Hardcover Live


In this conversation, Adam and Ste discuss their personal updates, including recent trips and work progress. They talk about the challenges of being sick while traveling and the excitement of upcoming trips. They also discuss bug fixes and time management in their work on Hardcover. The conversation then shifts to the integration with Discord and the potential for automations. They review the results of the State of Hardcover survey, focusing on the importance of personalized recommendations and decision-making in choosing the next book to read. Finally, they discuss future features, including the possibility of a dashboard on Hardcover. The conversation covers various topics related to the state of Hardcover, including the dashboard and user feedback, better book recommendations, being notified of upcoming book releases, advanced stats and graphs, smart lists based on saved filters, user interface improvements, bugs and issues, a native iOS app, and more community-focused features. The main focus is on improving the user experience, enhancing book discovery, and addressing user feedback and requests.


Being sick while traveling can be challenging and prevent relaxation.
Automations can improve user experience and save time in managing a community.
Personalized recommendations and decision-making are important factors in choosing the next book to read.
A dashboard feature on Hardcover could provide better access to desired parts of the site and a sense of control over data. Hardcover is considering adding a dashboard and is seeking user feedback to determine what should be included.
Improving book recommendations, including genre-specific recommendations, is a priority for Hardcover.
Users are interested in being notified of upcoming book releases, and Hardcover is exploring ways to provide accurate and timely release information.
Advanced stats and graphs are being considered to provide users with more detailed insights into their reading habits.
Smart lists based on saved filters would allow users to easily discover books that match specific criteria.
User interface improvements, bug fixes, and a native iOS app are in the works to enhance the overall user experience.
Hardcover is exploring the possibility of adding more community-focused features, such as discussions and comments.
Book discovery is a key area of focus, with plans to improve recommendations, similar books, and social book features.


00:00 Introduction and Personal Updates
02:29 Traveling and Trip Experiences
06:19 Work Updates and Future Plans
08:23 Bug Fixes and Time Management
11:33 Integration with Discord
15:08 Review of the State of Hardcover Survey
25:36 Discussion on Future Features
29:45 Dashboard and User Feedback
31:01 Better Book Recommendations
32:00 Be Notified of Upcoming Book Releases
38:22 Advanced Stats and Graphs
40:38 Smart Lists Based on Saved Filters
49:29 User Interface Improvements
51:29 Bugs and Issues
54:45 Native iOS App
57:14 More Community-Focused Features
58:08 Book Discovery

What is Hardcover Live?

Each week Adam & Ste focus on a specific feature, idea or prototype in Hardcover and iterate on it together or with guests.

Adam (00:01.454)
Hey, hey, stay, how's it going?

Ste (00:04.479)
Hi Adam's going pretty well. Just came back from a little trip and now taking it easy and settling into work. How about you?

Adam (00:15.758)
Pretty good. I was sick for like a week, week and a half. So I was kind of low energy for a bit there, but I feel like I'm starting to recuperate back to full strength again. I never realized like how like just out of it and how little I wanna do anything when I'm just like a little bit under the weather. Yeah, it makes me appreciate being well that much more.

Ste (00:40.191)

Yeah, tell me about it. I mean same and I was in the mountains with my wife and my kid it was like our first vacation and Yeah, it was really nice. I mean we were in the Alps which are like very very spectacular We've been to Geneva and then to Chamonix in France because you know, you can go by train from London so we did that but on the flip side

Adam (00:53.262)

Ste (01:13.409)
coughing and in the last day both me and Jonah my son caught a fever so yeah so I feel you on the getting better front because yeah I'm just getting better as well and yeah don't want that it was like very fast though but I don't know what was so intense I mean I don't remember having like this intensive of fever but you know

Adam (01:20.27)
Hmm. Oh man.

Adam (01:42.862)
Yeah. And having, being sick while traveling is one of the worst, worst things just not being able to ever really relax.

Ste (01:52.095)
Yeah, yeah, it was pretty intense, but it's good to be home.

Adam (01:57.358)
That's good. Yeah, we were not going anywhere in March and then in April we go to South Korea for two weeks. So I'm excited about that trip. That was the one we originally planned for March of 2020 and of course had to cancel that. So it's nice to finally be going on that trip.

Ste (02:09.215)
Yeah, that's gonna be like huge.

Ste (02:21.087)
Yeah, the backlog of many many trips that have been cancelled the past couple of years. I have a couple of those myself.

Adam (02:25.838)

Yeah. So how was a Chamonix and Geneva?

Ste (02:32.863)
It was really nice. It was one of those years, I don't know why, maybe it's El Nino, maybe it's something else, but there wasn't any snow in the Alps except on the higher altitudes. So Chamonix is at 1,000 meters and you could see snow at around, I think, 1,500 or 2,000. But it was really hot. I mean, we didn't go there to ski because, you know, the baby.

He's not like ski ready yet. Well, I could try but yeah Yeah, it was really nice and sunny and Geneva is really nice it's Like you see the towering mountains and it's really like nice Settled city. I thought it would be boring

honestly, but it was like really nice. The scenery was nice and having that view I wouldn't mind like living in the city like that. So yeah. Pretty damn good. Yeah.

