Libreture Dev Update - July

What's going on with the ebook alternative to Goodreads.

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It’s high time I kept you more up-to-date with what’s going on behind the scenes with Libreture. So here’s the first in a regular series of posts on the development of the site, my design choices, and upcoming features.

I have a developer!

A kind friend has agreed to work with me on Libreture to migrate it to a new host and add new features.

There’s a lot to do, but all the work puts us in a strong position to make quicker changes, build new tools, and support you and your ebooks.

We’re on the move!

We’re migrating Libreture to a fantastic new hosting provider. In the process we’re moving the site to the EU. Possible upcoming changes to UK law could mean issues with privacy, age verification, and many other disastrous consequences for small internet businesses here. I’d rather protect the site from changes that might affect our readers, so we’re off to the Netherlands Flag of the Netherlands!

In the process, everything is getting an update!

You’ll notice that the Roadmap has a few additions. There are some really important bits I want to share with you.

Fighting fake reviews

Fake reviews cause so many problems! They skew search results, and make it difficult to find accurate information on books and what readers think of them. Libreture is here to help you discover great books to enjoy, and one of the best ways is through trusted word-of-mouth recommendations and reviews. We already support short recommendations, and now it’s time for Libreture reviews.

Recommendations are for your brief positive thoughts on why you enjoy a book, while reviews are for a deeper dive into the pluses and minuses of a particular title.

How will Libreture address fake reviews? Fortunately, because of the way Libreture already works, you'll only be able to review books you own and have uploaded. No more fake reviews!

I’m looking forward to seeing how you get on with reviews when they launch.

Individual star ratings StarStarStarStarStar

Star ratings can be a mess because of the way many sites collate and aggregate them. Sometimes you can’t even be sure they match up to individual readers. And don’t get me started on the idea that 3-and-a-half stars means the same thing to everyone!

Again, since each ebook or comic in your Libreture library is uniquely recorded, star ratings won’t (and can't) be aggregated. Every score will be unique to your individual copy of an ebook or comic. No more gaming star ratings!

They’ll give you a quick way to score books and, a bit later, sort books by ratings. Everyone has their own way of rating, which means you’ll get to know how each reader scores their books, and what to look out for. (And yes, there'll be half-stars!)

Read more on our upcoming Reviews and Star Ratings features.

Web Reader

This is a big deal for me! I’m VERY excited about it.

This biggest upcoming milestone is the ability for you to read your ebooks and comics directly on Libreture.surprise

You can already download and read your DRM-free ebooks and comics on any suitable device - directly, or through an OPDS-compatible app. But sometimes hurdles crop up. Things like a dead battery, a broken or forgotten device, or the fact that an e-reader can be an expensive purchase in the first place can all put a halt to your reading.

The Web Reader feature will let you enjoy your books on any device you can access the site from. No downloading! And you’ll get tools to make reading comfortable.

You’ll be able continue from where you left off for each book, and change how the reading experience looks and feels. You’ll also be able to add multiple bookmarks to mark specific pages.

The Web Reader will also support inline highlight passages and add notes, which will be recorded on the book page and available to share publicly if you choose.

You can pick any of your own physical books off a bookshelf and dip into it. It’s about time you could do that with your digital bookshelf.

Stay in the loop

I’ll keep you posted on the migration and especially how it might affect downtime when we move things to our new hosts.

You’ll find me on Twitter, Mastodon, through the newsletter, and now (finally blush) on Reddit.

Oh, and there’s a new Status page and connected social accounts up-and-running! Follow them to stay informed of any issues, or anything that could impact on your reading – you know, the important stuff!

 

Happy reading,

Kevin

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