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The Reading Room Makes Book Discovery Easy, Rewarding And Fun

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The Reading Room is a social book discovery platform with more than 1.5 million members that provides an independent experience for book lovers. The Reading Room connects like-minded readers, and provides the latest news about all things books. Here is our recent interview with Kim Anderson, CEO of The Reading Room:

Kim Anderson

Q: How would you describe The Reading Room in your own words?

A: Books have such a powerful influence on our lives. To have access to nearly all of the books in the world at our fingertips is remarkable. Yet, there needed to be a destination where the books are treated with the respect they deserve, for the stories they reveal and the knowledge they impart. If that destination could actually support and engage readers, authors, and publishers, that would be something worth aspiring to. That’s what we set out to do with The Reading Room – to create the most informative and entertaining social book discovery destination in the world. We emphasize connecting books and people, and aim to provide users a refreshing book discovery experience.

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Q: Could you tell us more about your key features?

A: As a book discovery site, an interactive bookshelf is something we prioritize. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve our bookshelf. We have a few exciting features coming down the pipe that I think users will really enjoy that will impact the way they track and store their book information.

Recently, we’ve emphasized recommendations. Members can recommend books to the community and they surface on the homepage. It has been rewarding to see this feature grow and we are happy with the engagement that we’ve seen. It was our first attempt at crowdsourcing, and I don’t think it will be our last, given the positive response.

Our editorial voice is important to us, and we are continually working to incorporate more of our content into the product. I don’t want to give too much away, but we have a handful of new content-focused features rolling out over the next few months that will ensure that we help the reader find the book they are looking for, discover new authors, and meet like-minded readers.

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Q: The Reading Room provides an independent experience for book lovers; what are main benefits for users?

A: Because we are independently owned and have a small team, we have the freedom to focus on quality. Our members trust us; we listen to their feedback daily and use it as a guiding light to develop our product. Users have a positive experience because of the way we incorporate their needs into the site. We don’t have much red tape around here, and we have plenty of imagination. We hope to use this to our advantage as we innovate the book buying and discovery process online.

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Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: As with every successful site, we are looking to scale without losing the quality and intimacy that is sometimes lost as sites grow. We are setting up the key foundations to be able to do this easily. Our future really depends on what the customers want and how best to take them there. We value their feedback and use it to help us develop the product features.

Specifically, in the near future we hope to provide a way for self-published authors and independent publishers to be discovered more easily than they currently are on other book sites. We want to make it easier for readers to find great reads that may not have large marketing budgets, and to ensure that authors can utilize word of mouth of the community, among other tools, to find their audience.

We want to make The Reading Room a go-to, all-encompassing book site so everything from discovery to purchase is easy, rewarding, and fun.

Q: How would you convince the reader to start using The Readingom?

A: We hope a user’s first experience with the site convinces them to use The Reading Room, and if it doesn’t… we need to take note and address it. That can be tough on a small budget, but doing small things can make a big difference. We are not the biggest, but we do strive to be the best.

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