Adam (03:40.942)

Yeah, isn't it like Mont Blanc, like the pen that's like the mountain that you see from the city, I think.

Ste (03:51.839)
Yeah, yeah, you actually see the whole massive, the whole, all the big peaks. I haven't seen that like ever. Yeah, I had Montes back growing up, but they were like half the size of these ones. These ones you can see, you know, those really like straight edge cliffs, you know. Haven't seen that ever. So yeah.

Adam (04:16.814)

Ste (04:20.607)
Pretty striking, pretty amazed.

Adam (04:20.91)

Nice. And yeah, it sounds like a fun trip.

Ste (04:25.503)
Yeah. Yeah, it was. And I ate a schnitzel the size, I'm not kidding. I'm not going to post a picture on this card. It was like this huge. It was like five normal schnitzels. Like, and it was like beef breaded schnitzel. And I ate all of that. I was pretty hungry. But yeah, that was a blanket of a schnitzel.

Adam (04:31.118)
I'm going to go ahead and close the video.

Adam (04:37.87)
I'm sorry.

Adam (04:48.366)
Yeah, I think that's what I look forward to most whenever I travel is just like eating all the things from local restaurants. Because normally like here we only eat out like once a week. Like every other meal we make ourselves. So like normally when we eat out it's a special occasion. Although we normally get enough to have leftovers a couple days after. But yeah, but when we're traveling.

Ste (05:07.807)

Ste (05:14.239)

Adam (05:17.454)
Like we might get a couple groceries for like breakfast and snacks, but we'll eat out quite a bit when we travel. How about you?

Ste (05:26.239)
Yeah, I love that about it. I'm the same and yeah, I love that about traveling. I mean, food is a big part of the whole thing and both me and my wife like to seek out the places, usually where there's specialty coffee and nowadays there's lots of places where there's like good coffee and yeah, places to eat. So yeah, I'm with you 100% on that food tourism.

Adam (05:52.43)

Yeah. I should probably schedule like a food tour in South Korea. That's one of my favorite things that we've done on a couple of trips. It's like, you know, being taken around by a local to visit a bunch of spots, especially in like a really big city. When you have so many options, it's harder to pick them out than a smaller town.

Ste (05:56.703)
Pretty, pretty nice.

Ste (06:19.519)
Yeah, and it's definitely the place to do that. I mean, one of the places, but definitely, you know, lots of good stuff to eat there. I know it's from K-drama. Lots of... The food element is very present in everything.

Adam (06:37.102)
That's true. Yeah, well, other than that, what have you been up to on the hardcover front lately since recovery from the trip? Ha ha.

Ste (06:45.855)
Well, yeah, it's been good. I mean, not enough. I've been looking at stuff because right now we're planning a few things. We have the hardcover survey and that's like, it's very interesting results from my perspective. We're at the place where we're figuring out what to build. So I'm trying to look into how to.

normalize parts of the site which are a bit off in my like to my designer eye but also trying to reimagine some things I think like after two and a half years of building car cover I kind of get this feeling that you know it's just the moment where

we started learning like what's there to learn about this niche so it feels like we could like be building things from this point on with that knowledge which no one has before I mean but I think this is the point after two and a half years where everything starts clicking and you know

there's reasons start popping up about why and how you're doing a certain thing. UI wise, I mean, like how to design it, how to lay it out. What's, how are people going to use it? Yeah. So I've been doing most of that and bugs.

Adam (08:23.662)
Yeah, I, I've been very much focused on, I think the milestone, I called it, um, bugs and time vampires. It's just like things that, um, like just eat into our time and stop us from being able to do like all this new cool stuff that we are learning about from the survey and that we also just want to do. So yeah, I think like last two days I've closed like

12 bugs out of our 70. So it's like, it's working its way down. And some of those 70s are new features too. So they're not all bugs, but.

Ste (08:57.183)

Ste (09:01.119)
Okay, that's good. That's good getting there, getting there. Maybe in a couple of weeks we'll actually like, uh, manage to wipe them all out. Uh, it's, uh, it's piling on, you know, and it's important to do this like spring cleaning, I guess, which is cool because, you know, spring is the zero like right around the corner. So.

Adam (09:04.526)

Adam (09:19.374)

Ste (09:24.351)
It's a good time to do this else we've got all these new features, but building them might lead to other bugs as well. So we don't want that. Yeah. Plus I always feel like I have this guilt when I imagine someone spending five seconds more than they should on our website, just waiting like those five seconds, wasting those five seconds of their lives or I'm, oh crap.

Adam (09:53.838)

Ste (09:54.207)
This is because we didn't place the button where it should be or something's not...

Adam (10:01.262)
Yeah. And one of those things that as we've like had more and more people join is, uh, uh, so like when someone joins and maybe they become a librarian or they become a supporter, um, when they join discord, there's never been a great way to like, sync that status with discord. Um, so I looked into how to do that a while back and I was going to do it like as a separate app or like try to get like a.

whole flow for how it works. But I kind of finally figured out a good way to do it with our current setup. So it'll just go to hardcover.app. You'll like, you basically, right now it only works if you're, it's only gonna work if you're already logged into hardcover and then you go to Discord and you click a button. Ideally it would like take you to a login page and you would log in and do all that. But then after that on the.

