Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

Five million more Library of Congress records

trash_lc

We’ve recently imported 5,148,400 new records from the Library of Congress into OverCat, LibraryThing’s data repository. This brings the total number of records in OverCat to nearly 78 million! That’s 78 million high-quality library (MARC) records you can use in cataloging on LibraryThing.

This new dataset was produced by the Library of Congress from records in the 2014 Retrospective file sets—the most recent currently available. The Library of Congress provides these MARC records as part of its MARC Open Access program. Although LibraryThing adds MARC records to Overcat as members search for them, this is our first mass update from Library of Congress data since OverCat debuted in 2010.

Thanks to developer CCatalfo‘s efforts to make this happen. Notice anything different in OverCat? Join the discussion and tell us about it on Talk.

Further reading

Labels: cataloging, library of congress

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

June 2018 Early Reviewers

Win free books from the June 2018 batch of Early Reviewer titles! This month we’ve got 99 titles, and a grand total of 3,645 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, June 25th at 6pm Eastern.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, and many more. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Candlewick Press First Steps Publishing Tundra Books
Penguin Teen Canada William Morrow Revell
ClydeBank Media Unsolicited Press World Weaver Press
Hawaiian Heritage Press Black Rose Writing Tule Publishing
Timber Press Sparkling Books Orca Book Publishers
Oneworld Publications Common Deer Press CarTech Books
Apex Publications Random House HighBridge Audio
Tantor Media Amberjack Publishing Yali Books
Marble City Publishing Prufrock Press Flyaway Books
Two Umbrellas Meerkat Press Cloud Lodge Books
Velvet Morning Press BookViewCafe Ballantine Books
Harper Perennial City Owl Press Poolbeg Press
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing Bellevue Literary Press Dreamspinner Press
Mirror World Publishing Three Rooms Press BHC Press
Elewyn Publishing Chronicle Books Story Spring Publishing, LLC

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

Group Read/Movie Night June 2018

Last week, we asked you to vote on a slate of four candidates for our next One LibraryThing, One Book read, along with an accompanying film adaptation, which will be our next LT Movie Night. Thanks to all of you who voted!

Our Winner

With 164 members in favor, Neil Gaiman’s Stardust made the final cut (with Atonement and The Price of Salt coming in close together. Meanwhile, Into the Wild got more votes against than for!

Originally published in 1998, Stardust will be our first fantasy book we’ve taken on for OLOB. The story follows an young man on a quest to bring back a star to win the (romantic) favor of a particular young woman. Of course, it turns out the star has other ideas, which lend themselves to quite an adventure.

The book also has a graphic novel version, featuring art by Charles Vess. Folks reading along are welcome to choose which edition they’d prefer to read.

The film of the same name was released in 2007, and is available to stream on Netflix in the US. Both the book and film should be readily available at most local libraries, too!

Details

If you haven’t joined us for One LibraryThing, One Book before, I encourage you to stop by the introductory blog post to catch up on the basics.

Official discussion for the book will begin Monday, June 25th, at 12pm EDT. But that doesn’t mean it’s too early to get started! If you’d like to get a jump on talking to your fellow readers, “Introduce Yourself” thread. Have you read Stardust before, or want to get discussion going while it’s still in progress? Share your (spoiler-free) thoughts in the “First Impressions” thread.

Movie Night

We’ll post reminders as the date draws near, but our 2nd-ever LibraryThing Movie Night will take place Friday, June 29th, at 9pm EDT. By that point, book discussion will be well underway, and this will add more to it!

We hope that everyone who voted (particularly those whose top pick won!) will join us for the read! General questions or comments about One LibraryThing, One Book, are, as always, welcome here. Stay tuned to the One LibraryThing, One Book group for updates!

Labels: fun, movie event, One LibraryThing One Book

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

Vote for June’s group read & movie night

This June, we’re gearing up for a double feature: we’re back for another round of the site-wide group read, One LibraryThing, One Book (OLOB) plus, we’re combining this with the next LibraryThing Movie Night—we’ll be reading a book together, as well as watching the film adaptation. And we need your help picking which book/movie combo to discuss!

LT Staff got together and came up with a slate of four books and film adaptations—we think we’ve got a group with a little something for everyone. On to the nominees:

Vote!

