abfm

Organic Book Discovery

abookforme - organic book discoveryWell, this has been some time in the making. I’ve spent quite a while thinking about book discovery, and now it’s time to show my work.

That work has been in progress for a few months now. It’s called ABookForMe, and it’s possibly one of the biggest projects I’ve worked on to date.

ABFM, as I’ve taken to calling it, came about because of a question: how would I build something that could help people find books? I effectively started from there, with the problem of book discovery, and just ran with it as far as I could. The front end look and feel was all the work of Fay-Lisa, a good friend and one of the best web designers I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. The result is what you see there now: an organic search engine for books, possibly the first of its kind. It uses user-influenced keyword matching algorithms to find the right book among close to 200,000, last time I counted, for whoever is searching.

There were huge challenges involved. I’ve integrated two different APIs in order to get access to the data I need to make it all work. Amazon were predictably useless, but Smashwords stepped up and gave me all the support I could have asked for. (Mark, Doug, if you’re reading this – thank you so much.) I spent at least a week doing nothing but optimizing the database. There were many late nights spent chasing down errors, or running through the logic of different functions.

So now the first stage is ready. I’ve done as much as I can, and at this point I need beta testers. Authors and readers alike, no matter what you read, no matter what you write.

Your opinions are the only ones that matter.

Go to abookfor.me and try out the main search engine. This is available to anyone, and it works right out of the box! No need to sign up or anything. I’ll accept feedback through any channel you prefer, whether by Facebook or Twitter or carrier pigeon or whatever.

If you want to try out the user features, though, contact me here and I’ll issue you a beta test account.

 

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