I don’t plan on closing them, or rolling them into Book Notification. There are a variety of reasons as to why I wish to keep them alive. Plus, all sites are ran off the same centralized database so when I update one listing on Book Notification, it updates on the other sites too. So in regard to author lists, it doesn’t create any additional work.

We are not owned by any companies listed on this website. Be it Amazon, eBay, Bookshop.org, Waterstones, etc.

We are an independent group of book lovers who have created this website due to our passion for books and reading.

We are affiliates of all of the aforementioned programs, which is what “Amazon Associate” or “ebay partner” means. All that means is that we offer the option to search their websites to buy the books that we list. If you purchase a book via our link, we receive a small commission for it. Whether it be Amazon, Bookshop,org, Thriftbooks, etc.

We are not owned or receive any financial incentive beyond commission via affiliate links from any of those companies.

If you have a question not answered above, don’t hesitate to reach out with the contact form below:

    Book Notification is an Amazon Associate. Book links to Amazon, eBay and other book stores are affiliate links, and we earn money from any qualifying purchases.

    Welcome to Book Notification!

    Are we missing any books or looking for an author that isn't on the site? Have any feedback or ideas that will enhance your experience? Contact us below.

      To see what we are currently working on as well as some of our future plans, see our road map.
      Monthly Contest
      affiliate disclaimer

      We are giving away 10 $25 gift cards. Every time you comment on an author page in the Author Discussion section at the bottom, you are entered into the sweepstakes. So get commenting! Winners announced in the next newsletter.

      Upcoming Books
      Popular Authors:
      Todays Most Followed Authors:
      Skip to content