Graeme here and welcome to the December edition of the Book Notification newsletter. Happy Christmas Eve!
It was a bit of a challenging month for the work on the site, due to a few issues behind the scenes. The most notable one was an issue with an ISBN service we use, which had a lot of incorrect data which made its way into our internal database.
Authors being added to a series that they don’t belong to, duplicate books coming in and not being flagged as new books to the system, that sort of thing.
Thankfully, none of this incorrect data made it onto the actual website, but it did require a lot of work on our part to fix this. That’s okay – we have an author cleanup section in the backend, and it was due for a complete overhaul. Our team spent most of the coding hours this past month overhauling the cleanup section.
The only new feature we were able to add to the site was the “Author Insights” section which I’ll list below. We also worked on a few new things that should see the light of day shortly. Other than that, it was a month of putting out that fire, and adding more and more authors.
We now have over 35,000 authors on the site and fully audited which is excellent, although this does mean more workload when it comes to handling new books that come into the system! It’s a lot to balance, but we’re getting there.
Last month, I 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 200 comments within the last month. Thank you to everyone who contributed – you are really helping out the website.
Winners of the contest – there was some confusion last month, when I wrote (twice) beside the two users who won multiple times so this time I will just list their username for as many times as they win:
- BJ Hall
- Jane (jgrace)
- Joyce Drye
- Kris Gatzemeyer
I’ve sent you all an e-mail.
Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to comment. It’s truly appreciated and helps the site so much.
Book Notification Founder
Author Insights: When we launch a new feature of the site, we like to launch it with basic functionality, and then add onto it as we go. Either via our own ideas, or user feedback.
Author Insights is a new feature which is found at the bottom of every authors page, and the plan for it is to eventually offer lots of site-related insights on the author. Data such as listing their highest rated book, or their most read book, or statistics related to how popular they are in regards to how many users follow them.
We love data, and there are a lot of cool datapoints we can list within there so we are really looking forward to growing that section.
Currently, it only lists the 5 most popular authors followed by people who also follow that author. Here is an example of how that looks on the Lee Child page:
As the site grows and gets more users, that entire section should become a lot more helpful in discovering similar authors. We also are going to be making improvements to it, to turn it into a full-on recommendation system. Eventually it will encapsulate book ratings, genres, etc. as well.
If there are any datapoints you’d be interested in seeing related to the site within that section, be sure to let me know. You can see that at the bottom of any author page.
New Content Added
At Book Notification, we do more than just add authors – we post news and write some fun blog content too! Here are posts in that category from the last few weeks:
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.
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.
Thanks to everyone for your support. I look forward to the next newsletter – and it may be arriving sooner than expected, depending on how work goes over the next few days!