Discord side, it'll automatically give you a supporter role and a librarian role, and then it'll add you to those channels. So that'll prevent us from having to manually, like, it'll prevent people when they join from having to ask for one, and two, from us having to go in and add those roles manually. So I, you know, I always prefer anything self-service. Even like at Costco, I use the...

self-service checkout line. So I'm excited to be able to have people actually do that on their own.

Ste (11:33.791)
Yeah, that's gonna be pretty nice, especially because we've been doing it manually up to this point. So yeah, a welcome change, a welcome change indeed. I'm a big fan of automations myself, and it's the age of automation, you know, so we should be doing as many things as possible, you know, just streamlined.

Adam (11:42.062)

Adam (11:58.286)
Yeah. And for the way that discord, um, like, uh, metadata works is like when you OAuth over to a site, um, that site can like give back a whole bunch of metadata about you and the types of metadata that are supported are, uh, number less than number greater than number equal number, not equal date, time less than date, time greater than, and then booleans.

So it's like, it's basically numbers, dates and Booleans. So like we could have like a, like the Booleans for like is a librarian, is a supporter, maybe like join date for like, you know, hardcover members that have been around for a month or something like that in a channel just for them. We could have books read. We could even have like genres read.

so we could have like fantasy 10 books. And then anyone who's read 10 fantasy books could join that channel. So there's like a bunch of things that we could do just based on data syncing and creating channels on Discord if we wanted to.

Ste (13:14.399)
Yeah, that's pretty nice. I mean, it compensates the fact that, I mean, Discord is great for, for community and for people talking amongst themselves and until we have discussions which are kind of like a separate thing, it's not like we're expecting like social talk. I'd rather have like the social talk and the community and the random things on Discord. And the-

Adam (13:33.326)

Ste (13:37.983)
Talk about books and themes on hardcover. That would, I think, take the load off the social part of the site, which, I mean, I'm not sure it should be there in the first place. So, yeah. Yeah, this integration is like, I think, more than useful in the future for like the community part and the...

Adam (13:53.646)
Yeah, I'd agree with that.

Adam (14:02.958)

Ste (14:06.559)
management that we have to do in the in the background.

Adam (14:10.958)
Yeah. Um, I'm excited about it. Like, I feel like there's still so much we can do with Discord, but I have a feeling, uh, it has, it has never been like a main priority, but this will at least like, I think this will give us more time to figure out what our next big thing we want to do with it is.

Ste (14:30.175)
Yeah, I was surprised to see we've got, I mean, I think almost 10% around like, we have around 600 members on Discord, so it's a pretty big community that we've gathered here. So yeah, if we can do something together with the people on here, it's very good.

And how about the results from the state of high cover survey? Should we look over those?

Adam (15:08.526)
Yeah, I don't want to share my screen for the like the actual like tally survey because it has all the emails in it, but I do have, I did write kind of a blog post that's kind of a analysis of it. Um, so

Ste (15:16.191)
Uh huh.

Ste (15:26.207)
Mm-hmm. Yeah, we could look over that. It's got some some pretty interesting takeaways which

Adam (15:34.67)

So yeah, I guess as like a high level thing, like the survey was sent out to, I want to say around 6,000 people on our email list. Um, and of those 88 people replied, um, 19 supporters, 69 free, um, readers, according to their own, uh, uh, answer to that question on the chart, on the survey.

And yeah, this, like my hope with this survey was really to see like, what are the major pain points with hardcover and kind of what are people's dreams for what it could become? Like if they could have it go, have us go in any direction in the future, what would that direction look like? And not exactly specific features, but more like, you know, is it going more towards social? Is it going more towards discovery?

Is it more towards stats and analysis? So kind of just getting a pulse from the community on those two things were kind of my biggest hopes from it. Did you have anything that you were most curious about from this going in?

Ste (16:51.423)
Pretty much the same, of course also features because we had a place where you could rank features that you wanted and there I was like a bit surprised about the results. But high level, I think that persona who uses hardcover and makes the most out of hardcover and how each...

persona, how each reader in their way makes use of hardcover. I think that's what I was after. So yeah, pretty much the same thing as you mentioned.

Adam (17:34.958)
Thanks for watching!

Yeah, so, yeah, we kind of going down some of these questions. 53 people or about 60% of people use hardcover a few times a week to daily. So that's like 40% use it less than once a week, which that kind of fits with what I imagine. Like I kind of think of.

Ste (18:03.615)

Adam (18:04.558)
hardcover is being used and people start reading a book or finish reading a book. And if you're reading a book, you might not come back for a week.

Ste (18:12.287)
Yeah, exactly. I was surprised that it's kind of like a pretty good sample size. I don't know. It's a survey that I think is pretty well reflected. And if we had one million users, I'd say it wouldn't like be much different.

Adam (18:33.454)
Yeah. And then, let's see. Most people are reading physical books and e-books as their most read formats with 15% with audiobooks, which I was kind of surprised about. I thought we would have more audiobook readers, to be honest.

Ste (18:45.055)

Ste (18:50.303)
Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm, same. Yeah, eBooks is kind of like an outlier, and yeah, kind of interesting to talk about some ideas in this space.

