Shelfie permits readers to take snapshots of their bookshelves and return a list of discounted or free eBooks for download. With the latest update, the startup aims to evolve into an amenity that desires to celebrate readers' own library while adding other libraries to it.
Shelfie was created by Marius Muja and Peter Hudson. Together, they solved the big information problem of turning paper books into eBooks. The concept came from a drunken argument between Hudson and a friend of his named Dan.
During their discussion, his friend had a hard time proving something to him and wished that there was some way to get digital versions of all his friend's paperwork on his smartphone, just to prove a citation that he was right and Hudson was wrong.
From then on, Hudson self-financed the startup company and presently the app can identify more or less 45 million book titles. To add, the latest update permits other readers to add their own book collections and share them to public. The app users can now follow anyone and anyone can follow them back for book sharing, book ratings and comments as to whether the book is good or bad for reading. Overall, the new social characteristics of the app are pretty typical, but perhaps the most appreciated feature is that it is filling the gap between print and digital bookshelves and making digital books available like mp3s on playlists.
Although, Shelfie produces profits from referral fees for trade and industry. It sends its shares to outside sellers like Amazon or Apple's iBookstore. In an explanation, the startup is not in a completion with well-known companies like GoodReads. The app even allows new users to sign up with their GoodReads login information, as the concept is focused on detailed discussions and book reviews.
To sum it up, the lack of selection in digital libraries are due to licensing, which is the biggest perpetrator. Although, the process of converting books to eBooks is also kind of a struggle. In consideration that readers are getting the eBook version so cheap or for free, it does seem to be worth the jump.