Welcome to Product Hunt Books. Each day, we’ll be surfacing new books, re-releases and unknown gems for our community to discover, discuss, and collect.
Every day we’ll have AMA’s with awesome authors. Upcoming ones include Dan Ariely, Seth Godin, Amanda Palmer, Neil Strauss, Ashlee Vance, Lev Grossman, Andy Weir, Kevin Kelly, Daniel Pink, Tony Robbins, Tyler Cowen, Kevin Roose, and many more.
We’re going to also be having a monthly book club. This month, we’re all reading “Elon Musk”, and we’re doing our first ever “Readathon”. We’ll finish reading the book by the 26th and then we’ll discuss it together with author Ashlee Vance.
Since the beginning, we’ve been excited to expand beyond tech and empower communities of people to discover, curate, and geek out about their passions. We believe the Product Hunt model can extend to many different product categories.
Here are a few reasons why books are next:
First, our audience loves to read. Zero to One has 500 upvotes on Product Hunt. Bookstck, a collection of favorite book lists, has nearly 1000. When we started a Product Hunt book club to read Eric Ries’s book, a few thousand joined. We drove more traffic and conversions to his book than any other media outlet.
Second, there are a lot of books out there to curate. Over 100,000 books are published each year. And yet, my friends are always asking me what they should read next. People love book recommendations. In fact, whole sites exist to display influential people’s book recommendations (bookstck, favobooks + bookicious).
Third, Books as a medium are peculiarly interesting in their durability. Unlike many other mediums, books have stayed the same over time. People often write long books in solitude and then share them with the world, only seeking feedback when they’re finished. Interestingly, and maybe appropriately (who knows!) authors have rarely experimented with the form of a book itself.
And yet. Some authors are trying, releasing ideas first as blog posts, tweets, and sometimes chapters at a time. Some are more ambitious, creating comprehensive multimedia experiences. Product Hunt can accelerate these experiments, hopefully making reading more palatable and accessible to a wider audience, while also giving authors a valuable platform for feedback.
There are other questions surrounding books. What does reading look like on the phone? How do we share what we read easier and more effectively? Product Hunt Books will be an interesting playground for experimentation and innovation in an established medium. (Or maybe we’ll learn that the established medium is good as-is, and more people will be reading. That’s great.)
Lastly, I love books. Favorite authors include Jonathan Franzen, David Foster Wallace, Joan Didion, Zadie Smith, Robert Pirsig, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Milan Kundera, Jared Diamond, Kevin Kelly, Dan Ariely, David Brooks and more. I’ll take any excuse to find great books to read and discuss them with authors.
Also, and this may seem obvious, books are important. And in an era in which technology advancements force us to answer some difficult questions (e.g around AI, VR, synthetic biology, etc) and we have to determine how to make meaning from all the bits, books become only increasingly more important.
So. Welcome to Product Hunt Books. We invite you to make a collection of your own, recommend which authors you want to give AMA’s, and give us feedback on how we can make this better.