BookSense.com recently announced several new features that improve and enhance the entire family of BookSense.com websites, as well as a schedule for maintenance that will result in some minor down time.
Scheduled Down Time
On Sunday, July 16, BookSense.com is bringing the entire system down to move its servers to a smaller space -- a change that will save the program considerable money. The downtime is tentatively scheduled to begin at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and it is expected to continue for no more than eight hours, ending at or before 4:00 p.m.
During the down time, store websites and administrative pages will be replaced by a "down for maintenance" holding page, directing users to return later in the day. BookSense.com is encouraging stores to inform customers about the downtime.
At BookExpo America, BookSense.com unveiled its first new template in six years: The "Paper Template" received rave reviews, and two booksellers at the show immediately switched their sites to the new look.
BookSense.com stores can access the new template through "Edit Store Appearances" on the Administrative Page.
Inventory Upload Changes
Two important changes have been made to the process of uploading local store inventory:
- Until now, booksellers could upload the store's inventory once daily: the store file was picked up and processed by the system at 5:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and new data was reflected on the store's site the same day. A second upload window, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, has now been added, giving booksellers the option of uploading files at either time or twice a day. To take advantage of the new upload time, files must be in the system by 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
- Net priced books in the BookSense.com system carry a "Contact us for price" message on the product page. Now, at the request of stores that carry a large selection of academic titles, this message will be overwritten by an actual price if the price is uploaded in the local store inventory file. (Prices included in an uploaded inventory file will override any discounting parameters the store has set up through the Administrative Page.)
Shipper Tracking Information
When a customer order is shipped by a wholesaler, the BookSense.com system automatically generates an e-mail to let the customer know the books or other products are on the way. This e-mail will now contain the UPS tracking number, and future plans call for the tracking number to be made into a link to the UPS site.
BookSense.com recently added spam filtering to its servers, and stores with e-mail hosted by the system have, hopefully, noticed a reduction in the amount of spam making it to their inboxes. While this change was instituted, there was a brief e-mail outage over the Memorial Day weekend that may have caused some incoming messages to bounce back. These e-mails weren't lost, they were simply returned to the sender. If the e-mail was sent a second time, it should have made it through without incident.
BookSense.com is also raising the storage limit for a BookSense.com e-mail account to 10MB. All stores are being asked to delete old mail from the server and to stay within the limit. (The previous limit, 1MB, was so low that it was never actually enforced.) A detailed note with more information about BookSense.com e-mail accounts will be sent to participating stores in the coming weeks.
BookSense.com has three very significant projects in the works:
- ISBN 13: Work to make the BookSense.com database compliant with the new 13-digit ISBN is underway, and the system will be ready in plenty of time for the official sunset of the 10-digit ISBN, scheduled for December 31, 2006.
- A Second New Template: A new template design -- which, like Paper Template, will be a big departure from the existing options -- will be rolled out this fall.
- Continued Work on the Search Engine: BookSense.com technical staff continues to work on ways to make the vastly improved BookSense.com search engine, which rolled out this past winter, even better. Most notably, many booksellers commented that "Coming Soon" titles are showing up too far down in the search results. A plan to fix this problem will be implemented before the holiday season.
Questions about anything related to BookSense.com may be addressed to the customer service team at [email protected] or by calling (800) 637-0037, exts. 6654 or 6655.