We may have been quiet the last few months, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy.
Last week we completed the development of our latest major update, ThirdScribe 4.0, which not only brings in a ton of features and improvements, but more than that, it makes real the concepts we started in TS 3.0, mainly blending in a full range of reader and book blogger services.
In TS 3.0, we added a Book Club functionality and opened up our book catalog to all members. From there, any member of ThirdScribe could enter a book into the catalog, with special editing rights preserved for authors. But, what could a reader do with those books?
Members could add books to the catalog and to their personal library in the network, but they couldn’t make custom shelves – not even a TBR. Reviews could be added to each book, but those were difficult to share socially. Members could contribute to a common blog, but it wasn’t their own.
In other words, it was pretty good, but didn’t go that extra mile as far as readers were concerned.
ThirdScribe 4.0 changes all of that.
Here are the big ticket changes that will be coming in September when we launch ThirdScribe 4.0:
Websites for Everyone
For three years, ThirdScribe has powered hundreds of author websites, and now those tools have been expanded and made available to any member, creating the perfect platform for book lovers of all kinds. If you are frustrated with BookLikes’ declining support and development, this is the option you’ve been waiting for.
Any member can have a site of their own, one that is made especially for the needs of the book community. Whether you’re a reader, a book blogger, an author, or a publisher, ThirdScribe’s platform is ready to support you.
Smart Shelves and Lists
With the expansions to our Enter Once system, members can build and manage their personal library with ease. For those who want an easy, effortless library management solution, our smart Genre/Subgenre shelves can manage themselves. For readers who want fine tuned control over their shelves, they can manually build and organize custom shelves any way they want.
Combining personal library management with Enter Once means we can do a lot of pretty interesting things. For example, in the screenshot above is a smart TBR – you add in the books you want to read and it will tell you when they go on sale.
And, as each shelf is a dedicated page in a website, they can be individually linked and shared across social media. You can share your favorite reads, your planned reads for the month or year, your TBR, or even your entire library – it’s all up to you.
Enhanced Book Blogging and Reviewing
We’ve learned a tremendous amount hosting The Leighgendarium and we’ve brought those lessons into the main ThirdScribe system to make them available to everyone.
Our Enter Once system makes embedding any book from our catalog into a page or past a snap – perfectly placed and formatted, every time.
Each member site is fully compliant with social media networks, so sharing looks awesome.
We are ad and affiliate friendly, and site holders can embed Amazon, Adsense, or any other advertising code they care to use.
Podcasting is fully supported – just take a look at “30 Minute Author Interviews” over on Leighgendarium.
And if you’re a Book vlogger, the entire ThirdScribe system is video friendly, from writing reviews in book pages to special formatting codes in each website. This is the modern age and video is just as valid a review format as text, so we made sure YouTube videos look perfect on every device and in every page and post.
Author (or Publisher) Controlled Promotions
This allows authors and publishers to designate a book as being on sale, and provide a special link just for that sale. So, if the book is discounted on iBooks but not on Kindle, no one gets confused. Also, it makes it super easy to identify books that are on permafree, or part of a giveaway or contest. Promotional links include Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, Google, Comixology, Instafreebie, GoodReads, Amazon, and more.
It even works for if the author is giving the book for free for signing up for their newsletter. All they have to do is select the “Free” promotion and then put the link to their newsletter in the “Free Via Newsletter” option. Couldn’t be simpler.
As always, we leave the link up to the user, so authors and publishers can feel free to use tracking links, affiliate links, or any combination.
And, yes, it’s completely free to use.
Selecting a promotion puts the promotion flag on the cover of the book, everywhere it appears: book catalog, book pages, recommended book tab, author’s website, even a reader’s TBR. And the links will be displayed along with it.
Speaking of which…
More Capable Book Cards
In TS 3.0 we changed how our book cards looked, with 4.0 we seriously upgraded how they worked.
By expanding the meta-box for each book card, we can pack a heck of a lot of information in the same convenient, easily placed space. All of it controlled through the same, simple book page interface.
Now every book card can include promotional information and links, reviews, and previews as well as purchase links. Speaking of which, we’re also expanding our sales links to include Signed Books, Nook Audio, iTunes, Scribd, Patreon, WattPadd, Instafreebie, Books-a-Million, Powell’s, Indiebound, and Waterstones.
Not a fan of the new “Movie tie-in” cover of your favorite book? I don’t blame you.
This was another reader request and we’re happy to finally be able to fulfill it. We’ve added new meta-data to our book pages to allow for multiple editions of books. Now every collector can have their preferred version on their digital shelves.
We want our members to be able to communicate with each other, but we don’t want it to be overwhelming or a total PITA. So, we’ve overhauled our notification system to not only be more comprehensive, but to also be fully controlled by individual members.
New Site Templates and Customization Capabilities
In TS 4.0 we’ve added flyout menus, variable homepage layouts, site style customization, and a couple of refinements to our Enter Once embeds.
We’re Totally Stoked
This is, by far, the largest update to ThirdScribe we have ever done and we are extremely excited about it.
The potential for these changes is, I feel, a gamechanger for how authors, publishers, readers, and book bloggers all interact and work together.
ThirdScribe’s stated mission is to empower the book community and we feel this is a huge step in that direction. We hope you do, too.