Archive for the ‘ebooks’ Category

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Introducing the LibraryThing-e, an ereader from LibraryThing

The LibraryThing-e offers easy access to all commonly-used LibraryThing functions.

After more than a year of development we are ready to unveil the “LibraryThing-e,” an ebook reader from LibraryThing. Built in a friendly and fruitful partnership with Amazon, the LibraryThing-e reader includes all your favorite LibraryThing features, and is a fully-functioning ereader designed from the ground up for hard-core bibliophiles.

Features include:

  • Read books on a high-contrast E Ink screen, good for reading in bright light or shade.
  • Download new books with built-in Wifi and 3G connections.
  • LibraryThing-e’s patented “LikeaBook®” casing feels like fine morocco leather and emits a faint “old book” smell.
  • Access Your books, Profile and Talk sections of the LibraryThing website, with special ereader-enhanced version of Tagwatch.
  • The LibraryThing-e reference collection includes special editions of the American Heritage Dictionary and the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, Second Edition.
  • Though a ground-breaking arrangement with most publishers, the LibraryThing-e comes pre-installed with up to 200 of your LibraryThing books already scanned in; HarperCollins titles are restricted to a 26-page sample.
  • Docks easily with the CueCat barcode scanner (included).
  • Import books from a variety of other devices, including the Nookmooch® and GoodReader® platforms.
  • Water-repellent.
  • Text-to-Speech option with a choice of voices, including American voices (“Tim” and “Abby”) and an Australian option (“John”). “Zoë” is available as an expansion.
  • Most books are available in more than 12 languages, including French, Dutch, Catalan and Latin.
  • Built-in geolocation and our Readar™ technology matches your library with that of other LibraryThing-e readers nearby. A special expanded “Unsuggester” feature tells you where your reading-nemesis is at all times.
  • Comes in two colors: “LibraryThing Brown” and “Original Greige.” “Abby Maroon” is backordered.
  • All features are optional.

Best of all, the LibraryThing-e will begin shipping in two weeks!

Labels: barcode scanners, ebooks

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Your statistics: Ebooks and audiobooks

Our recent ebook push had one major flaw—something was up with the profile statistics page.

That’s been fixed, and the result is stunning. Instead of a few dozen ebooks, most users should see hundreds. My stats, for example, include fifteen LibriVox ebook editions, 45 Project Gutenberg editions and fully 99 Open Library editions—all free.

Check it out:

Labels: audiobooks, ebooks, kindle, open library, statistics

Monday, November 16th, 2009

New Feature: Get this Book

This post does not discuss what I consider what may be the most innovative and promising new feature, Local Book Search. I’ll get to that in the morning. (See it in action.)

Over the night we added a small avalache of features (for a list of Talk posts, see the top of this post.) This post talks about the “Get this book” feature.

Show me the feature! Check the Get this Book feature for Romeo and Juliet. Then come discuss this here.

Why the new features? For years now we’ve had a feature called “Buy, Borrow and Swap”—involved bookstore and library links, and integration with swap sites.

Two things moved us replace this feature:

  • We wanted to make it better—to integrate with as many sources as possible, so we show people what was out there, and send people to links that existed, not a lot of blind links to pages that might or might not exist. First, as discussed here, Amazon tightened up its linking policy, forcing changes.
  • Amazon required it. As a site that uses Amazon data (although we also use some 690 other sources), we had to follow their rules, which required us to drop links to competitor sites, except on secondary pages. We didn’t want this to be a net loss for the site, so we decided to make the best secondary pages we could imagine. (Three programmers kept imagining for two months straight, and this is what came out.)

The new pages are accessible from any work page, and are pictured at the right.

Ebooks. Another book site integrated with a single attractive, but not comprehensive ebook supplier. So we decided to integrate with fourteen. We’ve included both pay sites (Kindle, Sony Reader) and free sites (Project Gutenberg, Hathi Trust).

Not pictured:

The integration is deep. For Hathi alone, we’ve linked 398,000 LibraryThing works, and OpenLibrary adds another 178,000 full scans. Because our catalog is so vast, and our data so “ratty” (it comes from over 690 source), LibraryThing can do a lot better than parsing ISBNs. This is how we connect to so many ISBN-less sources. My favorite is the Online Books Page, which collects links to some 30,000 books found here and there online, mostly one-off scanning projects at universities and the like.

There are, of course, more. We’re not parsing Barnes and Noble ebooks—which will become important if the “Nook” takes off. If you don’t see your favorite source, let us know. We’ll work to add it.

Audiobooks. I haven’t taken to ebooks yet. (For starters, my reader is broken.) But I listen to a lot of audiobooks. For people like me we’ve added links to three audiobook suppliers—Audible, iTunes and the wonderful, free, amateur-driven project LibriVox.

Live Price Comparison from BookFinder.com. Many of you use the price-comparison site BookFinder.com, so, with their help, we decided to integrate a good piece of it into the site itself. BookFinder reaches out to dozens of new and used booksellers, and comes back with good deals and rare buys.

Live results are a core principle of the site, so caching is for as little time as possible. The results are also distinguished by being cross-edition—a fairly new concept in price comparison. You can change the ISBNs or titles BookFinder uses, to get price-comparison that fits you best.

Swap sites. Swap-site integration has been with LibraryThing for some time now. We’ve spiffed it up, and added a long-missing site, PaperBackSwap.com. As a lot of members belong to more than one site, gathering them all together like this should be valuable.

All Sources. “Get this book” are just the best slices of a much larger pie. Check out All Sources (here, for Romeo and Juliet) to get all the sources. As with other parts of the site, the data is fundamentally under your control. If you don’t see your favorite bookseller or book database, go ahead and enter it. We also want help improving the data.

Your Quick Links area is editable. To edit it, check out Edit Quick Links, which looks like “All Sources,” but works a little different.

What’s missing. Here’s how we plan to improve the page, and how you can improve it too.

  • Members need to be able to add new ebooks.
  • We need more ebook sources. Seventeen is great. There are probably thirty we should have.
  • A lot of sources need improvement; they don’t have all the link types they could have.
  • We have second slate of “book database” integrations coming up, including a full conversion of all Wikipedia citations.

Come talk about the new features here.

Labels: audibooks, bookfinder, ebooks, get this book, local book search, swap site