Adam (19:05.294)
Yeah, this, like this makes me much more curious about ebook related integrations. Like, you know, syncing progress from Kindle, syncing notes from Kindle or other devices, like if, if our top format that people read is eBooks, then how can we like support readers doing that even more than we currently do?

Ste (19:29.407)
Yeah, exactly. And even Kindle, look at this. It's like 45%, well, 39 responses. Yeah, I mentioned that. They're using a Kindle. So it's physical books and that and the others as well. I mean, most of the others, well, audiobooks on phone. Yeah.

Adam (19:34.51)

Adam (19:47.246)

Adam (19:55.406)

Yeah, most people read like next time I'm gonna have to split these up better because, uh, like almost everyone replied that they read between one and 10 hours a week, which I had as two different categories of one to five and six to 10. But one in five and six to 10 were almost the same. So I kind of think of that as like one hour a day, give or take, and some days like you're busy, so you don't get that one hour and some people are

able to do that every day.

Ste (20:29.791)
Mm-hmm. Yeah, that's a good reading. I mean, tells us the distribution. Yeah

Adam (20:33.71)
Give or take.

Adam (20:40.302)
And one thing kind of with the existing thing, not looking into new features, but like, was this idea of like, what problems do you run into as a reader in your like day-to-day reading life? And the top two, so we gave people like a list of maybe eight or 10 options and they could say like,

I never run into this problem. I sometimes do occasionally, often or often. And of those, only two of them had people that were problems that people actually ran into. The other ones, people didn't feel like what were an overall problem to them as an aggregate group. People still ranked them, some people, but as an aggregate, only two of them stood out. And those were...

finding good personalized recommendations and deciding on which next book to read.

Ste (21:43.519)
Yeah. So along the lines of tracking, this was, I mean, yeah, I guess predictable in a way, because tracking is the main thing people are doing. But the recommendations, yeah, that's pretty, all boils down to, you know, deciding what book to read next and...

since that's, as we thought, a really important decision because you're going to spend some time reading a book. It's a big investment. I think it lines with that assumption that people are going to...

use hardcover to do that. So if we save them time, if they find a book that's really good and they spent as little time as possible finding it, yeah, I think that's our sweet spot. So it's still tracking after all this time, it comes back to tracking and to finding that book.

Adam (22:53.742)

Yeah, it's funny because like both of these are really about like finding the next books to read. In a way, they're both like, yeah, it's, it's, it's almost like, yeah, it's like, they're just at different moments, like personalized recommendations could be for my next book, or it could be for my book a month from now or six months from now. And next book is like the next one. Yeah, it's, it's, it's a lot of forward thought rather than, like,

Ste (23:02.303)
Yeah. Yeah.

Ste (23:16.703)

Adam (23:25.198)
analysis of what they've already read or that kind of thing. Although remembering takeaways from what you've read was the third one, which I'm excited that that one was that high at least.

Ste (23:28.575)

Ste (23:40.927)
Yeah, exactly. We know it's a problem. And we're kind of working on a thing right now, which is the reading journal, which if it was lower, it would have like messed up our plans. So it's good that it's not.

Adam (23:44.174)

Adam (23:54.478)
Yeah, if that one was last, I would have had some concerns with that.

Ste (24:04.447)
Yeah, exactly.

Adam (24:09.358)
And then let's see, we asked about which is, which are, which, what's most important to you in deciding what book to read next. And this was kind of me thinking that this one about deciding which book to read next might be high up. So I wanted to like get some info on that. And the top ones were, yeah, friends, suggestions, reviews and ratings and just what they have access to.

Ste (24:25.503)

Ste (24:34.079)
Yeah, what's this access? I mean, is it like when you have a book in your library or is it like stuff I can find at my local library? I'm wondering.

Adam (24:45.678)
I think it's, yeah, I wonder that too. Because I, like access to me would be like, what you have, what you own, what your friends own, what your library has, what your local bookstores have, what you can get like downloaded from services that you actively use.

Ste (24:50.911)
I mean, yeah.

Ste (25:03.007)

Ste (25:10.815)
True, yeah. Yeah, maybe it's for people who borrow books as well, accessing the way that what's available to borrow.

Adam (25:19.662)


Ste (25:22.591)
But yeah, that one was pretty high up.

Adam (25:28.302)
Cool, so yeah, what should we work on next? Do you want to lead the conversation on this section?

Ste (25:36.671)
Yeah, this was a really interesting one. So we gave people some options for some features that we're planning to see what in the survey they consider most important to them. So based on those answers, tell us what's...

uh next on our list because we got a bunch of things we got discussions uh we have uh the reading journal we also had a dashboard and this is because uh some people on this court have mentioned a dashboard a couple of times and when people mention things a couple of times uh it's usually

Ste (26:28.545)
the sample sizes of people who take the effort to go on this chord and tell us I want this, it's a pretty powerful signal because it signals that some other people who didn't go through that process.

might also want it. So yeah, long story short, we built a design, an initial design for this dashboard, not knowing what the results of the high-cover survey would be. And well, believe it or not, the dashboard came in like the first feature people wanted for some reason. Yeah.