Voting will remain open for one week—from now until Thurs., May 31st, at 12:00pm EDT.

» Go vote for your favorites now!

We’re using LibraryThing’s own poll system this time. This allows members to vote “yes,” “no,” or “undecided” on each book/movie pair, so you can express both your likes and your dislikes. We’ve assigned point values to each response, and the book/movie with the most points at the end of voting will be our selections.

Then what?

We’ll announce the winner as soon as voting ends on May 31st. We want to give everyone ample time to acquire and read the book, so discussion will start on Monday, June 25th. LT Movie night for the accompanying film will be later that same week, on Friday, June 29th.

More

If you’re unfamiliar with One LibraryThing, One Book, or want to see what we’ve read in the past, check out our OLOB blog archive. You can also see our last LT Movie Night selection here.

Questions? Comments? Feel free to post them on Talk, or drop me a line at loranne@librarything.com.

Labels: fun, movie event, One LibraryThing One Book

Monday, May 7th, 2018

May 2018 Early Reviewers

Win free books from the May 2018 batch of Early Reviewer titles! This month we’ve got 117 titles, and a grand total of 3,950 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, May 28th at 6pm Eastern.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, and many more. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Candlewick Press Akashic Books Tundra Books
Penguin Teen Canada Puffin Books Canada Random House
Bloomsbury World Weaver Press Heritage Books
Muskrat Press, LLC Avery Beacon Press
Mirror World Publishing Everything Goes Media Timber Press
The Lemic Group, Inc. Nicholas Brealey William Morrow
Ballantine Books Platypus Media Revell
Plough Publishing House The Ardent Writer Press Read Furiously
CarTech Books Tantor Media HighBridge Audio
NewCon Press Cloud Lodge Books Harper Perennial
Gecko Press Sinful Press Anaphora Literary Press
Open Books Oneworld Publications Prufrock Press
Mythic Delirium Books Month9Books BHC Press
Zimbell House Publishing Small Beer Press EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing
City Owl Press Common Deer Press Spirit Paw Press, LLC
Prodigy Gold Books Gefen Publishing House Hot Tree Publishing
Eifrig Publishing Chronicle Books

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

April 2018 Early Reviewers

Win free books from the April 2018 batch of Early Reviewer titles! This month we’ve got 116 titles, and a grand total of 3,670 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, April 30th at 6pm Eastern.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, and many more. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Chronicle Books Akashic Books Tundra Books
Puffin Books Canada Penguin Teen Canada World Weaver Press
Harper Perennial Raincloud Press Apex Publications
Sinful Press William Morrow Prodigy Gold Books
Tule Publishing ClydeBank Media Muskrat Press, LLC
HarperCollins Childrens Books Candlewick Press Heritage Books
The Ardent Writer Press Poolbeg Press Twin Crowns Press
HighBridge Audio Ballantine Books EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing
Allium Press of Chicago Beacon Press Mirror World Publishing
Tantor Media Revell CarTech Books
Hot Tree Publishing Gefen Publishing House BookViewCafe
Oneworld Publications City Owl Press Plough Publishing House
BHC Press John Ott Peasantry Press
Prufrock Press Bellevue Literary Press Emerson & Tilman
Kazabo Publishing

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Monday, March 19th, 2018

LibraryThing and Litsy Q&A

litsy_screen_fullAs we wrote in the last blog post, LibraryThing has acquired the mobile platform Litsy. Here is a sort of Q&A about Litsy, and how Litsy and LibraryThing can help each other. Other resources:

Q: What is Litsy?

Litsy is both like and unlike LibraryThing. First, everything happens within a smartphone app—there’s no website. Second, although Litsy members can “catalog” their books in a simple (works-only) way, the main activity is sharing posts with words and photos of books you’re reading, of passages you find interesting, or even where you’re reading a book. (Posts are marked “review”, “blurb”, or “quote.”) Litsy has friends, comments, hashtags and so forth, but lacks a central “Groups” or “Talk” like on LibraryThing.

Here’s some past press coverage of Litsy.

Q: How can I try it out?

The Litsy app is available for iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android systems. Check it out at http://litsy.com.

