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Image representing FictFact as depicted in Cru...

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FictFact is a free book series tracking site and today FictFact co-founder Brian Kirsten has written this guest post for us. Thanks Brian!

We started to get the idea for FictFact after Christine, one of the co-founders, was spending a lot of time in book stores trying to answer the following questions:
I want to start a new series, what is the first book I should read?
What is the next book in the series I am reading?
Did any new books or series come out by an author I love?

So we decided to see if any of the existing sites have any of these features. Goodreads, LibraryThing, and Shelfari were focused on individual books, not series. So it still required lots of manual research to answer these questions. Since Christine and I both have extensive backgrounds in web development we decided to create FictFact as a tool to help readers organize book series. She figured she was not the only one who would benefit from our site.

The main feature Christine was focused on was the “Next Book List”. The idea was that a user could indicate which series they were reading and the books they have already read, and a custom list of the next book in each series would be generated. This would allow a user to go into a book store and know that if they purchased any of these books, they would know they were reading books in the correct order. The list automatically updates if a user marks a book as read or a new book is added to the series.

Over time, we have grown leaps and bounds and added many new popular features such as a book release calendar that can be personalized to only show books in the series you are following. We also have “Most Popular” lists, series recommendations, discussion groups, the ability for users to keep track of their book ownership (own, borrowed, e-book, paperback, etc), and the ability to organize your series into lists. Perhaps the most popular feature that we have is a weekly email that will send users a list of all the books being released that week in their series, any new books added to any of their series and any new series added by their favorite authors.

Since our launch we’ve grown by leaps and bounds. We’ve got 16,000 registered users and our database has nearly 75,000 books in series that you can track. To help users find the books they are looking for, we offer 30 options on each book page to order books online. (Disclosure, some of those links are affiliate links and buying through them help keep FictFact running.)

We’re also proud to have the only series recommendation engine on the web. Visit any of the listed series and scroll to the bottom of the page for a list of new series to discover. It takes into account the series you’re already following. You can also tell us that you’re “Not Interested” in a particular recommendation and we won’t show it again to allow you a better way to discover new series.

We are constantly adding new features and looking for ways to improve the site. One of our many goals for the future is to make FictFact more mobile friendly by releasing a mobile formatted web site or creating a custom iPhone or Android app. We also have a grand vision to expand and allow users to track all books by authors, including ones not in a series as well as track more meta data on books such as characters, worlds they live in, their relationships, etc.

We hope our users love FictFact as much as we’ve loved building it. Christine uses the site on a daily basis for her personal reading collection. Check out her profile at http://www.fictfact.com/user/christine. Seeing our site grow from a home-grown project to what it is today amazes us and we hope to keep our users happy with the service and continuing to discover great books to read.