Adam (27:15.438)
That was such a surprise to me. Like as we've been talking on Discord about this, we've been, right now kind of the feed is like the home thing. And after using Hardcover's feed for the last year, because I think we launched it about a year ago, I've definitely seen like, there are parts of it that are useful, but parts of it where it's kind of like, I might scroll for a little bit and then I'll.

Ste (27:35.423)

Adam (27:44.878)
I'll be done. And I don't feel like sometimes I've found a new book from it. Sometimes I might've just like, you know, liked some other people's activities and said, oh, that's cool. Maybe every once in a while, I'll save a book as want to read that someone else is reading. But the, like the net impact of it, I feel like it's determined by the quality of my relationships with the people that are reading and how much I'm able to interact with those people, which right now is really just that like.

So the idea of doing something else as kind of a jumping off point to hardcover, like a dashboard, I'm starting to better understand how that could fit in.

Ste (28:27.647)
Yeah, it's a pretty weird, I guess, from some points of view feature. You know, you ask me, you know, what problem does it solve? And the best answer I could come up with is better, like, access to parts of the site you want access to and I guess control over that feeling of control over your data. And I mean...

Also, like lately, been thinking that, you know, it just might be nice. You kind of like have this want for dashboard in our heads, I guess. Maybe it's from sci-fi movies or something that, you know, it's like cool to see, uh, some data related to an activity you love doing. Uh.

just there. And what's cool about that is that we can also include glimpses of the feed, glimpses of certain stats or what you're reading. So it's like a very easy access part to the whole website where

We'll see what we will do because we're at the point of deciding what should go on that dashboard. And by the way, we've got the survey. So if you want to.

fill in that survey, it's going out in the email Adam is sending and it's in the blog post. Or you can just tell us on Discord. But if you want something on the dashboard, please let us know. We have some ideas, but it would be useful. We'll probably shuffle it. We'll have a first version and depending on what you're going to say,

Ste (30:29.023)
We'll change it to whatever's most useful and we'll see if and how customizable we'll make it. At first, probably it's going to be like a set thing, but then maybe it will become something that you can customize. So yeah, the dashboard. A pretty surprising one.

And then what was the next one?

Adam (31:01.358)
Uh, better book recommendations, which aligns with the problem from the previous one, I don't think that's too much of a surprise and, and I, and that, that one feels like it's not just like, you know, here's a recommendation engine that said that spits out here's your number one recommendation. It's I think of it as like genre specific, similar to a book. Uh,

Ste (31:05.631)

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, it's...

Ste (31:24.159)

Adam (31:31.214)
maybe like, you've read a book and you really liked it, you're like, oh, I want more books like this. So it's like, recommendations come in lots of different flavors. It could be what's popular, it could be what people in your local area find interesting or have rated highly. So there's a lot of different dimensions for that. So I'm curious to check that one out more.

Ste (31:37.567)

Ste (32:00.127)
Mm-hmm. Yeah, definitely that's like, it has touch points across the website and across the whole experience and across like many moments when you're deciding what to read. So definitely we'll have to look into that. And then on number three, it's be notified of upcoming book releases, which is another

uh interesting one because it has a lot to do with our favorite thing which is book data and getting accurate book data but i'm kind of excited about this one because many people are checking out uh new releases so there's always like that hunt for for sources and i'd love for us to be like at least one source uh

Adam (32:32.398)

Ste (33:00.159)
I recently asked someone who has a book blog and has access to water stones and...

generally the books that are coming out and They were saying that Amazon still has like the best recommendations engine for books that they want to Read although it was something related to Kindle. I'll have to look into that. So Yeah, this one might be like a pretty

big one for especially for people who are like really into like the book industry, not just people who are looking for a book to read in general, but people who are like hooked into book awards, into what authors are.

Adam (33:43.214)

Ste (34:01.759)
I guess up and coming or emerging and what they got out, that kind of thing.

Adam (34:07.822)
Yeah, I, one thing that I could see us doing is, like we're planning on doing those like list updates where for every list of books, we'll be able to do different kinds of things. So like, you know, the books in a prompt are a list, the books that are trending are a list. And the hope, my hope would be that anytime there's a list of books, you would be able to do things like,

filter it by genre, filter it by your status of that book. I could see this upcoming book release thing being its own list and then you could filter it. So you could say which upcoming books are on my want to read list, which upcoming books are this genre, which ones are available as an audio book or things like that.

or even like which ones are by, like this is more future looking for features we don't have, but which ones are by authors I follow? Which ones have the highest rating with my friends or, yeah, there's, I feel like upcoming book releases like that with the ability to filter it down to what you're excited about from future stuff could like really be something I haven't seen anywhere else.

Ste (35:35.359)
Yeah, yeah, that sounds great. I'm wondering where, you know, and how we get access to the data. I'm guessing, you know, we could, we have our team of librarians and it might be a good task to put together these, I guess.

How would you see them? Would you see them as monthly lists? Would you see them as upcoming books for March, for April, or like in another format, just like a list that updates continuously?

Adam (36:11.182)
I can see it as just a list that updates continuously. And maybe there are some like filters on it that you could use to say like, coming out next month or like released last month, there's things like that. And that would just really just change the window that the books are filtered by. That would just be the UI around showing a list of those books.

Ste (36:38.623)
Nice. Yeah, that sounds great.

