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#46 – Ross and Laura From Hardy’s Books

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2 min read

Join us on Wednesday May 22 2024 at 3pm EST to chat live with Ross from Hardy’s Book YouTube Channel. Recently they posted a video about Hardcover, The Best Goodreads Competitor (That You Probably Haven’t Heard Of), which went viral – leading to over 3,000 new signups here on Hardcover!


Ross and Laura from Hardee’s Books share their journey of turning their book-buying obsession into a thriving business. They discuss their passion for fantasy and sci-fi, their commitment to donating 20% of their profits to charity, and their dream of opening a physical bookshop. They also talk about their YouTube channel and the challenges and joys of being book influencers. The conversation touches on the future of book platforms and the influence of algorithms. In this conversation, Ross and Laura of Hardy’s Books discuss their strong opinions on book platforms and social networks. They criticize the lack of innovation in popular book apps like Goodreads and emphasize the importance of human curation and sharing. They also discuss the potential backlash to AI and the need for ethical use and development. Ross recommends books like ‘Piranesi’ by Susanna Clarke and ‘The Blade Itself’ by Joe Abercrombie, while Laura enjoys reading in the bath and watching birds in her garden. They give shoutouts to other content creators and share their online platforms.


Turning a book-buying obsession into a business requires finding a model that works, such as selling secondhand books or focusing on independent new books.
Bookshops have a unique appeal in the experience-based high street economy, offering a physical space with a vibe and a smell that online platforms can’t replicate.
Book influencers play a role in recommending upcoming books and creating buzz, but the influence of algorithms and the potential for misinformation is a concern.
Authors and readers may have different expectations from book platforms, with readers seeking recommendations from influencers and authors desiring a platform that fosters a productive relationship with their audience.
The future of book platforms may involve a combination of influencers, collaborative reviews, and personalized recommendations, but the challenge lies in maintaining authenticity and avoiding algorithmic manipulation. Popular book apps like Goodreads lack innovation and prioritize pleasing shareholders over improving the user experience.
Human curation and sharing are important in book platforms, and there may be a backlash to AI in favor of more personalized recommendations.
Books like ‘Piranesi’ and ‘The Blade Itself’ are highly recommended by Ross and Laura.
Reading in a cozy environment, such as a shepherd’s hut or in the bath, enhances the reading experience.
Supporting and promoting other content creators in the book community is important.

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