Hi Book Buds,
Here at Book Notification, the work never stops!
We are working constantly on the site, and have so many cool features and ideas to implement. Our goal is to become the only book resource anyone ever needs!
We’re receiving lots of suggestions for ideas which is great!
ANYTHING we can do, big or small, to make your reading and website experience better, don’t hesitate to let us know.
On this page, I am going to state what we are currently working on, as well as give a sneak peek at what is in the works for down the road.
I won’t mention all features as we want to keep some top secret, but these are some of the big plans we have that I wanted to share so you know what’s coming up!
Last Updated: September 3rd, 2023.
Currently Working On:
We just launched in Beta on January 1st, 2023 so what we’re working on isn’t too exciting.
Our current focuses are:
New Author Requests: Since launching, we have received literally over a thousand e-mails requesting new authors to be added to the site. One of the top priorities is clearing this backlog, so that we can get to a reasonable turnaround time going forward of between 24 hours and one week.
Goodreads Imports: Based on the amount of Goodreads imports, e have to add literally thousands of new authors, and then do a lot of matching for the users who imported their Goodreads lists. These keep coming in too. It’s great but requires a lot of work. We hope to have every Goodreads import handled by the end of the beta period in June. The work involved is a lot because if someone has read just one book by an author who has written over 50 books, we need to go through and verify every single one of those books, put them in the correct place etc.
Minor Bug Fixes & Site Improvements: Many users have very helpfully provided little bugs that we need to fix. Minor issues related to search, middle names, or the calendar was showing authors they had recently unfollowed. There was confusion over the login process so that was modified. Mostly minor stuff, but enough minor stuff to be keeping us busy!
Authors List Vertical instead of Horizontal: Currently, our alphabetical list of authors displays the authors across three columns horizontally, instead of vertically. We’ve had quite a few e-mails saying you would prefer that to be vertical. We’re working on that! It’s not an easy change to make as crazy as it sounds, but is high priority.
My Account / My Library: The current “My Account” area was basically thrown together in the last couple of days before launch. It’s not what we envisioned – but don’t worry, we’re working on that! We hope by the end of February that the entire My Account and library section will be completely revamped, with different pages displaying followed authors only, books you have read and their ratings, and much more.
New Books Process: The primary function of this site is to notify you of new books. We have various processes in place to keep tabs on when new books are coming out. As a note, we also keep track of when publication dates change so we can update those listings. Our current system does a great job, but we are always looking to improve it so we never miss out on any new books, catch every publication date change or when a book is delisted from online stores. This is taking up a lot of our focus right now as we want this process to be nothing but perfect!
High Priority Items:
UX Improvements: We are taking a lot of feedback in regard to the user interface. Everyone seems to like it – it’s just confusing with regard to the icons, and some site functions. So we’re focusing on that and will be providing tooltips and explanations on each page on how the site functions.
Instructional Videos: Tied into the above we will be doing instructional videos explaining all of the functions for the site as we know – as ironic as it is considering the topic of this website – some people don’t like to read!
Content Enhancements: One thing we want is to get more detailed biographies on the site of all authors. Lists are the priority, but the content is important too. We also want to include information about how authors are rated by our users. All of that will be worked on. Not a super exciting one, but it will be very helpful and beneficial for the website.
Down the Road…
We’re not going to list all of the key features of the site. But here are a few features to get excited about in no particular order:
Middle Initials: You may notice some authors appear alphabetically incorrectly by their middle initial. A bit of a database hiccup which we are working on fixing. It requires an overhaul to the naming system and is a bit of work to do but we’ll get it done!
User Profiles: Right now things are pretty limited in regard to your user profile. We’ll allow the option to upload/change avatars, change your display name, choose your default bookstore, and much more.
Different Bookstores: Like to shop at websites other than Amazon? We aim to offer links to other online bookstores in the future (Yes, including Bookshop.org) and allow you to set one by default.
Book Buds: Want to invite friends to Book Notification, and see what they’re reading and rating? We will eventually have all of that in place. Ability to create digital book clubs with friends etc as well.
Book Ratings: Right now when you rate a book out of 10, the only way to see that rating is to click on the book (and eventually in your “My Library”). We’re still working out exactly how to display it, but we want to display both your rating AND the average rating for books on an authors list, so you can see how you compare to the average Book Notification user.
Recommendations: This won’t be soon, but I promise it will be worth the wait. Personalized book and series recommendations. Personally, I’m extremely disappointed with every recommendation engine or website out there. I’ve tried them all. Yesterday I tried a highly touted one and I told it my favourite authors were Lee Child, Mark Greaney, and Tom Wood. It recommended me the Jack Reacher series! Like yeah – Lee Child is one of my favourite authors. I’ve already read that!
We are going to have the best recommendation engine ever made, we can promise you that. So you will soon be cursing us for introducing you to so many new books.
Series & Book Search: Currently, you can only search authors. Eventually, we hope to be able to offer the ability to search series AND books!
