We have a name: Hardcover!

Adam FortunaAvatar for Adam Fortuna

By Adam Fortuna

2 min read

Our list of potential names was… interesting.

We’re still just getting started on user research, but one thing has stood out from ~10 user interviews: it’s not just us who has problems with Goodreads.

The hunt for a name started. Something that would resonate with avid readers, but not be a turnoff to audiobook listeners, Kindle readers, or anyone else who considers themselves a reader.

One site whose name inspired me is Letterboxd. Letterboxd is a social network for movie fans where you can track what you watch and see what your friends watch. The name itself has roots in film history that not everyone will know immediately.

We explored some similar ideas for books. BookEnd? BookBee? Pagely? BitLit? We had a long list. None of them resonated with us, and we doubted serious readers would be attracted to them either. Then we stumbled on one that worked:

Hardcover.

A nice single dictionary word, no established brand, and an available .app tld. I registered it immediately and put up a landing page (thanks TailwindUI for the template for saving me time).

Our initial landing page for Hardcover!

Although there’s not much to see yet, there is a place to sign up for the newsletter to be notified when we launch (and get updates we progress).

We’re using Sendy to manage the newsletter โ€“ which is basically free since I already had it set up for another site. If you’ve never used Sendy, it’s an insanely good platform for sending emails. You host the code and can manage multiple brands (on multiple domains) from a single installation. That allows your newsletter readers to only see your domain in their links.

This next week looks like more of the same: user research, competitive research, and data research. I have 4 interviews scheduled, and the rest of the team has a few as well.

We’re also starting to research the data side of this project. Getting a clean database of millions of book editions will be no small task. I’m working through how we might manage this to understand the costs and people required to have the data we’d need for this project.

Site note: if you know of any good recommendations for book data, please reach out to me: adam at hardcover.app.

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