Between now and mid-March…
Right now we are working to improve server speed and our base infrastructure. This was something we needed to do as the site has grown.
Then, we will start testing book data APIs and planning how we can start integrating book genre data. This research will help us pick a partner to license that data from and help us understand the challenges adding this data will bring.
I am considering two features for after Mid-March
- Once we finish the above research, we might proceed to immediately integrating the genre data into the platform. The first feature we would focus on is shipping genre filters to the bookshelves. The idea is you can go to the WW2 bookshelf page and filter it down to only history books, only books for kids age 8, or only historical fiction. Or, if you are on the vampire bookshelf you can filter that down to only romance, history books, or urban fantasy.
- Or, we might focus on shipping some SEO tools and UX improvements to the book lists and bookshelves (including the improved recommendation engine for the book lists). This includes some fixes to the bookshelves to better highlight the author who is recommending that specific book (among many other things).
I won’t know which will come first until we finish the current research on the book data APIs. And, I need to finish more research around SEO and talk to a few experts to make sure I am on the right path.
What is coming after that?
After that, it gets a bit blurry, as I want to see what things look like.
Feature to help with new book launches…
This feature will help highlight new books on bookshelf pages, but I am hesitant to do that without more traffic to the bookshelf pages. It takes a good 6+ months to start getting traffic to those pages, and that puts them more ready toward July. I don’t want to ship a feature that doesn’t help authors with traffic, and I might need to delay this one slightly. We shall see…
A lot of additional pages that readers want, such as…
- Genre sub-pages for bookshelves (to help get readers to exactly what they are looking for, i.e. children’s books about kindness, novels about World War 2, etc…)
- Genre pages, so that readers can browse through historical fiction based on topics and other cool tools.
- Pages around individual books and why our community of authors recommends them.
- Pages to help readers who liked book x to find books like that one.
- Pages to help readers find books for a specific child’s age.
And, we will need some time to improve how we work on the backend at some point, and that is a good month or more of work I believe. I will update as we get further along.