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Goodreads adds new ‘Ask the Author’ feature
May 22, 2014 | 12:25 pm

goodreadsI posted this to the Morning Links, but this is such a cool story that I wanted to elaborate further. Goodreads has added an intriguing new feature called 'Ask the Author' which allows users to post questions to favourite authors, get answers, and read the questions and answers which other users post. The initial launch features 54 authors, including Margaret Atwood, Dan Brown, Michael Cunningham, Arianna Huffington, Douglas Preston and other big names. Eventually, it will be available for all Goodreads authors. So, how does it work? You can go straight to the blog post linked to above to browse the initial...

My Goodreads Wishlist for 2014
January 2, 2014 | 2:47 pm

goodreadsOne of my first online tasks of the year was to update my Goodreads reading challenge. I aimed for 50 books last year and fell just short, but one of my new year's resolutions is to waste less time goofing around on-line and to spend my leisure time more productively. So I am aiming for 75 books this year---and while I do enjoy using Goodreads to track them, there are a few tweaks Amazon could make to the site which would make my tracking even easier. Here are my top three most-wanted Goodreads features. What are yours? 1) Ability to set...

Infographic: A look at Goodreads in 2013
January 2, 2014 | 10:48 am

Check out this neat infographic the folks at Goodreads put together for a glimpse at 2013. ...

Morning Roundup: Apple files patent for eBook autographs, Goodreads replacements; more
September 30, 2013 | 11:20 am

Apple Files Patent for eBook Autographs (GoodeReader) Apple has just filed a patent for an eBook autographing system. Their new system is designed to work with iCloud and in physical proximity. The technology will allow for the author and readers to be in the same room and have autographs transferred over via Bluetooth or WIFI. *** The Problem with Apps in Schools (Teachers with Apps) More than a million apps flood online stores around the world, thousands of which claim to be educational. And they threaten to drown educators who already have a huge workload to carry. *** Finding a Replacement for Goodreads (Dear Author) After Goodreads...

New Kindle Lineup Faster, Lighter and More Locked Down
September 25, 2013 | 4:02 pm

Amazon announced a series of new Kindle tablets yesterday. Some of the intriguing features of this new lineup include a faster processor, improved battery life and a slimmer, lighter profile. As for the 'lowlight,' these tablets are more integrated than ever into the Amazon ecosystem, and that can be both a feature and a curse. A few examples: 1) Goodreads Integration Now that Amazon owns Goodreads, they will be integrating it into all of their software interfaces, for both the tablets and the e-ink readers. That's great, if you like Goodreads! But what if you'd rather use a different social book site?...

Goodreads New Author Protection Policy
September 23, 2013 | 4:15 pm

Thanks to Nate at The Digital Reader for his comprehensive write-up of the new Goodreads content policy designed to 'protect' authors from cyber-bullying by overly exuberant readers. Goodreads couched the announcement as a friendly 'note regarding reviews' and it begins with 'reviews should be about the book' and then goes from there. The new measures include revised author guidelines, which Goodreads says it developed because "it’s clear that some problems have come up because some authors who are new to Goodreads don’t know what's appropriate on Goodreads and/or take matters into their own hands rather than flagging content that they feel...

Morning Roundup: Authors and readers band together to stop Goodreads bullying
August 26, 2013 | 8:57 am

GoodreadsWe Need a Digital-First Curriculum to Teach Modern Journalism (Media Shift) At the annual meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, one panel addressed adding programming skills to the curriculum: “Why All Your Students Must Be Programmers.” The inevitable question was posed: What would you cut from existing offerings to make room for these new topics? * * * Authors, Readers Band Together to Stop Goodreads 'Bullying' (Good e-Reader) Who knew the book industry was filled with such venom, such mayhem, such…death threats? Book discovery and discussion site Goodreads has been the battlefield recently for a...

App Review: Goodreads for iOS and Android
April 22, 2013 | 4:27 pm

GoodreadsNow that Amazon is buying Goodreads, I'm guessing lots more people are going to be using the site, so it seemed to make sense to write a review of the app. Goodreads has an app for both iOS and Android. It's also available in the Amazon Appstore for the Kindle Fire. Oddly, that version is listed as not compatible for my Nexus 7. There doesn't seem to be an app for Windows 8 or Blackberry. Both versions are easy to use and fairly self-explanatory. I have a mild preference for the iOS version, but because I do most of my reading on...

Morning Links: Goodreads Success Stories (Infographic)
April 5, 2013 | 9:55 am

GoodreadsStorEbook Reader Promises Better Spoken Word Narration (The Digital Reader) Infographic: Goodreads Success Story (ebook Friendly) 17-Year-Old Writer Gets 3-Book Deal (Galley Cat) Can Publishers Disintermediate Amazon? (Futurebook) Kindle Daily Deals: Deadly Recall by Donnell Ann Bell (and 3 others) * * * Via Ebook Friendly  ...

Trying to decide between Goodreads and Library Thing? Here’s what you need to know
April 3, 2013 | 10:15 am

GoodreadsBookriot has a great series up detailing the differences between Goodreads and Library Thing. In Part 1, Amanda Nelson covers how to add books, the user interface and how each site handles recommendations, stats, user groups and discussions. In Part 2, Nelson covers reviews, author interactions and miscellaneous details. Her conclusion? Library Thing is, on the whole, more the 'nerd' site (more comprehensive stats, better handling of pre-ISBN books, a more refined recommendation engine) and Goodreads is more a 'Facebook for books' (more popular groups, more social interaction with authors and other users). In the end, the feature set you prefer will...

Author discovery: One more reason Amazon may have purchased Goodreads
April 2, 2013 | 8:23 pm

AmazonWhen I wrote last week about the implications of the Goodreads/Amazon merger, I missed one particularly important reason Amazon may have decided to purchase the social reading site. But before I mention it, let me step back for a moment. I've been seeing some good quality books coming out of Amazon's publishing imprints, Thomas & Mercer and AmazonCrossing. I'm finding them from the ads on my Kindle Touch because, not surprisingly, Amazon is heavily promoting their own books through Kindle ads. So far this year, I've borrowed and read Alan Russell's Burning Man, Rachel Abbott's Only the Innocent, and Rosa Montero's Tears in Rain (which...

Six alternatives to Goodreads
April 2, 2013 | 10:15 am

When Amazon announced the purchase of Goodreads, many readers were skeptical about the future of the social reading site. Goodreads allowed users to add reviews and keep track of the books they read and interact with others on the site. Some readers are concerned with how the site might change and are looking for an alternative. Here are a couple of sites that you might consider: Library Thing – The site claims to have 1.6 million users and calls itself “the world’s largest book club.” Books are catalogued from Amazon, The Library of Congress and other sites. It should be noted that Amazon is...