“Recommended” Book Store

Problem: You’re an author and you have an extremely educated, active and engaged audience for your website. They read your books and they want to know more about your sources and the books you’d recommend.  You also want to share with them what you’re reading.

Problem? Sorry, I mean: Opportunity! We had just such a situation and build a book recommendation and sharing system for Sam Harris, a popular American non-fiction author.

Site visitors can now suggest books, and Sam can quickly review them, annotate them and publish them, along with a direct link to Amazon, which includes his affiliate link.

In his “Book Store”, books are organized by author last name, category, recent additions and Sam’s Recommendations.

So, it’s a good idea, but what’s happening behind the scenes? Well, the covers are fetched from Amazon automatically, the suggestions are made directly into entries in ExpressionEngine (even if the site visitor isn’t logged in—though if they are, the suggestion is tied to their member account).  Last name sorting is actually a little tricky, because not every author’s last name is simple to parse, but we’ve made this automatic and something Sam can override manually, too.

Sam is donating 50% of the revenue to charity; educating, sharing, and helping the world all from one web tool; not bad.  I hope you check it out.


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