iDreamBooks, book review aggregator, deems itself the “rottentomatoes.com for books.” iDreamBooks searches reviews across media outlets and compiles the data to a single, comprehensive repository of review. iDreamBooks offers developers access to the reviews through the iDreamBooks API. Co-founder, Rahul Simha, explained the complexity of iDreamBooks’ concept and why its functionality offers value:
“This is a challenging endeavor because there are a lot more books that come out than other verticals like movies….And the release date of these books isn’t very standardized (most movies tend to get released on Fridays, for instance). Also, the lack of star rating makes it tough. Because of all these reasons, I think others haven’t done it before.”
iDreamBooks has garnered much attention from the press in its limited existence. Although it remains a work in progress, Simha envisions iDreamBooks as “the site people visit before buying a book.” As this vision materializes, integration with the API should increase and book retailers should use the site for recommendations.
The iDreamBooks API uses REST protocol and returns calls in an XML data format. Users can search for books by title, author, ISBN, and genre to retrieve book data and reviews. Those interested can apply for a key at the API site.
Crowdsourced data has become a standard in online product reviews. From movies to shoes, the public seems to trust its consumer brethren when choosing products. iDreamBooks could soon become the standard for crowdsourced book reviews. Should the public trust its content, expect developer adoption to follow.