About Hardcover

Hardcover was started in May 2021 after Goodreads announced they were discontinuing their API. At the time, I (hi 👋, I’m Adam!) was using that API to show what books I’d recently read on my blog. It would automatically update just by using GR. It worked great!

But when they announced the API was going away, that lit a fire under me to find (or make) a replacement. After some research and forming a team, we’ve been working to create an Amazon-free alternative ever since!

We’re a tiny team of 3 people working part-time for equity to build something we believe in. We have not taken any startup funding, and are instead self-funding the project until it becomes profitable (🤞).

You can read more about the vision by reading our manifesto, check it our press kit and press mentions, see 13 reasons why we’re building a better Goodreads, or check out our most recent release to see what we’re up to.

Get to the Know the Team

Adam Fortuna

Founder, Full-stack Product Developer, April 2021 – now

Hardcover was founded by Adam Fortuna (he/him), a full-stack product developer living in Salt Lake City, UT. That’s the last time I’ll be using third person in this post. 😅

I’ve previously worked at social media startups in the past, and more recently as Course Director & Product Director at Code School helping teach people how to code with interactive courses on jQuery, Ember, Angular, R, React, Ruby, Ruby on Rails and many more (so long as it has an R in it, I guess).

Since Code School was acquired by Pluralsight and went public in 2018, I’ve taken some time off to work on personal project – Hardcover being his primary focus for the last two years.

I wasn’t much of a reader in school. In fact, I focused much more on anything computer related. In that way I grew up more with social media than with books (IRC and LiveJournal still hold a special place in my heart).

After college I started listening to audiobooks and that changed my entire relationship with books. I went from reading 1-2 books a year to dozens and then hundreds (well, hundred). I started picking up more physical and digital books and reading on multiple platforms. Today I read about one physical book for every 2 to 3 audiobooks.

In addition to starting Hardcover because of the API change, I was also attempting to ween myself away from big tech – especially Amazon.

Buying more locally and switching from Audible to Libro.fm and Libby were the easy parts. Switching away from Goodreads was harder.

I’ve been a huge fan of Letterbox for years (you follow me on there too!) and wanted something that felt like that for books. That’s been one of my north stars while building Hardcover.

I occasionally write on my blog AdamFortuna.com about personal growth, tech and whatever I’m currently passionate about or about investing at Minafi.com.

Follow @adam on Hardcover.

Ste Dobrescu

Co-founder, Designer, Front-end Development, July 2021 – now

Ste is a designer and all-round builder. Currently living in London with his wife, son and cat. Ste does design system architecture, code UI with Tailwind in Next JS, and works on products that he finds meaningful and fun.

Ste has been working on Hardcover with Adam since July 2021, when he was the first one to reply to Adam’s message, seeking people to build a book site out of spite for Amazon.

Follow @ste on Hardcover.

Jeff Sexton

Head Librarian, October 2023 – now

Jeff is a computer scientist and reader currently living in Jacksonville, FL with his wife and cat. Jeff has been a book blogger since 2018 and has long been interested in the actual data side of book tracking, building his own custom spreadsheets and even a small book site himself before discovering Hardcover. Anywhere Jeff goes, his Kindle is never far from his hands. Jeff joined the team in October 2023, just months after the creation of the Librarian program, and both runs the Shush (our name for our Librarian Corps) and works extensively within our data to ensure it is the best available.

Press Kit and Assets

If you’d like to reach out to us, please email adam@hardcover.app. We’re still super new, so anyone who reaches out will receive a huge thank you email in response. 😂

If you’d like to use Hardcover’s logos, we offer them in a number of colors with text or without. Download the Hardcover_logos.zip to see them all. Our official logo is rotated 12 degrees counterclockwise.

We’re Preparing to Open Source

Hardcover is a community project. We’d love to get to the point where those of us working on it can make a salary that supports a modest lifestyle – but we’re far from that today.

Our next step is to open source the codebase (Q3 2024). After that, we’ll begin working with the community to incorporate their contributions.

There’s so much more work than a small team can accomplish. We’re excited to reach this next step. In the meantime, if you’re curious about contributing to Hardcover, I’d recommend joining our Discord and familiarizing yourself with the API.

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