Q: Why did LibraryThing acquire Litsy?

Litsy is an amazing community, similar to LibraryThing in its passion for books, but different in its feel, focus, technology, and demographic. We admired what Jeff and Todd had built so when Jeff approached us recently, we jumped at the opportunity. Litsy is a cool thing, and we think it has a great future ahead of it.

Q: How big a deal is this for LibraryThing?

The terms of the deal are not disclosed, but we can tell you it did not involve company-limiting amounts of money.

To be frank, we see no major changes for the LibraryThing site or community, at least in the near- or medium-term. We may offer syncing or single sign-ons between services. And we will definitely be leveraging LibraryThing’s superior book data within Litsy. We also see a lot of potential in getting Litsy members into LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program and attracting more publisher interest with the larger community this offers. But we aren’t going to try to combine the services or communities. If you choose not to join Litsy, you won’t likely see or read much about it on LT.

Q: How much membership overlap is there?

Very little. They are different communities that have spread in different ways. We hope to drive some cross-service exploration, but LibraryThing and Litsy are different places.

This difference is a strength. LibraryThing is now working across the book-loving spectrum. It gives us greater profile in the book world, and helps us to serve all kinds of passionate readers.

Q: What can LibraryThing offer Litsy, and visa versa?

In the press release, we speculated about some ways that LibraryThing can help Litsy. They include:

  • Better book data.
  • Syncing between the services.
  • Moving LibraryThing’s excellent barcode scanning into the Litsy app.
  • Get more libraries involved in Litsy.
  • Bringing Litsy members into LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program.

Litsy can help LibraryThing in similar ways. The Litsy apps have some nice features we’re liable to steal for LibraryThing. And we hope that if we provide syncing between services, some Litsy members will also become LibraryThing members.

Come to Talk to discuss other ways of making Litsy useful to LibraryThing.

Q: What’s this about Early Reviewers?

The idea of bringing Litsy members into Early Reviewers may stir some concerns. If more people can get books, won’t there be fewer books?

We don’t think so. Publishers love Early Reviewers for its unique picking system, which connects their books to readers likely to actually enjoy their book. And they love that we’re free for publishers, whereas our larger competitor now charges publishers.

But we remain small, and our membership demographics don’t fit every publisher’s offerings. Adding Litsy will increase Early Reviewer’s reach, with notices going out to another, substantial set of passionate readers who buy a lot of books. And Litsy members have a somewhat different demographic profile than LibraryThing members, which should draw some new publishers.

Q: How does Litsy fit into LibraryThing’s business model? (short)

Litsy is cheap to run. We’re happy to be its new owners. And we’re in for the long haul.

Q: How does Litsy fit into LibraryThing’s business model? (long)

The usual pattern for social companies is to “get big fast or die.” You get funded. You spend all your money quickly to get as many users as you can. Then you sell yourself to a larger company who want your community size. In reality, however, the most common path is that the company flames out and dies, everyone loses their data, the community is blown apart, and the founders move onto the next idea.

LibraryThing never followed that approach. From the start, we conserved our resources, and made money by charging members small fees. We didn’t look for a buyout from Amazon or Google. Eventually we found another path to making money—turning some of LibraryThing’s technology and data toward making libraries better. We earn every dollar we make, and we don’t annoy or exploit members to do it.

As things stand, Litsy is large enough to matter to a lot of people, but it’s too small to be significantly “monetized.” Fortunately, it’s also cheap to run—even cheaper now that Litsy can live within the existing LibraryThing infrastructure.

After twelve years of making LibraryThing work, we believe the race is long, and good things with great communities will find their business. We plan to take the same approach with Litsy.

Q: What else?

Come talk about Litsy on Talk. We also started a group, Onward Litsy! for Litsy members to talk to each other and LibraryThing staff, on Facebook. (We started it on Facebook, as a neutral place.) You are more than welcome to join, but we hope to get the Litsy people talking. LibraryThing’s been doing big, burly staff-community conversations for years; it’s a new thing for Litsy.

Labels: LibraryThing, Litsy

Monday, March 19th, 2018

Litsy Newsletter: Big news

Note: This went out today in the Litsy newsletter. Litsy doesn’t have a blog, so we thought we’d also post it here, for Littens to share.