An App: The website is designed to work as best as possible on mobile phones and tablets, but we know people love their apps! It’s something we are looking into.
Genre Tagging: Want to be able to search just sci-fi authors, series, or books? Yep us too! This is still in its early stages but tied into the above two, we want you to be able to search for new books based on genre.
Reading Challenges / Streaks: We know a lot of people are fans of reading challenges. We want to have one of the coolest, most comprehensive reading challenge sections you’ve ever seen. This will be a big job but if you are into reading challenges, you’ll love it!
This will also go hand in hand with stats and charts. Who doesn’t love pie charts? Lots of cool plans involving those!
Awards Pages: This has been a big work in progress in our back-end for over a year now, and soon we hope to have the most comprehensive book awards listings online, complete with checklists beside each book indicating whether you have read it or not. We have over 400 separate book awards in our database that are been worked on as you read this, and soon we hope to list them all over the site.
Audiobooks: We have a lot of cool ideas for audiobook readers such as detailed listings by the narrator, option to highlight books that have an audiobook version, separate reviews just for the audiobook, and more. Don’t worry I listen just as much as I read, so I’m pretty stoked about what we have in store.
Non-Goodreads Imports: We know many of you have your own custom spreadsheet or text document listing your book collection. No promises, but we’re exploring the ability to import that in. If you have your own book collection, send it on over to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can add it to the list for our tests!
Multi-Author Series: One headache that we are looking to deal with is multi-author series, and how we currently display them. We hate it, and we’re sure you do too!
Check out the Lee Child page for example:
That entire 22-series book list with 21 authors other than Lee Child does NOT need to be displayed in full on that page. We’re looking into the best way of handling that – likely displaying only Lee Childs’ book and then giving you the option of expanding it – and hope to have that dealt with sooner rather than later.
Anthologies: We have some cool ideas involving anthologies. Right now if someone has a story within an anthology, or are the editor of an anthology, then that anthology will be listed within their list of books. However we want to do so much more with this, such as specifying if they are the author, then also listing the actual title of the story they have written within that anthology. This is going to be a massive process and is very low priority as we never really get requests related to this – but just wanted everyone to know it’s on the list!
Exporting: The ability to export your entire collection, book list, ratings etc.
Think that’s a lot? That’s just scratching the surface! If you want a book metaphor for this – the above is just the first five chapters in The Stand! We’ll update this page as the site progresses.
Site Completions / History:
Below is a list of notable changes and features to the site. This only lists the big stuff, not the millions of little things we are doing every day!
July 1st, 2022: Alpha Launch with 9000 authors.
January 1st, 2023: Beta Launch with 11,000 authors.
January 7th, 2023: Personalized Book Calendar on Sidebar.
January 9th, 2023: 12,000 authors!
January 16th, 2023: Started the email newsletter with site updates.
January 23rd, 2023: Weekly book notifications begin.
February 12th, 2023: 13,000 authors!
February 21st, 2023: 14,000 authors!
February 27th, 2023: 15,000 authors!
March 1st, 2023: “My Library” section completed.
March 6th, 2023: Author list now vertical instead of horizontal.
March 13th, 2023: 16,000 authors!
March 14th, 2023: Multi-author series only displays current author (option to expand).
March 24th, 2023: 17,000 authors!
April 8th, 2023: Set dates when you read a book.
April 10th, 2023: 18,000 authors!
April 12th, 2023: Middle Initials database fix implemented.
April 14th, 2023: Launched the Awards section. Will add one per week.
April 23rd, 2023: 19,000 authors!
April 24th, 2023: Cleared the “New Author Requests” Backlog.
April 29th, 2023: Default bookstores added in settings.
April 30th, 2023: First non-Amazon option added (Bookshop.org) to purchase from. Will be adding many more to shopping options as time permits.
May 8th, 2023: 20,000 authors!
May 9th, 2023: Track date books read. Anthologies hidden by default.
May 16th, 2023: Table of contents for all author listings added.
May 20th, 2023: 21,000 authors!
May 25th, 2023: Can change display name & profile picture on settings page.
June 6th, 2023: User & Average Ratings now display on authors page.
June 7th, 2023: Complete overhaul of the F.A.Q..
June 14th, 2023: 22,000 authors!
June 23rd, 2023: 23,000 authors!
July 19th, 2023: 24,000 Authors!
July 29th, 2023: “Last Name, First Name” in search now brings up author.
July 30th, 2023: List of books you have read in 2023 now under the “Reading Challenges” tab.
July 31st, 2023: 25,000 Authors!
August 17th, 2023: 26,000 Authors!
August 20th, 2023: Started weekly “Books Releasing This Week” posts.
August 24th, 2023: 27,000 authors!
August 28th, 2023: Series and series # added to weekly book notification e-mails.
We appreciate any and all feedback. Any suggestions, ideas, etc for the site or anything we can do to make your reading life easier which isn’t listed above? Let us know. You can e-mail email@example.com or fill in the contact form below.