As some of you know, on Thursday I hosted a #LitRate Twitter chat! We talked about ideas for the site, what happens if we don’t raise enough money, and I have a list full of new features all from YOU!
I thought I’d do a quick recap of what we discussed just in case you couldn’t make it. 🙂
What happens if we don’t raise the $16k we need? Is there a plan B?
I’ve thought about this A LOT! Honestly, as it currently stands, we’re behind on the money we need. This isn’t 100% accurate by any means, but there’s a site called Kicktraq that tries to project how much money you’re trending towards on Kickstarter. At the time of writing this post, we’re trending towards $12,700. So the question is: what happens if we don’t raise the money?
To be honest, I don’t see this project moving forward if we don’t raise the $16k. If we don’t raise the money, the only other choice is to use a free option for data. I’ve looked at all the free options and I KNOW them to be inferior to what Goodreads currently has. Maybe the $16k data subscription won’t immediately make us as good as Goodreads, but we’d have a pretty good fighting chance. We’d have a database immediately starting with 13 million books, all containing reliable data. We’d have access to upcoming releases. And we’d have several million book cover images.
But if we use a free option, the site won’t stand a chance against Goodreads. Yes we can have “Librarians” who add books and fix spammy/incorrect data, but they can’t add millions and millions of books in just a few weeks. And if the book data is significantly worse than what Goodreads has, why would people use LitRate instead? I use Goodreads to see the cover and synopsis of books I’m interested in. If LitRate doesn’t have that data but Goodreads does, I’d probably use Goodreads. If that’s how I feel, I imagine other people feel the same way.
I REALLY want this project to happen, but I know that if the book data sucks, the site won’t have a good chance of succeeding. I don’t want to halfass this project. If we’re going to do it, I want to do it right.
The ability to “pause” a book you’re currently reading
Sometimes you start a book, but don’t keep reading it. You’re not marking the book as DNF, because it wasn’t bad and you’re not stopping forever. It’s just that you started reading, got distracted with another book, and want to put the book down and continue it later where you left off.
You’ll be able to mark a book as “currently reading”, set your progress to page 50 (or whatever), then a few days later you can click “Pause”. Your progress will be saved, but your book will not appear in your “Currently Reading” list. Then at any time you can “Resume” the book and your progress will be right where you left off.
Also, when we calculate how long it took you to read the book, we won’t count the period when the book was “paused”.
Deter people from rating books they haven’t read with “liking”
On LitRate we don’t want people rating books they haven’t read. Rating a book should be an indication of how good the book was. If you haven’t read the book you’re not in a position to make that judgement. We don’t want any of this “5 star because I’m SO EXCITED” or “1 star because the first book sucked” nonsense.
So, we were given two ideas to help combat this!
All books will have some kind of “Like” button. So if you haven’t read the book yet but you’re SO FREAKING EXCITED or if you ADORE THE COVER then you can “like” the book instead.
If you rate the book, it gets moved to your “read” shelf
This was actually suggested because one person found that she’d rated a bunch of books they’d read on Goodreads but forgot to mark them as “read”. It was annoying for her to have to go back and fix that and she thought it would be cool for rated books to be marked as “read” automatically. But, I also think this will deter people from rating books if they haven’t read them. Win win!
(We’d have to figure out how to deal with this in regards to books you DNF. Because those would presumably be marked as DNF instead of Read… confusing!)
More sorting, filtering & stats for “My Books”
On Goodreads a lot of people have shelves for genres or shelves for book formats. This results in loads and loads of shelves. We’re hoping to do away with this!
When viewing “My Books” you’ll be able to filter the results according to genres. So you can see how many “Science Fiction” books you’ve read/shelved without having to actually create a shelf for “Science Fiction”. We’ll keep track of all that data for you.
Hopefully we’ll be able to do the same with book formats.
Other bits & bobs
- Official DNF support
- Cool stats on book listings, like how many people have read the book, how many DNF the book, how many want to read the book, etc.
- Spaces and capitalization in shelf names!
- Create sub-shelves
- When viewing a genre page/archive have a sidebar item for “Books you have in this genre”.
- Mood icons/statuses with updates
- Awesome badges, titles, and rewards to almost give the site a “gaming” feel
And so much more!!
I can’t guarantee that every single item will be available at launch because we have so much to do and our hopeful launch date is January 2015. But I’m creating a big list of all your ideas so we can work on integrating them both before and after launch!