We have big news! LibraryThing, the team behind the long-running social cataloging and book discussion site LibraryThing.com, has acquired Litsy.

litsyandlibrarything

The Short Version

Don’t panic. Litsy is not going away or getting folded into another site. On the contrary, we at LibraryThing will be working hard to support and grow Litsy in new ways!

We have some immediate plans in mind, starting with better book data from LibraryThing and LibraryThing’s partner, Bowker. But most of all we want to know what YOU want.

We’ve set up a Facebook Group “Onward Litsy!” to begin a two-way conversation with Litsy members. Please join the discussion here.

Thank you for reading this; we can’t wait to get to know you better. Thank you to Jeff and Todd for creating such a great service, and trusting us to keep it safe and build it up! Please be sure to check out their note below.

The Long Version

LibraryThing is the new owner and manager of the Litsy app and service. We took over from Jeff and Todd, the founders of Out of Print Clothing, a few weeks ago. (Read their note, below.) We’ve been working on moving the technical side to LibraryThing services, and are now turning our attention to the Litsy community, and how we can bring Litsy to the next level.

If you’ve never heard of LibraryThing, we’re both like and unlike Litsy. Like Litsy, LibraryThing is a unique, passionate, and often tight-knit community of book lovers. LibraryThing and Litsy are each others’ kind of people.

LibraryThing was started in 2005 by Tim Spalding (Litsy: TimSpalding) as a pet project to catalog his own library and for bibliophile friends. Since then we’ve racked up 2.2 million users, who’ve cataloged over 123 million books. Although members have created 11,000 groups, and started over 200,000 discussions, LibraryThing is relatively focused on cataloging—on recording everything you own or read. While we have an app for searching for and scanning books into your library, all our social engagement happens on the website.

Tim is new to Litsy, but others of us aren’t. One of our library team, Kirsten (kgriffith, formerly glitterfemme), has been on Litsy since just after its launch, contributing early user experience feedback and feature testing in addition to being active on the platform ever since. Our social media expert Loranne (lorannen) followed soon after. Both have been critical in bringing Litsy into the LibraryThing world.

We want you to know that we love Litsy and have no plans to make drastic changes. Litsy is here to stay, and we’re here to make it even better for you.

We still have a lot of technical work to get up to speed and bring Litsy onto LibraryThing servers. But here are some of the ideas we’ve had to bring Litsy to the next level:

  • Give Litsy better book data, from LibraryThing itself and from its data partner, Bowker.
  • Provide an easy way to link accounts and sync between the two services.
  • LibraryThing works with thousands of libraries. Get more of them involved in Litsy.
  • Add barcode scanning to the Litsy app, so you don’t need to do as much searching.
  • Bring Litsy members into LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program, which offers free pre-release books to interested readers. We think a larger and more diverse community will draw more publishers, and more books.

What do you think? Do you have any questions? We want to get to know you better, and for you to get to know us. We want to hear what you love about Litsy, and talk through ideas about how to make it better. To that end, we’ve started a Facebook group to open dialogue between the LibraryThing team and Littens everywhere.

» Onward Litsy!

If you don’t do Facebook, you can find us on Twitter at @getlitsy and @LibraryThing. Or just email us at litsy@librarything.com.

Thank you for your time! Thank you too to Jeff and Todd for building such a great service, and trusting us with it now. They deserve a standing ovation for everything they’ve done. Please be sure to check out their note, below.

Thanks!
Tim and the LibraryThing Team

A Note from Jeff and Todd

Fellow Littens,

From day one, we wanted Litsy to be a place where readers could share their love of books and expand their TBR lists. Over 14 million app visits later, we’re simply blown away by the awesomeness of the Litsy community!

Working with LibraryThing is the next natural step in fulfilling our original mission. With their vast experience in books and tech, we can’t wait to see where they take Litsy next. As for us, we will continue leading the charge at Out of Print, which is now a subsidiary of Penguin Random House.

