Next Stop: Beta Release!Β 

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By Adam Fortuna

3 min read

It’s finally happening – our beta release is just around the corner.

We have some big news: we’re officially launching the beta of Hardcover in about 10 days on Wednesday, March 2, 2022! March second is National Reading Day–an annual event focused on getting more kids to read around the world. It’s also Dr. Seuss‘s birthday. What better day to launch?

I remember reading Dr. Seuss when I was young. I had a small stack of brightly colored hardcover books on my shelf well into my 30s. I only parted with them when we downsized from a house to an apartment with fewer bookshelves (it was not an easy decision to decide which books to keep!).

πŸš€ How You Can Help With the Launch

On Wednesday, March 2, we’re going to release on a few different platforms – mainly ProductHunt and Reddit. On that date, we’ll send off a message to you through this newsletter.

Here’s what you can do to help:

When we send out this email, I’m going to ask you to help upvote the release on ProductHunt and to upvote any posts we have on Reddit.

If you’re on social media, this is the date we’d love for you to share Hardcover with your friends! That could mean sharing a link to Hardcover, a link to your profile, a link to ProductHunt, or to Reddit.

Since Hardcover is free, this is the best possible thing you can do to support us. (side note: we have monetization plans down the line that involve working with authors and publishers directly, but for that, we need more people using Hardcover).

Having more readers on the platform makes it more fun! It means more activity in your feed, more answers on prompts, and more interesting lists to discover!

❓ What Does This Release Mean?

It means we’re ready for a lot more people to try out the site! It means we think we’re a usable alternative to Goodreads. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still more to do, but we think it’s a good time to check if people think we’re on track.

The goal of Hardcover is to help you find life-changing books. We think those can come from multiple places: seeing what others are readingbrowsing listschecking and answering prompts, and later on through other algorithmically generated ways (recommendations, match percentage, similar characters, etc).

To help you find those life-changing books, here’s a look at what we have today:

πŸ““ Track what you want to read, what you’ve read, and what you’re reading.

🚚 Confidently move your library from Goodreads to Hardcover

πŸ‘­ Follow your friends and share what each other are reading.

πŸ“° Get a feed of your friends’ activities and activities for books you’re interested in.

πŸ† Create book goals – either by the number of books or number of pages.

πŸ“š Organize your books into lists and easily find what you’re looking for.

πŸ“ˆ Discover books through popular lists, prompts, and the feed.

πŸ“± Optimized for a phone or a computer.

πŸ”‘ Members can invite 5 friends to join with an invite code.

This release doesn’t mean we’re open to the world just yet. We still want to polish the shelves a little more, complete a few tasks and iterate on a few pages.

If there’s a feature that you’re missing on Hardcover that would prevent any of the above for you, I want to hear about it. Please reply to this email if you’re reluctant to make the switch and let us know why. It could be anything from “too new” to “missing XYZ” to performance or bugs.

🎀 Creator Interviews

Last thing: we’re starting a new research phase for Hardcover where we’re aiming to talk to anyone who creates book content on a blog, website, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, or any social media.

We want to see how we can make sure Hardcover supports people creating amazing content about books – wherever that content lives.

If you have a book blog/website, a book Twitter, a book TikTok or a book Instagram, we’d love to have you take this short survey.

We want to support the book community, and part of that involves understanding it more than we do. This survey helps us see what you’re creating in the book space and how to support you.

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