Friday, July 5, 2013

Introducing "Hunt For Books By Genre"

As my previous post indicated, we love feedback here at Hunt to Read. Rick and I both really enjoy hearing how we can make the site better, and implementing changes to better the experience for both readers and authors/publishers.

After all, ancient humans went from stalking lions and other giant cats to picking up rocks and throwing them at the animals, to fashioning spears that helped them actually hunt far more efficiently.

Similarly, we want to constantly evolve the "hunting for books" process so that it makes it easier for readers to hop on and have a more enjoyable, down the road dare I say "fun," experience.

One of the most common questions we heard over the first week-plus was "why can't you hunt by genre?"

It's totally valid; we knew that "Hunt for Books by Genre" was a vital part of the site from the outset. The reason we didn't implement it from the start had to do with the size of our book library, as well as the number of books posted in each genre. After all, hunting for books in a genre with only one or two options didn't make a whole lot of sense at the outset.

We're satisfied that the total number of books on the site is coming along nicely, to the point where it finally made sense to implement the update. So I'm pleased to introduce the new "Hunt" interface, complete with genre, retailer, and author filters!

This lets the Nook owner who's into fantasy search whatever Nook fantasy books we have on the site. This is big for a number of reasons. As I've said in previous posts, the ethos of Hunt to Read is that it is reader-driven: YOU, the reader, select what books you want to ultimately view on our page.

However, throwing 100+ books into a big soup, while tempting (" soup...") is sure to lead a lot of folks to browse through a lot of books they don't want to see, either because they don't enjoy the genre, or don't have the device on which the books are available.

With the filter engaged, you cut right to the chase, and see books that you're interested in. The hunt is more focused. It's just the first of many reader experience upgrades that we have in the works, innovations that will make browsing the site easier and a joy.

In true Ron Popeil fashion, though, "that's not all!" We've implemented a number of improvements to the site in this upgrade, including:
-New cover help text that should aid you in creating a cover image that doesn't distort on the "Hunt" page. 

-Three "recently added books" featured on the homepage. For now, all books in our library are eligible to come up in this spot.

-Cover images in the "Book Hunt" should load more quickly than before.

I have to reiterate, by no means are we through improving the site. Rick has worked tirelessly on rolling out incremental updates as quickly as he can. Again, I know you folks are sick of hearing this, but I'm really excited about the improvements on the reader side of things that we have coming up in the next couple of weeks; these are potentially game-changing things, folks, that should drive traffic and feedback to books, and should provide incentives for readers to frequent the site. Rest assured, you'll be the first to know once we implement them.

Thanks again for checking in; we'll continue to work day-and-night to ensure the best user experience possible.

Back to the Hunt!


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