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From the press release:

Billed as “the missing link between Amazon and Facebook,” the site uses an innovative
algorithm that helps people decide what book to read next. Users can also share and talk
about their favorite books on BookLikes, making it one of the first sites to transform
reading into a social experience. For more information, please visit

June 14, 2011 – BookLikes is proud to announce that it will launch the beta version of
its website June 14 at Mini Seedcamp New York. The web-tech event is perfect for the
BookLikes launch, as the site provides a virtual “e-shelf” where users can catalog their
favorite books and discover new reads.

BookLikes is dedicated to all kinds of readers; it’s easy for anyone to find a good book
thanks to the site’s highly sensitive algorithm. Unlike other sites, BookLikes considers
factors such as reading preferences, general book information and social activity when
providing a personal recommendation. Moreover, the algorithm is constantly learning
from users’ behavior, allowing the site to give suggestions consistently tailored to
people’s reading habits.

Users can also take advantage of the site’s strong social media component. They can
show off their bookshelves on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and they can review,
discuss and share their opinions with other book geeks. BookLikes’ free mobile apps
allow users to get information about books and what others think of them on the go.
Simply scan a book’s ISBN code with an iPhone or Android phone to find out more!

CEO David Piaskowski said that BookLikes was created in response to recent changes in
the book market. E-book sales have increased significantly.

“We are witnessing an e-book revolution,” he said. “Nowadays, the bookcase at home
is not enough. In the era of e-books we need e-shelves which make it possible to put
traditional printed books, e-books and audio books together. This solution also enables
users to organize all their books in one place and share their reading preferences.”

Although BookLikes is currently launching in English-speaking countries, other language
versions are already in progress. Within six months the service will be available in six
more languages: Chinese, German, French, Spanish, Japanese and Polish.


  1. Nice site and the kind of site I can see myself using.

    A few annoying features though 🙁 .. I find it odd and off putting to read the following in it’s “Discuss and Review” intro section:
    “share your knowledge with other book geeks”

    Really ? so to like reading is to be a ‘geek’ ? I think not !!

    I also don’t like the fact that when you sign up and sign in you lose the intro section and the page is dominated by what other people are doing, with no content about what “I” have been doing (?)

  2. I found it weird that I couldn’t put in anything like preferences – how does it know what to offer me as suggestions? If it doesn’t tailor the preferences, I don’t see how it’s providing value.

    I’ll go and look later when I have more time.

  3. Three red flags that BookLikes isn’t ready for the public.

    I think BookLikes broke a tacit agreement that most services these days honor with respect to Facebook privacy.

    Here’s what happened: I signed up to take a look around, and since there’s not much of a community yet, I relented and linked my Facebook account to my BookLikes account. As part of the Facebook linking, I was told that I had to agree to let BookLikes post to my Facebook wall. I reluctantly agreed in order to see how the experience would be.

    Of course, no one from my Facebook network had joined, and I forgot about it. Several hours later, I discovered that without telling me, BookLikes had posted an ad for itself as a status update to my wall, and it phrased the ad copy so it seemed like it was a personal message from me to my friends. (Something along the lines of “Do you want to see what I’m currently reading? I used BookLikes blah blah blah!”)

    I don’t think hijacking your users’ Facebook pages for viral marketing is what most people are thinking of when they agree to let a website post to their fb walls. At least I don’t. I expect that sort of thing from unreputable fb app developers (which I avoid), not from a book recommendation site.

    It makes me very uneasy. Needless to say, I immediately revoked access and de-linked my Facebook account from my BookLikes account.

    – – – –

    BookLikes advertises free mobile apps on the home page as part of the whole BookLikes ecosystem. They were part of the reason I signed up. But so far as I can tell, they don’t exist, and I can’t find any mention of them anywhere on the site once you’ve signed up and logged in.

    – – – –

    One more thing: it looks like the actual interface for liking/adding books was swiped directly from Shelfari (unless Shelfari originally swiped it from another site).

    – – – –

    In my opinion, this service isn’t really even ready to be called “beta” yet. I was holding my tongue about items 2 & 3, but I just found out about the Facebook thing and that pretty much tells me all I need to know about trustworthiness.

  4. Hi,

    we’ve launched as an early beta to get as much feedback as we can so we really appreciate it. We want to make BookLikes with our users.

    @Howard – you are right about “geeks” and it will be changed tomorrow.
    You have your updates on your profile page (just like on Twitter).
    @Perry – we will add a quick first time guide soon on BookLikes.
    @Chris Walters – all facebook publishing will be gone tomorrow. You are right and I’m sorry for that. Consider it done – first thing in the morning! I’m really sorry for that!
    Mobile apps – once again sorry for misleading. There will be “coming soon” tomorrow.
    Adding new books – Shelfari did this really good but we were trying to make it look cleaner (so there is no “Add” button and icon appears when you add book to your BookLikes).

    Thank you for your feedback.

    Best regards,
    Dawid Piaskowski
    CEO BookLikes

  5. Great response Dawid. I myself think as a beta these problems are perfectly reasonable to encounter and it is a good opportunity to iron out some of the wrinkles and gain experience of real users. Teleread is an excellent place to test the site out because there are so many book-people here. Powodzenia!

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