Posted by Otis Chandler on November 18, 2013
Today is the culmination of a lot of hours of hard work and invention. We're burning with excitement to announce that Goodreads is now officially available for the new Kindle Fire! When we joined the Amazon family of companies six months ago, we were most psyched about continuing the mission we most care about—helping readers find and share books they love—but in addition, we also had the opportunity to really think about what the reading experience could be for Kindle readers.
We want to make the reading experience better. We want to make it easy to find great books, and then to have engaging, amazing conversations about them. It starts now—with a deep integration of Goodreads into the reading experience on the new Kindle Fires. Our team has been working incredibly hard over these past months, and we are very proud and excited about what we've begun to build. So, for this update, we thought it might be more fun to hear from some members of the team about what they've created.
Goodreads on Kindle Fire is different from the Goodreads mobile app because it's actually part of the Kindle reading experience. "What's most exciting to me is that it's the first time ever that Goodreads has been inside the book," said Brian Rosenblat, director of product. "There's no need to switch between the book you are reading and Goodreads. Goodreads on the Kindle is the first big step towards making it all one experience."
Robert LaThanh, developer, loves how the goal is to add to the enjoyment of reading books. "At Goodreads, we're all book lovers and big believers in the joy of losing ourselves inside a great book. We never want to interrupt that. What we're doing is making it easier than ever to share your reading with your friends when you want to."
So what you can do with Goodreads on the new Kindle Fire? It's a mix of familiar and new features. Let's take a look:
Share a quote
—Ettore Pasquini, senior developer
See what your friends are reading
—Mike Williams, software engineer
Rate and review books
—Virgilio Pigliucci, senior software engineer
Track what you want to read, are currently reading,
and have already read
—Seth Goldstein, director,
Goodreads will be available on the new Kindle Fires as part of a free, over-the-air software update that will be automatically delivered in the coming weeks in the US, Canada and Australia. Of course, if you can't wait that long, you can go here to make it happen immediately! (Please note that this is only available right now for the new Kindle Fires. We don't have information yet about all the other Kindle devices but will provide updates as we have them.) There will be more features on the way as well. And for you non-Kindle Fire readers, don't worry! We're going to continue to work hard to improve Goodreads on all devices: web, tablet, and mobile! Onward!
Looking forward to hearing what you think of the new Goodreads on Kindle Fire!
The Goodreads on Kindle Fire Team
Posted by Jessica Donaghy on November 18, 2013
Announcing Your Finalists! »
Only 10 books still standing in each category—the Final Round of the 2013 Goodreads Choice Awards has begun! With a whopping 1.2 million votes cast in the Opening and Semifinal Rounds, readers have narrowed the candidates to 10 finalists in each of 20 categories. You have from now until midnight (PST) on November 25 to place your final votes!
You're facing some tough choices in these hotly contested categories, and you'll also find some unusual competitors! Beloved Jim Henson is up against infamous Charles Manson in Best History & Biography. The incredibly diverse Best Memoir & Autobiography category includes the controversial Amanda Knox, Japanese teen Naoki Higashida, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, and even Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson. And you won't find a a stiffer rivalry than in Best Picture Books, where baby sloths and unicorns are scrambling for position.
We also saw some surprising upsets coming out of the Semifinals. George Saunders narrowly edged out Jhumpa Lahiri to become a finalist in Best Fiction. Write-in nominee Philippa Gregory catapulted up the rankings in Best Historical Fiction past favorites such as Tracy Chevalier and Colum McCann, who both missed the cut. And our finalists also include some fresh faces. Indie-publishing phenom Lindsay Buroker is up against the likes of Neil Gaiman and Brandon Sanderson in Best Fantasy, and debut novelist Wesley Chu faces heavyweights Margaret Atwood, Hugh Howey, and John Scalzi in Best Science Fiction. Last but certainly not least, strength is matching strength in Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction with a deep field including Cassandra Clare, Richelle Mead, Veronica Roth, and more! Who will triumph? View all the finalists and vote!
Remember, the polls close November 25, and winners will be announced December 3. This is your third and final chance to vote for the best books of 2013!
Posted by Sarah on November 13, 2013
Warning! Using the updated Goodreads for iOS is potentially addictive and you could end up with a sky-high Want to Read pile!
The newest version of Goodreads for iOS includes a fun and easy way to see book recommendations – personalized just for you. Our recommendations engine analyzes 20 billion data points to come up with suggestions based on the books you’ve rated and your favorite genres.
We have to confess, though, that when we were testing this in our office, it resulted in some of our teammates playing for hours as they added more and more books to their Want to Read shelf!
To give you an idea of the enchantment of the Goodreads iOS recommendations, check out this 30-second video of the recommendations feature in action. Irresistible for all you book lovers, right?
But there’s more … we’ve also improved the speed of one of our members’ favorite features on Goodreads for iOS – the barcode scanner. The scanner now opens up and focuses faster so you can pull up the information about a book more quickly. We find it’s especially handy when you see a book when you are out and about and want to check out reviews from your friends and the Goodreads community to learn more about it. (We’ve also heard of members—and plenty of employees—using the scanner to efficiently catalog every single book on their shelves at home!)
Our Goodreads app for iPhone, iPad and iPad mini is updated for iOS7 and is now available so be sure to update the app if you already have it. To try it for the first time, you can download it from here.
Let us know what you think!
Posted by Jessica Donaghy on November 11, 2013
Semifinal Round Now Open for Voting! »
Meg Wolitzer! Sonia Sotomayor! Guy Gavriel Kay! These are just some of the authors you have boosted into the Semifinal Round with your votes. Goodreads members cast 852,885 votes for more than 13,000 books in the Opening Round of the 2013 Goodreads Choice Awards. We have now added the top five write-ins in each category as official nominees, bringing the total to 20 nominated books in each of 20 categories. Congrats to the new nominees!