Adam (36:38.798)
And yeah, I think I was talking with the person who runs bookhype.com and she recommended like just reaching out to publishers and asking to get a feed of their books. And then, you know, ingesting those and then adding those to our libraries.

they're the ones who are most likely going to have the release dates that are correct. And so that's something I'm curious about trying because I think we could get some like really accurate up-to-date data from that.

Ste (37:21.375)
Yeah, definitely. Let's make a note on that and maybe send out emails to at least one publisher, maybe a bigger one, to see if we can get the release dates. That would be like really great to have that level of accuracy in the data.

Adam (37:39.79)
Yeah. I think, I think she said that some of the covers that they provide from the feed were like 15 megabytes big because, you know, they're, they're giving like the massive size cover that everywhere else you see is shrunk down.

Ste (37:55.871)
nice well that wouldn't be a problem our problem was like low resolution I'm not gonna complain if we get well maybe 50 megabytes is a little much but I guess we can compress it I mean I'd compress it manually heck

Adam (37:59.214)
I'm sorry.

Adam (38:06.318)

Adam (38:12.046)
Yeah, well, yeah, our image processor would automatically compress it, so we wouldn't even have to worry.

Ste (38:18.879)
Oh, okay. Then yeah, like bring on the big sized covers. Yeah. Not afraid of those. Okay. And then what we have here on our list, advanced stats and graphs. Well, yeah, I think this year maybe hopefully will be a good time to.

Adam (38:22.606)

Ste (38:38.719)
into our stats pages as well. I really have some ideas how to make them both more simple and to make them more engaging I guess for

At least for the simple stats make them simpler and the complex stats show them in a way that's more engaging, but at the same level of complexity. And maybe, yeah, maybe even see if we can add some more.

Adam (39:08.59)

Ste (39:14.015)
It would really be interesting and maybe we can plan it in advance this year to see if we can do like the way we do the year, hardcover year in books to see if we can do everyone's year in books, maybe in the same manner. So they can like share it on social. That'd be like really nice. Yeah, exactly. Hardcover wrapped. Yeah, we could. Yeah.

Adam (39:29.198)
Hardcover wrapped. Yeah, I think, yeah, I think this is the year for that. And I think we could use a lot of the styles, we use on the year in books, and whatever other styles we update for this advanced stats part.

Ste (39:47.903)

Ste (39:52.447)
Yeah, yeah, that'd be really cool because yeah, the e-runbooks like really good, they did a good job with that. So taking from that and putting it at the personal level, I think that would be like really nice for the people using the library.

Adam (39:58.702)


Adam (40:09.23)
Yeah. And then, yeah, the last one is smart lists based on saved filters. So the example is like books with a status of want to read and a genre of fantasy, like things that you might filter for multiple times. And instead of having to go to your want to read list and filter it down, you would just be able to filter it down and save that, almost like a saved search.

Ste (40:38.271)
Mm-hmm. Yeah, that'd be pretty, pretty neat. I mean, what would you say is the...

Ste (40:50.783)
main desired action here. You'd want to see books that you want to read but only fantasy books, right? That would be like the outcome you'd want to go for.

Adam (41:04.302)
Yeah, I think it plays into this deciding on which book to read next. Like it helps with this problem. It's like maybe they, maybe people find themselves doing that often. Or even like creating a list like my five star reads that they can share out with people. Or my favorite Brendan Sanderson books. And it's just like books by...

Brandon Sanderson that you've read and rated. So it's like, I could see it both for discovery purposes, as well as for like sharing interesting like things about yourself with other people.

Ste (41:48.863)
Yeah, yeah, that's gonna be, that's gonna be nice.

Adam (41:53.39)
Yeah. Yeah. Those were, those were the top, top five and, uh, yeah. Or were there any others that on here that surprised you that they weren't higher?

Ste (42:05.919)
Well, you know, we talked about finding real world book friends in your local area. But yeah, now that I think about it, that's like personally like not something very desirable. People might get the wrong idea. I mean, it invites all sorts of things which can potentially be, you know, less than.

Adam (42:12.27)

Ste (42:34.079)
ideal so now that I see it in the last place it kind of makes sense. I think the gamification ones which landed very low, maybe kind of surprising but given the, I mean I'd read it as

We really put some options there that people want. So that's good. The ones they want less, I mean, it's not like they hate it, but maybe they wouldn't imagine themselves. And come to think of it, I wouldn't imagine reading. I mean, you're not reading to read. You're reading to enjoy a story. You're not reading to like check five pages a day and say, OK, I've read that.

Adam (43:27.438)

Ste (43:27.937)
That idea of gamification is not the one I think we have for hardcover, so you're not like doing streaks like you're doing on Duolingo. You're not supposed to just make this reading into a formal thing that you just do. We want you to enjoy books, to enjoy stories, to relate to authors, to relate to ideas, not just like, I read 10 books, come on!

but with another 10 books.

Adam (44:01.582)
And, but yet like that one, like we, so yeah, there were three gamification related ones at the bottom, bottom six badges, reading streaks and advanced goals. And badges had, um, 28 people or yeah, it had a lot of people that were interested in it, but very few picked it as their like most interested. So it, it, it was like, it wasn't that people. Like.

