(This is our newsletter e-mailed to all members)
Hi Book Buds!
Your favourite Book Buddy here!
I just wanted to send out an update to let you know what has been going on at the site since the last newsletter and to keep you updated on what we are working on. We also have a contest where you can win a $25 gift card, so keep reading for that!
Authors, Authors, Authors: One of our biggest priorities at the moment is adding new authors to Book Notification. This is a combination of authors from the Goodreads Imports, and e-mails you have sent.
We still have a lot to go through, but we have now hit the 17,000-author mark. We launched on January 1st, 2023 with 11,000 authors. So we’re getting close to doubling the number of authors just a quarter of the way into the year! And we have plenty more to add.
If you have requested an author or submitted a Goodreads import file and haven’t heard back from me yet, it’s still on the list! What makes the process longer is unlike other sites, we audit each author completely to make sure we have the most accurate listing possible, so it can take time.
Multi-Author Series: This one was a real pet peeve for me, and I’m glad it was fixed as it really cleans up the listings.
Previously, if there were other authors on a series it would show the entire series. Sometimes, this could be handy but most of the time it was just a mess like so:
That entire 22-book series was listed on each author’s page. It made it confusing for people, and if an author had books in multiple multi-author series, it became a nightmare to navigate.
Now we have changed it so that if you haven’t read any of the books by authors in that series, it will hide them and you can expand it:
Book Manage Auto-Pop Up: From user feedback, we realized many users didn’t know they could actually rate books, change the status of books to “did not finish”, or add it to your “want to read” list. We’ve eliminated the hassle of having to double-click on a checkbox to display that. Now when you click on a checkbox, it by default marks the book read and then opens the book manage window so you can change the status, write a review, give it a rating, and more.
This is a user experience enhancement as the mass majority of users when clicking to mark a book read, would then click again to rate the book. So we’re saving those users time by having it automatically pop up for them.
Author List Vertical instead of Horizontal: If you don’t know what this one means, don’t worry about it. If you’re one of the people who had e-mailed about it, then we’re happy to state that it has now been fixed!
Unfollow via Calendar: Now when on the book calendar, if you click on a book and decide you don’t want to follow that author anymore, there is a button right there that you can click.
Can Go Back on Calendar: By user request, you can now go back and see the previous three months on the book release calendar.
Search Auto Fill: Now if you search for an author on the site and they aren’t listed there, the contact form will immediately fill with both your e-mail address (if logged in), and the search term you searched for. Then it is just a quick click of a button, and I’ll receive your request to add that author.
Common Spelling Errors: One thing we are exploring in detail is common spelling errors or typos related to an author. I receive at least two e-mails per week asking for me to add “John Sanford” for example. We’re logging these, and have it set up right now so that if you search for that name, you will get recommended John Sandford instead. In the future, it may lead you directly to that page. So if you’ve e-mailed us asking for an author and simply spelled their name wrong don’t worry – you’ve been a big help in us building this database and helped future-proof spelling errors in search.
Tool Tips: To aid new users, we have tooltips on each author page explaining how the page and site function. YouTube videos explaining this, as well as a much more comprehensive F.A.Q., are planned for the future as well.
As I wind this newsletter to a close, I’d like to highlight a few of the key features we are working on next.
Awards Pages: We plan to have the most comprehensive book awards listing online. We will be launching awards pages soon, with lists of winners and nominees for all awards. The database work for this is already done. It’s just a case of actually coding the pages for the site. I also am hoping to display your “read” status for all awards. So if you want to make it your life goal to read every single book that won “Best First Novel” in the Barry Awards, for example, you’ll be able to do so.
Store Preference: Within your account, you’ll soon be able to select an online store that you wish to use by default when shopping for books. That means if you’re from the USA but visiting Australia and accessing Book Notification the US version will be the link for all books assuming you set that as the default. and yes – this WILL include online stores other than just Amazon.
Dates: As of right now, you aren’t able to set the date that you actually read a book. We are setting up the ability to do that, and to change any dates if necessary. This is work that needs to be done prior to anything related to reading challenges, so it’s fairly high on the priority list.
As mentioned at the beginning of the newsletter, we currently have over 17,000 authors on the site. 17,000 to be exact as I send this email.
Here’s the contest question: when we go to click “send” on our next newsletter, how many authors will we have?
We have no idea WHEN we will send the next newsletter just to make it a bit trickier! I estimate sometime between April 15th and May 15th. But it could be even later than that depending on how long the above work takes.
I’d say it would be in the 19,000 to 25,000 range but can’t narrow it down more than that.
Guess away – just hit reply. I’ll e-mail you back just to confirm I received your guess. Winner will receive a $25 USD gift card for their local Amazon store!