TL;DR: To get this Alexa Skill for your Amazon Echo devices search for “Recommend Me A Book” on mobile Alexa app. Simple enable it and start using right away!


I’ve read over 120 books over the last two years (2015, 2016). At this point I purchase instantly any book that’s recommended to me by people I know and those I respect. I noticed, however, that there are titles that seem to be repeated again and again as top book recommendations. After brief research, I found that reading communities are virtually built on 100-200 titles per book category that everyone raves about.

So here’s the interesting bit. What about those readers who wanted to discover their next must-read? They could spend hours listening to podcasts, asking friends, researching Goodreads lists etc. Why not to make it easier for them to find the top books? That’s were I thought to play with this new medium to give the nerds like me their book dosage.

I found that reading communities are virtually built on 100-200 titles per book category that everyone raves about

Recommend Me A Book Alexa Skill for Amazon Echo devices

And so after weeks of production time and help from friends, mentors and outsourced specialists, I launched a simple MVP skill for Alexa (otherwise known as an Alexa App). You can read about how I built it over on my LinkedIn.

The skill I built — Recommend Me a Book Skill — is now available in North America and Europe, and it’s free!

Here’s a brief demo of its features featuring yours truly:

The features include:

  • Over 1,000 of top-rated book titles in the following categories: entrepreneurship and business, leadership, marketing, learning, fiction and lastly fitness health and wellness.
  • Includes voice commands (or intents) for getting book recommendations using a category title, accessing the book data, finding help and other voice controls and feedback. For example, you can simply ask your Echo or Echo dot device:
    “Alexa, open ‘recommend me a book'”,  then say “Recommend me a book in <category, e.g. ‘business’>” and you’ll get an excellent book recommendation. Or you can say “Help me” to hear all the voice commands available. (All intents are intuitive enough for new users to find their desired book titles.)
  • Region-specific versions with slight English language variants (North American and UK English).

 

Where can you get this App/Skill from?

alexa-app-preview-enabler

If you’re a user of one of the Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, the skill can be easily downloaded/added via Alexa app – just search for ‘Recommend me a book skill“.

At the time of this writing Amazon is developing specific apps which will enable more devices to run Alexa Voice AI, which means that Recommend Me a Book skill should soon be available on any phone.

Until then I plan to flesh out the existing app for the best experience. Stay tuned.

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