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Submission + - Shelfie is the shazam for your books and bookshelf (

An anonymous reader writes: If you’re like me, you have a lot of Mad Magazine books from the 1970s, a classic copy of Oui from 1979, and three Hungarian cookbooks. In other words, you’re a well-read individual. But how do you get those books onto your reading device? Shelfie, that’s how.

Created by Peter Hudson and Marius Muja, Shelfie allows you to take a picture of your bookshelf and return a list of discounted or free ebooks for download. Muja and Hudson studied together at UBC and Hudson originally built software for hydrologists. Marius is a PhD in computer vision. Together they solved the “big data” problem of turning paper books into digital books.

Comment Re:while (Score 1) 131

You are correct. While Kindle Matchbook technically has about 84,000 titles in the program the cast majority are from Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and were rolling into the program by Amazon using the contract they have with KDP authors which allows them to "change the terms of this agreement from time to time by providing you [N weeks] notice".
I have nothing against self published authors. I'd love to strike a deal with Lulu or any of the other big self publishing platforms that allow authors to produce both print and digital versions of their books (because of course we need a physical copy otherwise bundling doesn't really work).

Comment Re: I'm the app's developer. Happy to answer quest (Score 1) 131

Legally speaking in some countries e.g. Australia you are allowed (by those who make up laws) to format shift a paper book into an ebook. However, those same people who make up laws have determined that you actually have to doing the format shifting yourself in order for it to be considered legal. That is, you aren't allowed to download an ebook copy of a physical book you own. I'm an engineer and entrepreneur, so for now I'll donate to the EFF and let Cory Doctorow argue the finer points of the insanity we enjoy and call modern copyright law.

Comment Re:My sister's books are part of this part of this (Score 1) 131

I met Elizabeth in the UK at a book conference just before the London Book Fair. She was super enthusiastic about the idea of bundling she literally marched me over to the Granta booth at the book fair and sat me down with her publisher and explained the idea and said (to her publisher) "do this now". Honestly it was a totally amazing experience to see an author so excited about what we're doing.
The only other author who's ever been so excited about doing this has been Joe Hill (Stephan King's son). Joe found out about what we were doing on twitter after he mentioned that he thought you should get the ebook free if you buy the hardcover. Somebody tweeted back at him and he download the app on the spot and used it on Ellen Datlow's Fearful Symetries which he happened to have in his pocket (at the time the odds of a randomly selected book working in BitLit were about 1 in 10,000... so we got lucky). He got pretty excited about the idea and twisted HarperCollins' arm into letting us give away a free ebook copy of Heart-Shaped Box to everybody who owned the print version. He also went on to say some nice things about what we're doing.

Comment Re:Book finder? Re:shellfie (Score 1) 131

Thanks for the feedback on the Dragon's Den episode... I'll be honest, it was a very interesting edit on the part of the CBC. We filmed the episode back in March 2014 and it aired on Oct 15 2014... I was on the sound stage for almost 90 minutes with the dragons and that got cut down to about 7 minutes on air. There were also quite a few things that the dragons said which weren't taped during my segment -- that's one of the things you sign away in going on the show: the CBC can edit anything a dragon said in another person's segment into your segment... basically the CBC is there to make dramatic TV. So I'll leave it at what got shown on TV wasn't very indicative of what actually happened on the sound stage.

Comment Re: I'm the app's developer. Happy to answer quest (Score 1) 131

Thanks so much for being an early adopter. And thanks to Tim O'Reilly (I wonder if he reads comment threads) for coming on board early with the entire O'Reilly catalog. We've also just signed with Packt Publishing and Elsevier. And we have 2 deals in the works with other very large technical publishers whom I can't name yet, but who should come online in January.

Comment Re:I'm the app's developer. Happy to answer questi (Score 1) 131

Fair play. It's not for everyone. And I'm not the kind of developer who begs and pesters people for 5 star reviews, and as such only the trolls typically bother to review the app. Haters are gonna hate (not calling you a hater, just stating in general). If somebody feels the need to give a 1-star review in the app store for a free app that they didn't read the description of before they downloaded it, I'm not going to be able to change that here.

Comment Re:I'm the app's developer. Happy to answer questi (Score 1) 131

There are a few tricks we use to stop people from using a print out of the copyright page. I won't mention all of them here... but one example is asymmetric page curvature... Copyright pages tend to be at the front or back of books as such the shot that captures the name on the copyright page shows the left / right pages with very different levels of curvature.

Comment Re:I'm the app's developer. Happy to answer questi (Score 2) 131

We've been hit by a pretty hard by the LifeHacker and CNET stories over the last few days... the shelfie processing queue is normally about 15 minutes but has been over 6 hours for much of the last 2 days. It's now back to normal as we were able to spin up enough servers to handle the load. But your point about it being faster than scanning bar codes is exactly why we designed the shelfie feature.

Comment Re:I'm the app's developer. Happy to answer questi (Score 1) 131

Sorry for the delay in looking into the compatibility of your device. When smoke started coming out of servers yesterday Marius and I ran for the (metaphorical) for extinguishers... but I haven't forgotten about checking up on your device. You are the only person who's have a device that "on paper" should work... but that isn't working. Did I already suggest that we send you the APK and you install it directly? That's certainly something we could do. And yes, there is a way for you to check which books are in the system:

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