Social publishing site Scribd has been revamped and the iPhone app have been updated as well. The idea behind the redesign is to make it easier for new users to navigate while at the same time making it more engaging to long-time users.
TechCrunch explains the update: “The website was previously dominated by your social feed, showing you the documents uploaded and read by other users that you’re following. Now the social feed has been pushed off to the side, and in its place there’s a feed of ‘featured’ content, which has been hand-picked by Scribd.”
The latest iPhone update includes the ability to bookmark documents for reading when offline. The update should hit the company’s Android app soon.
Pinterest, the social networking site that lets users “pin” images to a virtual cork board, has launched a new iPad app and a new Android app, as well as updated its iPhone app, the company said a blog post.
To help writers and readers get the most out of the social network, we’ve put together a number of lists of literary Pinterest pages. Check out our Pinterest Boards for Book Lovers list, our Pinterest Tips for Writers post, and our list of 10 Pinterest Boards for eBook Fans.
AppNewser has more: “The company previously had an iPhone app, but this has been updated based on user feedback to include a 2 column layout. The newly launched Android app has been optimized to fit the varying Android devices and is available in Google Play and in the Amazon App Store. Pinterest said that the iPad app may have the best experience of all.”
Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone have launched a new publishing platform called Medium. The entire network is built upon themed collections of text and images, giving writers more space beyond the 140-character confines of Twitter.
Here’s more about collections, from the founders: “Collections are sometimes closed (like this one) but optionally open to contributions. For example, here’s an open collection of crazy stories. Here’s one of nostalgic photos. Collections give people context and structure to publish their own stories, photos, and ideas. By default, the highest-rated posts show up at the top, helping people get the most out of their time in this world of infinite information.”
Below, we’ve collected all the information writers need to know about this new site.
Goodreads, a social networking site for readers, has grown its membership to 10 million members. Collectively, these users have shelved 360 million books (chart embedded above).
The rate of growth has gained momentum in the last year and a half. The site earned its first 5 million members in four and a half years, and doubled its membership from 5 million members to 10 million members in the last 18 months.
Goodreads founder Otis Chandler blogged the news: “When we first launched in January of 2007 we waited until we hit what then seemed like a magical number of 100,000 members before we hired our first employee and secured angel funding. Since then, the vibrant Goodreads community and company has continued to blossom. We now have a team of 30, we’ve just moved into bigger, fancier offices in San Francisco, and we’ve launched an array of new products, including our super-awesome and successful Recommendations Engine.”
Goodreads has great resources for tracking popular titles and discovering reader preferences. For example, Goodreads discovered that dystopian fiction is more popular now than it has been in 50 years and made this infographic about the findings. The site recently launched a tool to make it easy to add Goodreads updates to your Facebook timeline. Follow this link to find out how.
Trying to choose between Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James and Strange Flesh: A Novel by Michael Olson? Well according to a new book reviews website iDreamBooks Fifty Shades gets a 30 ranking, and Strange Flesh gets an 80 ranking, which could help make the decision for you. iDreamBooks Applies Rotten Tomatoes Model to Book Reviews
The new website aggregates professional book reviews from around the web and makes recommendations on books to read based on these reviews. It works like Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic and will recommend a book if 70 percent of critics give it a positive rating.
Rahul Simha, co-founder of idreambooks.com told AppNewser: “I am a big fan of Rotten Tomatoes and I use it all the time to decide on a movie. When it comes to books, I like to read non-fiction and I have always wanted something like Rotten Tomatoes for books. I couldn’t find one on the internet for the longest time. When I talked about this idea with my friends, they liked it too. So we decided to develop it.”
Looking for new ways to find readers? Here’s an idea: host an online drawing contest using Doodle.ly, a free website and iPad app that lets you draw and share sketches.
Here’s how it can work. Use your social networking pages to invite loyal readers to make sketches about your book for the chance to win prizes (Free books, free eBooks, t-shirts, the chance to design your next book cover? You decide).
For a work of fiction, this can be a character from the book. For a cookbook, this can be a meal. For a work of poetry, it can be a location. Make it up based on whatever makes the most sense for your book. Then ask these fans to share their drawings on Facebook, adding a hashtag that ties into your book. The promotion can get your readers excited and help spread the word about your work to their friends. Read more
Goodreads has created a massive infographic analyzing the Fifty Shades of Grey effect around the country.
Vintage has already sold ten million copies of E. L. James‘ erotica trilogy, and the literary social network discovered some fascinating trends. They charted both the geographic distribution of readers and the books that have received a bump from a new national interest in erotica. We’ve embedded the infographic below. Here’s more from Goodreads:
The states with the highest readers per capita are located primarily in the Tri-State and New England area: New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, and New York. Fifty Shades of Grey has given some readers a new taste for erotica, and we’ve found a jump in interest in similar books on Goodreads. Just recently, Penguin’s Berkley Books imprint snatched up Sylvia Day‘s self-published novel, Bared to You, which has generated 2,500 reviews in the past two months … Other books potentially joining the sultry summer reading list are Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard, Rock Me by Cherrie Lynn, Captive in the Dark by C.J. Roberts, and The Reluctant Dom by Lesli Richardson.