We’ve covered ShelfLuv here on TNW before, praising it as “gorgeous, instant Amazon search” for books. The ShelfLuv team has put its head down over the past several months to cook up a brand new version of the site with triple the features, turning the website from a neat search trick into a full-service destination for readers.
With the rise of ebooks as an important market component of the world of words, digital destinations such as ShelfLuv have taken on a new role in the marketplace as potential sales portals of both mainstream, and indie titles.
The new ShelfLuv is currently in private beta, but we happily have 100 invites to share. Before we jump into what is new, head here and push the big join button to sign up using the code “TNW”; we don’t know how long our 100 slots are going to last.
Back? In a nutshell the new ShelfLuv has transformed the initial product from an ‘instant’ Amazon search portal into a slick book social network that includes the strong original search functions. You can now share books that you are currently reading, save titles that you have read or want to read to a personal shelf, follow other users to see what they are currently reading, and also check out their shelf to see what they have read recently.
This is what a user’s home page, in this case mine, looks like:
And this is what the profile of a user that I follow, friend of TNW @shiftb, looks like on ShelfLuv:
For the digitally-capable bibliophile (who may or may not be bibulous), the new ShelfLuv is a one stop shop for books online. As before, the site is partnered with Amazon, so if you actually want to buy a book, you are shunted over to the bookseller, who pays the company a cut of the sale if you end up clicking purchase.
According to the team, there are no immediate plans to include iBooks or Barnes & Noble, but their addition is a future goal.
We like ShelfLuv because it is innovating in a rapidly growing space: books online. With massive services such as Google Books already being written off as flops, it might just be up to the little guys to run the show in the future.