Jeannette Walls and Elizabeth Strout are now rounding out the already highly competitive Best Fiction category. Chris Bohjalian, Jamie Ford, and Edward Rutherfurd bring the male perspective to the formerly female-heavy roster in Best Historical Fiction. Other new nominees include headliners Elizabeth Smart in Best Memoir and Gwyneth Paltrow in Best Food & Cookbooks. And fresh blood in the YA categories includes Matthew Quick in Best Young Adult Fiction and Gail Carriger in Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction. View all the Semifinalists »
Vote now to support your favorite books, because big cuts are coming! The Semifinal Round closes November 16, and then we narrow the playing field dramatically. Only 10 books in each category will advance to the Final Round, beginning November 18. Don't let your favorite author get eliminated!
Posted by Patrick Brown on November 05, 2013
Join us today for a live video chat with bestselling author Markus Zusak. We'll be discussing his breakout international hit The Book Thief, one of the most beloved books of the last decade. We'll also be discussing the film version of the novel, in theaters now.
To watch the chat or ask a question, click here.
Posted by Jessica Donaghy on November 04, 2013
Vote now in the Opening Round! »
Other book awards rely on curated committees and arbiters of culture, but at Goodreads we want to know what you think. It's our favorite time of year again: Today we launch the 5th annual Goodreads Choice Awards, where the winners are determined entirely by your votes! With 20 categories ranging from Best Humor to Best Fantasy to Best Poetry, there's something for everyone. Pick your favorites in the Opening Round, and then come back to support your books that make it through to the Semifinal and Final rounds as the month progresses.
A hearty congratulations to our impressive collection of nominees! We have some interesting match-ups to keep an eye on this year. A "who's who" of literature—including Khaled Hosseini, Jhumpa Lahiri, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Wally Lamb—is duking it out in Best Fiction. Dan Brown's professorial sleuth Robert Langdon has some real competition in Best Mystery from J.K. Rowling's gruff P.I. Cormoran Strike. Can grande dame Maya Angelou hold her own against 16-year-old Nobel Peace Prize nominee Malala Yousafzai in Best Memoir? And place your bets for the father vs. son face-off happening in Best Horror, where the mighty Stephen King must stand up against his talented offspring, Joe Hill. Your favorite authors need your votes before the polls close November 25.
The Goodreads Choice Awards are the only major book awards decided by readers, and we find our nominees from books that our members read and love throughout the year. There's no judging panel or industry experts. We analyzed statistics from the 250 million books added, rated, and reviewed on the site in 2013 to nominate 15 books in each category. Of course, with hundreds of thousands of books published in 2013, no nominee list could cover the amazing breadth of books reviewed on Goodreads so we also accept write-in votes during the Opening Round to ensure that you can vote for exactly the book you want.Vote for the best books of 2013! »
Posted by Suzanne on October 30, 2013
We don’t mean to spook you, but we’re about to enter the final two months of 2013! How’s your Goodreads Reading Challenge going?
Congratulations to the more than 3,400 Goodreads members who have already completed their Goodreads Reading Challenge this year! (We’re so envious.)
But, if you’re feeling more challenged than usual, take heart. You are not alone!
Whatever your status with your own personal Reading Challenge, stick by our favorite piece of advice: Keep Calm and Carry On Reading!
Posted by Otis Chandler on October 21, 2013
More and more, mornings look like this: The alarm rings, you sit up, sleepily grasp for your smartphone, and scroll through your news and updates. According to industry analysts, by 2015 more people will access the web via mobile devices than desktops. And of course, Goodreads is no different. In September, traffic to our mobile web site was up 150 percent from last year, with most of that coming from smartphone users. Now we’re rolling out a beta mobile version of Goodreads.com that we think makes navigation on a smartphone easier and more intuitive! When you visit Goodreads.com on your smartphone’s web browser, you’ll see the new mobile site as soon as you sign in. (On tablets, you will continue to see the familiar desktop version for now.)
To give you a feel for the new look of the mobile web site, check out these fun screenshots:
Some of the improvements to look forward to include:
- More organized and easier-to-browse view of your books
- Simple view of your friends’ updates and what they are reading
- A cleaner and more useful presentation of book information
This is a beta version and we’re working on adding more mobile-optimized pages in the future, so please stay tuned.
Just to recap, all you have to do to see the new beta site is visit Goodreads.com on your smartphone. Enjoy!
Posted by Patrick Brown on October 21, 2013
Join us today at 2pm ET/11am PT for a live video chat with New York Times bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell. We'll be discussing his new book David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.
This chat has been rescheduled to Tuesday, October 22 at 11:30am ET/8:30am PT. Sorry for the inconvenience.
To watch an archived recording of the chat, click here.
Posted by Otis Chandler on September 24, 2013
When we announced that Goodreads will be coming to the new Kindle Paperwhite a couple of weeks ago, many of you wanted to know if Goodreads integration would be coming to Kindle Fire. We’re happy to share today that the answer is yes, Goodreads will soon be integrated with the new Kindle Fire devices!
With the new Goodreads integration on the new Kindle Fires unveiled by Amazon today, you will be able to:
- see what your Goodreads friends are reading
- share highlights and notes as you read
- track the books you read and want to read and build your shelves
- read reviews from your friends and from the Goodreads community
- rate and review books
- import Amazon-purchased books to your Goodreads shelves.
The Goodreads integration will be coming to the new Kindle Fire devices in the US by an over-the-air (i.e. automatic) Fire OS update in mid-November.
In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at what Goodreads will look like on the new Kindle Fire devices: