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Old 09-24-2009, 12:03 PM   #1
anurag
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Introducing Inkmesh

Hi folks,

We are a couple of ebook aficionados who grew tired of clicking through multiple websites to find ebooks in the right format and at the right price. Being software engineers, we decided to try and improve things, and the result is Inkmesh - an ebook search engine. Inkmesh aggregates and analyzes data from multiple ebook and audiobook sources (including MobileRead!) and makes it available for search. In its first version, Inkmesh also allows browsing ebooks by subject and filtering results by price and content type (ebooks, audiobooks, magazines etc). All search results display compatibility with the most popular reading devices and platforms, and individual ebook pages display detailed availability, formats and pricing.

But we're just getting started. The only people who have used Inkmesh so far are the two of us and our significant others, so obviously, Inkmesh is a bit rough around the edges. We think many of you will find the current set of features useful right away, but we are still thinking through all the different directions future development can take. There are some things we definitely need to do, like adding more sources, crawling them more frequently, and providing more filtering options. But beyond that, our feature set depends entirely on our users. And we don't think we can find a better set of initial users than the folks here at MobileRead, from whom we've already learned so much.

So, we request you to give Inkmesh a try - we think you will like it. And we would really appreciate your suggestions for features that you think will be most useful to add to the product. Please let us know through this thread or through the feedback tab on the right edge of all pages on inkmesh.com. Inkmesh is going to improve every day, and your feedback is going to help us work on stuff that matters most.

Thank you!

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Old 09-24-2009, 12:11 PM   #2
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Wow! This is incredibly useful. You can quickly discover if an eBook exists, in what formats, and who has the best price. I will definitely use this. The only suggestion I have at this point would be some sort of a wish list or "remember this book" button.

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Old 09-24-2009, 12:30 PM   #3
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THIS IS FANTASTIC!

I'm so tired of checking all the sites to see if an ebook even exists, and Googling for an ebook usually just returns torrents instead of legitimate sites.

One of the books I searched for doesn't exist in e-text format, but an audiobook copy does. While I don't really listen to audiobooks, I really appreciate that you've included these in your search since they are electronic books and many ereaders can now play audiobooks.
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:43 PM   #4
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Seems a bit like www.ebookprice.info in concept.

I do love the idea of looking by subject though.

Could you add in Smashwords, and the UK retailer Waterstones? They sell a few authors that are here on mobileread, who aren't really elsewhere.
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:44 PM   #5
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Looks good, seems to have more sources and works faster than ebookprice.info. However, one thing I like about ebookprice.info is the overview table which lists all stores and formats. Your table is rather big spaced and often needs scrolling; I also would like to see icons for the file formats and/or devices - that gives better visual feedback.
P.S. found first bug - Anathem is listed as free from Fictionwise, while it's $14.99 when you follow the link.
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:52 PM   #6
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Great site. I like the layout, simple and clean. I agree that a Wish List function would be really good. I've only spent a moment there but I'll return and check it out further.
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:54 PM   #7
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Very slick, and the suggestions 'as-you-type' pop-down menu is helpful.

A test on "The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood" didn't return the availability at Sony's or Amazon's eBook stores plus returned other eBooks by Margaret Atwood. Are these sources yet to be added?
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:10 PM   #8
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Very nice. I love the minimal interface.
It looks like you don't have Shortcovers.com in there, yet. They just started selling ePub within the past few weeks (was it just last week, even?), so I don't blame you for leaving them out.
They have very competitive prices, but a seemingly smaller selection, so I think they should definitely be included.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:22 PM   #9
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Looks like the big complaint merely is the want for more sources.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igorsk View Post
Looks good, seems to have more sources and works faster than ebookprice.info. However, one thing I like about ebookprice.info is the overview table which lists all stores and formats. Your table is rather big spaced and often needs scrolling; I also would like to see icons for the file formats and/or devices - that gives better visual feedback.
P.S. found first bug - Anathem is listed as free from Fictionwise, while it's $14.99 when you follow the link.
Ditto on the icons for file formats.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:28 PM   #11
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One thing that I just noticed was the thumbnail showing what the cover was for each of the retailers.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:34 PM   #12
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GRiker: Thanks. The wish-list feature will be one of the first thing we will add when we add user registration capabilities to Inkmesh.

queentess: Thank you! We will be adding more audiobook sources going forward.

Hellmark: Smashwords is high on our TODO list. We will check Waterstones out. We know about ebookprice.info, but we think Inkmesh is more than just a price comparison site - our goal is to help discover ebooks people might not even know about; price comparison is a logical addition.

igorsk - Format icons are a very good suggestion, we've been hunting down format logos ourselves. We will also figure out how to minimize scrolling on individual ebook pages. Re: Fictionwise - we display the rebate prices for them (which is why the cost is zero) Should we display regular prices instead?

Lady Blue: Thank you, we would appreciate further feedback.

Wetdogeared: Thanks for pointing that out. The Year Of The Flood was added on September 22, just after we last crawled Sony & Amazon. We will be increasing our crawl frequency so new releases show up sooner. See reply to igorsk for format icons.

lunged: We are already talking to Shortcovers to obtain a feed; if we can't get it soon we will start crawling their site because we agree they're an important new retailer.

A big thanks to all of you for taking the time to comment. A lot of your suggestions are already on our list (which is great because it tells us we're not complete morons); we just wanted to get the product out ASAP and see if people liked it enough for us to keep going. Your feedback is very encouraging - we are going to keep improving.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:41 PM   #13
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I like!
What about Feedbooks? Did they opt out?
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:43 PM   #14
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I tried it and like it. I like the way the books are presented. BUT I do have a couple of suggestions.

1. We should be able to filter by format.

For example, I only read ebooks on my Sony 505 so I am not interested in books for the PC, cell phone, or Kindle. I would like to be able to filter out responses that are not compatible with my Sony.

Filtering by format would allow that. I could choose BeBB, LRF, and ePub ADE, for example, whereas someone with a Kindle could choose AZW.

If filtering by format is not possible, then by device would be useful. I, for one, am not interested in responses that do not include eInk devices (i.e., responses that include only PC, cell phones, PDAs, and the like).

2. We should be able to sort by price.

Yes, you provide filtering such as "less than $5" but sometimes that isn't what I want. I would prefer to be able to sort by price (low to high and hight to low) because the low price books might be for cell phones only, where as the midrange price books might be for eInk devices.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anurag View Post
igorsk - Re: Fictionwise - we display the rebate prices for them (which is why the cost is zero) Should we display regular prices instead?
The rebate price is only good if one is a member of Fictionwise. I bought a few books from Fictionwise before becoming a member and I suspect I'm not the only one. In addition, one can buy in a manner that doesn't get one the rebate so the rebate price would be meaningless. It would be good to show regular prices instead of the rebate price or in addition to the rebate price, but not the rebate price alone.

Also, if not part of the mix, prices at B&N would be helpful (I didn't check whether B&N was included).
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