Ste (44:15.071)

Ste (44:27.327)

Adam (44:32.27)
weren't interested, I mean, a decent amount of people did say they weren't interested in some of them, but the fact that like everything was kind of moved down one from a lot of the other ones, it's like, it's not people's most important thing, but it's, they're interested in it, but only after some of these other things are kind of solved for them, I think. So yeah.

Ste (44:37.887)

Ste (44:55.423)
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. There's a lot of reading between the lines because I mean, badges in the reading world, definitely something that's, uh, if we do write, it can be like a whimsical, really fun thing that no other app has. And if we do them like contextually, it can be like a thing in itself. We can like, I don't know, in the future have a special like author generated badges, imagine like.

Brandon Sanderson for example, like, generating his own badges to give away to his fanbase. We can do stuff like that, but you know, just saying badges, people are imagining all sorts of things, so yeah, it's good that they want that level of interest at least tells us, okay.

Adam (45:28.398)
Thank you.

Ste (45:43.263)
People are telling us, let's see what you can do, I guess. I'm taking it in that way, but yeah, it's up to us to think like how to make it like really interesting. I think lots of like people's social networks, like Reddit for example, they did that in a way that's very good.

you know, with the way they integrated the graphics and the way even the or Discord, Discord is like the main example. They really like are masterfully like integrated the roles. They're not even badges, but the whole like universe of made up things like Nitro. What the hell is Nitro? Well, they're selling Nitro. I mean, they're boosting the servers.

Adam (46:14.03)

Adam (46:25.71)

Adam (46:38.03)
Yeah. One, like one of like a startup I used to work for, where we were doing like coding in the browser, we did, we did two forms of, or like three forms of gamification. And I felt like of those three, like one of them worked really well. Like the three we did were, if you completed the course that we released every month.

the next month, you would get $5 off your next month. And I think in the end, we realized that that decision cost us over a million dollars. So that one, not a great idea. Next was we had like this idea of points where like every time you completed a challenge, you got a couple points. And we didn't really ever do anything with points,

Ste (47:13.727)
I'm not surprised. Wow.


Adam (47:33.902)
They were just kind of a metric of like usage. Um, so I feel like points in terms of gamification is very useless unless there's some incentive or some part that it comes into play. Um, and then we did badges where at the end of every level and at the end of every course you would earn a badge. And those were the things that people loved the most and people shared those on social media, like left and right, because it was just a pretty badge. And.

Ste (47:49.631)

Adam (48:03.694)
I think that's probably why Badges was the highest of the gamification ones that we had.

Ste (48:03.935)

Ste (48:11.583)
Yeah, well that sounds about right. I mean people love badges, you know that little like sense of achievement it's like real it's palpable and you know if you get something you can finish a book and just say I'm glad I finished this book but if you get like a contextual badge about that book and relate to that genre I mean

It kind of like means more. Maybe it's a trick our brains play on us, but it definitely, like, you feel like just a little bit better. So yeah, if we can make badges, I mean, I'm hoping we can pull this off this year if things work our way a bit.

Adam (48:59.406)
Yeah. But yeah, that's, I think those are kind of the highlights from the survey. Oh, I guess that the next question that yeah, that was about the features, but the kind of the other side of the feature question was like, if you could ask us to create or change one thing about hardcover, what would it be? And it was just an open ended question. And yeah, the biggest three.

Ste (49:15.327)

Adam (49:29.134)
things were 25% of people mentioned some kind of user interface improvements. That could be colors, design, just like making it easier to do something. These ones don't have like a single specific fix, but I think like the UX work that you're kind of already investigating will kind of focus on a lot of that.

Ste (49:54.783)

Adam (49:56.974)
And 13% oh sorry go ahead.

Ste (49:57.439)

Now, I was going to say that definitely, as we worked on the library, I think there are less and less, there are maybe some few exceptions where we have some of the old UI. But right now, I think looking at what we did with the lists, I think there's an opportunity to make everything more integrated because with the list designs that we

Ste (50:30.081)
eliminate many of the buttons that are there and just integrate them better in the UI. So that's gonna improve the overall experience. I think right now we kind of like know what has to be there, but it's a good time to prioritize what we know people use and yeah, what people and readers actually make, like what makes their lives easier. So yeah, that's coming up next.

Adam (50:59.758)
Yeah. Then 13% of people mentioned bugs and issues, with the biggest one being people mentioning the app specifically, as opposed to the website. And so I think, for one, we've been working on bugs. That's kind of been my focus. But we're also starting to start on a native iOS app. Still, that'll be a big project. And we're

Ste (51:09.631)

Ste (51:26.303)

Adam (51:29.07)
probably a long ways from even starting on the actual code base for it, but I'm excited about that one.

Ste (51:36.223)
Yeah, I'm excited about that as well. I've been starting to read on the Apple interface and design guidelines. They've got some pretty nifty stuff that we can use. And again, it's an opportunity to rethink the whole flow, knowing what we know. So I'm hoping, you know, we'll design the app with this in mind and then we'll...

at the same time update the site. So, you know, it's unified experience or at least after we do the iOS app. Plus everything is gonna feel like much smoother because right now we've been trying to replicate some of the native functionality and you know, we are we did like really good a really good job on some bits in the UI, but it's not gonna be

it's gonna be like way better compared to in the app compared to what we did so uh yeah that's sorry that was my

Adam (52:46.478)
Yeah, I was, I've been learning some Swift and I'll like learn something and realize like, oh, to do this in like JavaScript, I'd have to like import like frame or motion. I'd have to like do multiple things on multiple pages. And on Swift, it's like dot title or something. And it's, yeah, it's like the thing where like you have a title on a.

