Archives for category: Features
Feedback Tab - Open

Feedback Tab - Open

We’ve added a feedback tab to the BookGlutton site – it’s something we’ve been meaning to do for some time, so it feels good to get it out there.

The Feedback tab just hangs out there on the right side of the screen. Act on impulse! Tell us if you run into problems on the site, right from that page. Share your suggestions for improvement. You can even automatically attach a screenshot of the page you’re on.

Every bug you track down, every recommendation you make, improves BookGlutton. Thanks for contributing to the experience.

Aaron’s presentation at Books in Browsers had 3 fundamental points, and 2 product announcements, so I’d say he pulled his weight among the heavies of publishing present at the Internet Archive last week. It was an impressive guest list, and in truth we were honored to be presenting. His presentation, The World Wide Web (of Books?), is embedded below. I felt these were the three most important concepts:

  • The future requires a new kind of publisher, the Cloud Publisher, who asks “What else can we charge for?” This is a common way for people with web-development backgrounds to approach new markets – what can we create a market for using new technology? Think Foursquare. Think Twitter. It particularly makes sense when facing the Gorgon of online publishing and distribution.
  • Communities are different than Audiences. The ideal community for a book may not align with its current audience. This explains why some retail chains can’t make the jump to community, and why communities are best built from the ground up. This will be a blog post in itself, but it’s worth mentioning here.
  • There are many layers that will live on top of social books, including the metadata layer, hyperlinked layer, and, you guessed it, the social layer.

-Travis Alber

As a designer, you conceive your design with the core values of a project in mind; you strive to reflect the ideas and feelings behind it. Contrary to that, the first lesson in web development is always separate your design from your code. It’s important that projects be flexible. A myriad number of screen sizes and devices mean the “presentation layer” should be designed to change, particularly when you use web technology. Moreover, partnerships will impact your design.

Aaron and I have been making websites for 15 years, so we get that. Most people don’t know it, but what we’ve built at BookGlutton is flexible in many ways. Easiest to change is the look and feel. Over the years we’ve had a number of conversations about offering our “BookClub in a Can,” the ability to export the social experience to other sites, so they can curate their own book clubs. Business considerations and content deals ultimately kept these projects from launching, and BookGlutton remained a destination site. But it’s fascinating to see how associating the reading experience with a different brand affects your relationship to it.

ANSWERBAG

ANSWERBAG

GOODREADS

Skinning the Reader takes almost no time at all. However, it changes the experience significantly. The Reader takes on the trappings of that community.

TOR

ELLE

All the mockups listed here preserved the buttons and layout, but even that can change. It makes for interesting consideration. Sometimes these mockups were presented in meetings; sometimes the discussion ended prematurely. See more skins, as well as the original BookGlutton design on Flickr.

Publishers! BookGlutton has a free content management system that reads EPUB, incorporates Onix, and uses the agency model. The BookGlutton Publisher Program lets you:

* -Maintain your publisher profile page
* -Interact directly with your readers and customers
* -Maintain a catalog of your EPUB titles
* -Instantly publish on a per-title basis
* -Control whether your files may be downloaded or not
* -Set your own prices on titles, changing them at any time
* -See real-time sales reports across all titles
* -Receive notifications whenever a title is sold

The basic steps to selling books with us are:

1. After signing up for the Publisher Program, upload a DRM-free EPUB file (for those not using an Onix feed).

2. Set any metadata not contained in the file, including price and cover image. You can set an ISBN to pull in GoodReads reviews, adjust price at any time, flip on download-capability using this menu.

3. Preview and publish the title, from the same menu.

You’ll always have a page that tells you which titles have sold the most, how much you’ve made, and what you’re owed. You can also set different email address to handle sales notifications and follow requests.

You automatically get a Publisher Page: post a logo, use the wall for announcements, manage followers, and show recently added books.

Signing up to become a publisher is easy and can be done at the bottom of any page

We’ve tricked out the BookGlutton content feed for Stanza! Check it out on your iPhone by downloading the Stanza App and going to Online Catalog > Books from BookGlutton.

Drilling down through the catalog to a Book Detail Page shows off the new design. Now you can tell how many times the book has been read on BookGlutton (Opens) and how many people have checked out the Detail Page on BookGlutton.com (Views). We also touched up the design to have more emphasis on cover art.

Scroll down to get detailed information, like a longer description, as well as the option to jump out to the BookGlutton.com mobile site. It opens in Safari, right inside Stanza! If, on the off chance, a publisher hasn’t cleared something for download, you can still access it inside Stanza – it just opens it via the mobile site right here. For most books, Stanza’s built in functionality is the norm, though, and you can download the title, just like you always have.

The new catalog arrangement now has the ability to find books by Publisher, as well as by Catalog. “Catalog?” you ask? Well, yes. The Unbound Reader on BookGlutton.com allows you to import from additional catalogs, so you can now do that here as well. Moreover, the Genres now match what you see on the BookGlutton site.

Finally, don’t forget the Surprise Me link!

Now you can download some files for backup purposes

Downloading is here! Grab a backup of the files you read socially on BookGlutton.com and store them for safe keeping. Most people prefer to read on online, via computer or phone – that’s much easier than dragging a file around. And of course, if you’re looking to talk to anyone about what you’re reading, BookGlutton is the best way to do it. But we get what you’ve been saying: it’s nice to have the option of downloading files. If the Publisher is game, so are we.

ISN’T THIS A STEP BACKWARD?
Not really. Most people are happy to read online and don”t really want to warehouse a file. But to the people who want to own something a little more tangible (well, as tangible as 1’s and 0’s can get), now you can feel like you’ve got things covered.

WHICH FILES CAN BE DOWNLOADED?
Most, but it depends on the publisher. If a publisher says it’s okay, we allow the download. Naturally if the book has a price attached you’ll need to buy it before that download button delivers.

WHAT FORMAT?
EPUB all the way, brother. It’s what we use on the backend, which is why we can flip it on like that.

WHERE ON THE SITE CAN I DO THIS?
Do this on any book detail page, right column; look for the icon that matches the giant one pictured here.

Getting organized for the new year? So are we! Get started by putting together your own COLLECTIONS on BookGlutton. What are COLLECTIONS, you ask? Well, a COLLECTION is a list of books you’ve found on BookGlutton.com.

You’ve already seen COLLECTIONS on the site? Probably. Logging in shows you COLLECTIONS listed in your personal sub-menu. By following that COLLECTIONS link you find your RECENT READS, PURCHASES and FAVORITES (after all, those are lists of books, too). But now you can create and name your own COLLECTIONS, as well. Might I recommend creating a few lists called “Things I Always Meant to Read” or “Stuff My Friends Think Is Awesome” and then adding some books?

Adding something to a COLLECTION is easy, just look for the “Add to COLLECTION” icon on any book detail page. Try it!