Thanks for helping to make Litsy so special. We will miss working with you all, but we’re just a Litsy @mention away! :)

Cheers,
Todd and Jeff

Labels: LibraryThing, Litsy

Monday, March 19th, 2018

LibraryThing Acquires Litsy

duallogoLibraryThing has acquired the mobile platform Litsy! What’s Litsy? Here’s some past press coverage:

Here’s a press release we wrote up about it. When you’ve read it, check out:

Press Release: LibraryThing Acquires Litsy

LibraryThing, creator of the social site LibraryThing.com and a leading provider of software for libraries, has acquired the mobile app Litsy.

Litsy, “where books make friends,” is a mobile platform known for being “Instagram for booklovers.” Litsy was launched in early 2016 by Jeff LeBlanc and Todd Lawton. The two had previously founded the book-themed clothing company Out of Print Clothing, acquired by Penguin Random House in June 2017.

“LibraryThing and Litsy are very different platforms,” said Tim Spalding, Founder of LibraryThing. “But they share a love of reading, and a respect for the passionate, unusual communities that animate them.”

“LibraryThing is the perfect home for Litsy,” said LeBlanc and Lawton. “Their technology and expertise delighting readers will help take Litsy to the next level.”

Litsy’s unique approach to social media has inspired its users to create discussion threads, community read-alongs, and book-sharing groups. Users accumulate “Litfluence,” an indication of others’ engagement with their posts, and celebrate milestones with hashtags and giveaways. Having a book profile linked to each post makes it simple for users to discover and to “stack” books they would like to read or have read in the past, which is all added to their profile.

LibraryThing’s initial plans are modest. “Our first duty is to keep what’s great about both Litsy and LibraryThing, and build from there. We aren’t going to do anything drastic, like combine them into one service,” Spalding said. “Most of all, we want to listen to Litsy members, and take it from there.”

As part of the acquisition, LibraryThing is inaugurating a two-way conversation with the Litsy community (“Littens”). A Facebook group has been set up for this, “Onward Litsy!” All Litsy members, and curious LibraryThing members, are invited to participate.

Spalding indicates that LibraryThing staff is currently focused on moving the service to take advantage of LibraryThing’s more extensive technical infrastructure. They plan to upgrade Litsy’s book data using information from LibraryThing itself, and from its library- and data-partner, Bowker/ProQuest. LibraryThing will be encouraging libraries to get involved with Litsy too.

Publishers will see one planned change, as LibraryThing intends to offer Litsy members access to LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program. Early Reviewers helps publishers connect with readers and create buzz for new titles by providing pre-release books in exchange for an honest review.

More details on the LibraryThing blog: http://blog.librarything.com/main/2018/03/librarything-acquires-litsy/
Q&A on the LibraryThing blog: http://blog.librarything.com/main/2018/03/litsyquesti/
“Onward Litsy” Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OnwardLitsy/

Media inquiries:
Loranne Nasir
loranne@librarything.com

About LibraryThing
LibraryThing is a leader in social networking for readers and in software for libraries. LibraryThing.com counts over 2.2 million members who have cataloged 123 million books. LibraryThing’s library software, including Syndetics Unbound, co-developed with ProQuest, is used by thousands of libraries around the world. Learn more at LibraryThing.com and proquest.syndetics.com.

Labels: LibraryThing, Litsy

Monday, March 12th, 2018

Introducing the LibraryThing Alexa Skill

Introducing the LibraryThing Skill for the Amazon Echo, Dot and other Alexa devices. Take a look:

The LibraryThing Alexa Skill is a weird but easy way to add books to your LibraryThing account. Just stand in the foyer, with a bag of new books, or on top of a rickety bookshelf ladder in the attic, and say:

Alexa, tell LibraryThing to add [Book Title] by [author]

And Alexa will add the book. Or it will try to. It’s not perfect.

To get a higher success rate, skip the title and author and just read the barcode, or ISBN number, off the back of your book:

Alexa, tell LibraryThing to add [Barcode or ISBN number]

There are a few other commands. Try:

Alexa, ask LibraryThing how many books I have.

To dazzle your friends with your intelligent personal assistant and your impressive library.

What Else?

Have fun!


Credits:

  • The Alexa app was coded up by Chris Holland (@conceptdawg), who did a bang-up job, with an immature programming environment.
  • Thanks to Abby and Puck (pictured) for the video.

Labels: app, new features