Ste (53:09.951)
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah.

Adam (53:15.918)
Like you have the nav bar and then below that you have a title. And when you click on a button, the title goes up to the top. Like that is just a setting on an element. Doing that in the web world would be just a mess. So, so yeah, I'm, I'm, I'm excited about this one. And I feel like once we do it on iOS, then we can.

Ste (53:22.047)

Ste (53:26.047)

Ste (53:30.879)
Yeah, yeah, I know. Yeah, it's hell. It's... yeah.

Adam (53:45.486)
figure out how to do it on Android or if we want to do native or if we just want to improve some of the capacitor app. But that'll be down the line after we figure it all out on the iOS side.

Ste (53:54.687)

Ste (53:59.999)
Yeah, exactly. I mean, we can definitely do that. And the thing is, on iOS, we've got one of the nastier bugs that's been bugging us for months. So there's also that reason, which isn't happening elsewhere. Elsewhere, the app works fine. But there's this insidious thing that's...

for some reason causing our app to crash on iOS for no reason. So having it natively, yeah, it's good for so many reasons. That's a real good reason for us to consider pushing it.

Adam (54:43.086)

And yeah, lastly, 10% of people mentioned wanting more community focused features, whether that's discussions or comments or yeah, more social.

Ste (54:59.263)
Yeah, yeah, I guess that's like the need for expressing more than, you know, building their library. And that's also, I guess, coming soon, because when we'll have the journal, hopefully in, you know, the first half of this year, fingers crossed, you'll be able to save

many things that are really similar to discussions, but not in that format.

Adam (55:34.158)
Yeah. So yeah, I guess, yeah, bugs, user interface, native iOS app. The dashboard is kind of a, just a thrown in one at some point. List normalization as kind of a subset of a user interface normalization. I feel like those are kind of the top priorities right now. And then kind of a

A medium term one is more focus on book discovery when it comes to release notifications, recommendations, similar books, social books. I think this one's going to be more of a research topic for us to figure out like what do we do here because it's a big one.

Ste (56:23.327)

Yeah, it is a big one. Exciting to tackle this one.

Adam (56:31.886)
Yeah. It feels like last year we did some steps on it with like the trending page, um, which is like one of our first real attempts at like good book discovery. Like, you know, here's, here's what's popular and hardcover.

Ste (56:45.087)
Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah, just like refining that and then refining it again and again and again. Like maybe like three steps of refining that and it's going to be in a good place. Just figuring out, you know, where you'd want to see those books when you're like browsing through hardcover. I think that's going to be.

Adam (56:59.598)

Ste (57:14.783)
that's gonna be important. And at least we know that's what people want. They wanna discover books. I think we're doing a pretty good job right now at allowing them to do it on their own.

Adam (57:20.334)

Ste (57:30.335)
but maybe this step is just making it more easier and more of a guided experience. I think the power users can plow through like a lot of information just like you're doing now, you're jumping from book to book. That's a great way of discovering stuff. I do the same, but yeah, I realized that some people might need more of a curated experience and to...

Adam (57:46.158)

Ste (57:59.903)
have it, you know, have us guide the way first. So yeah, I guess that's next. Nice.

Adam (58:08.91)
Yeah. Yeah. And, uh, and our next meeting will be, or not, not next hard cover live, but next team meeting will be, uh, doing a brainstorming exercise around that, that I'm preparing now. So I'm, I'm excited to just like get a bunch of ideas from us around that. And, uh, yeah, you can go from there.

Ste (58:29.151)
Yeah, that's gonna be nice. All right, well, I think that about wraps up the hardcover survey, state of hardcover survey overview. Well, hope everyone enjoyed that.

Adam (58:43.278)
Yeah, I'm excited to do this again in a year and just like compare this years with next years because I think like when we did this in early 2023, we had like a lot of the other things that were brought up there were like around the book button and around like just general tracking.

and like dates read and things like that. Things that in the redesign last year we kind of helped improve and so those things weren't mentioned here which is good.

Ste (59:12.799)

Ste (59:17.567)

Ste (59:22.559)
Must be doing something, right? Hopefully next year, you know, they'll have other stuff or maybe no stuff or no, not no stuff, but other stuff. More important stuff.

Adam (59:24.622)

Adam (59:32.462)
Uh, yeah, like last, last year I remember like cover, like missing covers was one of like the top ones. And now even, even though we haven't solved covers, we've, we've gotten to the good enough point where it's not the major hurdle.

Ste (59:40.223)
Haha, yeah.

Ste (59:48.639)
Yeah, we've come pretty far. Well done us. Awesome. Great. Well, until next time, I guess. Yeah. Everybody have a good one. See ya. Bye.

Adam (59:53.742)
Well, yeah, bye and talk to you later. Have a good one.