Monday, July 27, 2009

FictionDB on Facebook and Twitter

With the rise of social media and our recent obsession with Facebook, we are going to be moving most of our communication outside of this blog.

Visit FictionDB -- Your Guide to Authors & Books
Visit the FictionDB Blog now located on the site itself

I'm really more of a 2-line Facebooker than a blogger, so this fits my writing style perfectly. One of the reasons I never blog is that I feel like I have to come up with some big long article. Well, Facebook and Twitter are all about short sound-bytes, so you'll hear more from me.

I'm going to be posting FictionDB tips on the Facebook FictionDB page, so become a fan and see what you've been missing.

You can follow me on the FictionDB Twitter page.

All of these links are now available from the homepage and are a great way to promote FictionDB. If you're a big fan of our site, help us promote it!

Monday, July 06, 2009

FictionDB Celebrates its 10th Anniversary with a New Look and New Features

It's hard to believe that FictionDB is now 10 years old. It seems like just yesterday that I launched the very first version of the site. It was a very memorable occasion because I was racing to launch the site before my first child was born. Luckily my son didn't come early! We've even gone back to our original slogan -- your guide to authors and books. Everything does eventually come full circle.

As most of you have noticed, the new FictionDB was made available to the public this weekend. A few minor hiccups along the way, but the site is now stable.

I want to send out a huge thanks to the FictionDB Redesign Team -- a group of volunteers who put the new site to the test before the launch. They came up with some great ideas on how to improve the site. Thanks for all your patience and feedback!

The new FictionDB functions much like the old site. I encourage you to click on everything you see. Most text has information about the feature (make sure you click the lightbulbs at least). A few things have changed and here's what you'll see:

1) a much cleaner, uncluttered design

2) simpler navigation using breadcrumbs at the top of most pages

3) an improved search box at the top of each page -- use the dropdown menu to choose how you'd like to search.

4) streamlined layout for author and book pages -- the right hand column on each page gives you quick access to information

5) a better system for cataloguing your books

-- book lists that can be named by you. Your books are still in the same place. We've just done away with the words bookshelf, wishlist and archive.

-- lists by author A-Z so you don't have to scroll through all the authors

-- quicker access to your books from most pages on the site

-- easily filter your books using a wide variety of criteria

-- keep track of your favorite authors

-- rate authors

-- set a status for your book. Click on the blue box to the left of your list icons on any author page. You'll find lots of ways to classify your reading.

6) an updated new releases area

-- searching by date now shows reissues as well as new releases

-- use the filters at the top of the page to find just the books you're looking for. I encourage everyone to play around with the filters to get used to how they work.

7) a new Top Authors page listing some of the most-visited authors by genre

As I've said in previous posts, this redesign was necessary from an infrastructure standpoint. Now that the base has been completed, we can easily add new features, so the site is by no means done. You can expect lots of little upgrades in the next couple of months.

I know change can be tough on some people, but I think you'll find that the new site delivers a better experience for everyone.

What happened to...?

Printer-friendly listings -- you can still easily print listings -- we recommend highlighting what you want to print and then click on File -- Print -- Selection. You can print as little or as much as you'd like.

New Releases by Authors on my Bookshelf -- if an author resides in your catalog, he/she was given Favorite Author status during the cutover. You can add and delete favorite authors by clicking on the little red heart. On the new releases page look to the far right. You will see a dropdown titled Filters. Select Favorite Authors and only books by your favorite authors will be displayed.

We're very proud of the new site and hope you'll like using it. As always, feel free to tell us what you think of the new features.

And now after working 7 days a week on this for the last 5 months, I'm going to go lay by a pool for a week!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

FictionDB Redesign Is Complete

The member areas of FictionDB will be unavailable on Saturday, July 4th, as we cutover to the newly redesigned site. The basic information will still be available to everyone -- author lists, new releases, etc.

All member data will be moved to the new site and your existing username and password will continue to work after the cutover.

Thanks for your patience during the transition.