I’ve introduced LibraryThing Authors, a list of members who are also authors. The new “LT Author” button now marks off the author and profile page of these individuals.
I’ve started the list with twenty users whose profiles speak about being authors. These include authors like saralaughs (Sara Donati), anndouglas (Ann Douglas) and misia (Hanne Blank). I’m sure there are many more already on LibraryThing, and I hope others will be drawn by the opportunity to connect with their readers through their libraries. (I’m gunning for Neil Gaiman. He blogged about LibraryThingwon’t he join?)
Although I had mulled the idea for some time, the impetus for implementing it came at Book Expo America in Washington, DC. Abby and I spent a lot of time walking the floor, introducing ourselves to publishers. Having to explain LibraryThing so many times really focues ones thinking. We needed to simultaneously explain it and convince publishers that they should care. We found the best simple hook was to compare it to MySpace.*
“You know how MySpace helps bands promote themselves and stay in touch with their fans? Well, LibraryThing does that with authors.”
How to become a LibraryThing Author. To become a LibraryThing author, you must be a member of LibraryThing who is also a published (or about-to-be-published**) author, having at least one book listed on Amazon or in the Library of Congress. You must also have cataloged at least 50 books. (I’ve waived this requirement for some early entrants.) You don’t need to be a paid member; a free membership will do just fine.
LibraryThing authors do NOT need to allow comments on their profiles. (Go to “edit profile” to change that.) But they do need to let others browse their collection.
Email me for more information or to get that yellow button.
*This tended to work best on people under 35. Over that, it was often necessary to mention Friendster as well, and to watch their eyes for recognition. If recognition wasn’t forthcoming, things could get difficult…
**One of the most receptive publishers was Prometheus Books (Pyr). Prometheus was, among other things, promoting the upcoming novel Infoquake, described as a “science fiction business thriller.” Coming back, I found the author, David Louis Edelman, had signed up with LibraryThing the day before. Edelman is also a web programmer, so he gets my plug; let’s hope LibraryThing helps his book out!