Book Notification Newsletter: April 2024

By: Graeme, April 27th, 2024 4:04 pm.

Graeme ReadingWelcome to the April edition of the Book Notification Newsletter, which you can also read in your web browser if you’d prefer.

We appreciate the positive feedback on the book search feature implemented last month. One of our most requested features, and we’re happy to oblige. Still many more big features coming to Book Notification later in the year.

There was a lot of focus on the backend this month. Server upgrades, a better system for dealing with requested authors to add, clean-up of various series. These enhancements might not be noticeable, but they significantly improve user experience and data accuracy.

In the February newsletter for example, I mentioned that on average 15 upcoming books per day get removed from sites such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc and are unavailable to pre-order. This can happen for a variety of reasons such as author illness, complete cancelation of the book or they just didn’t finish writing it in time, but the circumstances following that are what interest us.

Some books get pulled, and are never released. Others will show up again the next day under a new ISBN. We’ve also observed situations where a book gets pulled, only to get added again using an existing ISBN of another upcoming book by that author. It can all be very confusing!

So we spent a lot of time focusing on that this month. Setting up a system for tracking all these books, removing and adding them again as things change, and how to deal with every scenario.

Sites such as Goodreads are rampant with books that never actually saw the light of day. We strive for accuracy and don’t want to publish that sort of misinformation, so it has been a priority for us and I’m very happy with the system we now have in place.

We’re almost at the 43,000 author mark which is incredible. Almost 43,000 authors all fully audited, with their books organized into lists. It’s been a lot of work so far, and still a lot to go! Of course, the more authors we add, the more work that is added elsewhere on the site so that’s also something we have been working on this month as well- such as getting different teams working on different areas of the database.

Last month, we ran a contest where every comment you make on an authors page will earn you entry into a draw with 10 $25 Amazon gift cards as a prize, and will run that contest again this month. Note: Each comment counts as an entry, and it’s possible to win multiple times. We received over 300 comments within the last month. Thank you to everyone who contributed – you are really helping us out, and it’s great to see so much discussion going on. Here are the winners this month:

  1. Baxobab
  2. Brenna
  3. Chy Anne
  4. Denita
  5. Elizabeth Maria H.
  6. Lyn
  7. msdelisle
  8. Pam
  9. Teri Chesser
  10. The_Old_Brick

You should have all received an e-mail confirming your e-mail address for the gift card.

Speaking of helping us out – if you can share the word of Book Notification, that would be much appreciated. Post it on your social media, link to us on your website, etc. That sort of thing is incredibly helpful for us. Thank you!

Until the next chapter,

Book Notification Founder

New Features

Daily New Releases Posts: We’ve been doing both weekly and monthly posts highlighting book releases in that time period. The one issue I had with that is that we would generally highlight the books by well-known authors, like James Patterson, Stephen King, and Lee Child. We wanted to give some love and attention to authors who may not be as well known, so we have started daily posts featuring 3-5 authors and their new books.

Here’s today’s post for example. It’s great being able to highlight such a wide variety of authors. The best way to get updated on the daily book release posts is via social media. We post them on our Facebook and Twitter / X daily, and they can also be found in the “Daily Releases” section of Book Notification.

Author Content Enhancement: We have hired a dedicated team, whose sole job is to enhance the content of our author pages outside of the actual listing. Their primary focus right now is adding a series description to every book series we have listed, so that if you stumble across a new author, you can quickly read and see what the series is about. This allows you to quickly understand the theme and scope of a series. It can also be helpful when it comes to special notes in regard to a series, such as if it is a ‘Universe’ listing.

With over 150,000 series listed this won’t be complete overnight, but the team are making a lot of headway on it already. You can see an example of this on the Michael Connelly page.

The plan is to focus on the book series first, then tackle the other lists such as standalone novels where we’ll likely highlight a notable novel or two that they have written.

Author Header Area: We revised the author header area, due to feedback from users. On a few devices that section wasn’t displaying perfectly, and the “Search for a Book” function wasn’t obvious in its previous placement. So we have revised that entire section, and have a few more tweaks planned for it.

We also added author stats above each listing now. Depending on the author, we currently list their top two highest rated books, their top two most read books, and also what their most popular series is. We feel this can be very helpful if you’re looking to try out an author for the first time.

Within that area, we’re also adding author notes when necessary. For example, the author page for John Sanford is one of the more popular pages on the site. We have a note on there letting people know that they may be looking for John Sandford instead, which should hopefully cut down on the amount of “Why Don’t You List John’s Prey Series” e-mails we receive, directly from that page!

BookTalks: This is a new feature of the site that we are all excited about. There are many people out there writing book reviews and blogs, or recording Youtube or TikTok videos all about books. These are dedicated readers who devote a lot of time to writing and discussiong books and their reading. So we thought it would be cool to give these people a platform, and interview them. Learn more about them, allow them to promote their sites or channels.

Our first BookTalks is now live, featuring Elliot “the little man”. Elliot reads and writes his book reviews from a Christian perspective, so it was interesting hearing about that, and any problems or drama that stemmed from that online. Read the Inaugural Booktalks now.

Minor UX Enhancements: We don’t feature these in the newsletter, but just note that we’re always working away and making little enhancements to make your experience better.

For example, Olivia wrote in and noted that if she has a book set as “Want To Read”, then she reads it and gives it a rating, she still has to click to change the status to “Read”. That may not seem like a big deal – but that’s still one extra click, which 99% of the time is completely unnecessary. So now when you select a rating on a book, it will automatically mark the book status as read (and you can easily change it if it’s a DNF which you are giving a rating to).

So never hesitate to write in with any ideas that can enhance your experience. Even if it’s just saving you a click, our goal is to give you the best possible experience when using Book Notification and we are always making little modifications such as that.

New Content Added

In addition to adding authors, we post a lot of book news and book-related content to Book Notification each month. Here are the highlights since the last newsletter:


Having quality content and discussion is always beneficial for our website. This month, I am again asking you to write a comment on an authors page. It can be whatever you want. You can write about how they are your favourite author, or what their best book or series is. You could write about an adaptation of their book. Any and all comments are welcome.

And don’t worry – we are planning on mixing the contests up soon. There is a new feature in the works which will see the contest change to support that and help get it off the ground.

We will give away ten $25 USD gift cards to random people who have submitted a comment from the day this newsletter was published, up until the beginning of the next newsletter. Each comment earns you an entry (or ‘ticket’) into the draw, and you can enter multiple times

You can find the comment form at the bottom of every authors page, titled “Author Discussion”.

Thanks to everyone for your support. It’s truly appreciated.

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28 days ago

Am I mistaken or did one of the recent newsletters say that we would be able to search by book title, not just by author? Also, where do I find information on authors that are like the authors I currently like?

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