Archive for November, 2007

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

Cool member covers rolling in

Two days ago I asked members to send us alternate “default covers” and the covers are rolling in, even though I neglected to say how. We love all of them—they’re excellent. It’s going to be hard to pick winners.

How to send more: Since the files are big, there’s no easy way to post them; send to my email, tim@librarything.com.

theAshLad3

Greyhead

Mark

From cckelly

peterp6

Image:book-cover-violet.jpg Image:book-cover-black.jpg Image:book-cover-brown.jpg Image:book-cover-blue.jpg Image:book-cover-green.jpg Image:book-cover-red.jpg

My original cover

Labels: book covers, contests

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

Free movie passes to Love in the Time of Cholera

Want to see a free advance screening of a movie next week? New Line Cinema is giving LibraryThing members in California* an invitation to see the film Love in the Time of Cholera before it opens. Details below.

Does the film do the book justice? Members of the Made into a Movie group, I look to you… (Join the conversation about When the movies are better than the books or vice versa).

The nitty gritty.
There are two screenings:

Los Angeles. 7:30pm, Tuesday November 13th. AMC Century City 15, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles 90067. (Click here to get the LA pass)

Orange County. 7:30pm, Wednesday November 14th. AMC 30 @ The Block of Orange, 20 City West Blvd, Orange 92868. (Click here to get the OC pass)

Click on the link to get a pass, print it out, and bring it to the screening (each pass admits two people). Both screenings start at 7:30pm, and admittance is on a first come first served basis—so get there early! They’ll start letting people in around 7pm.

*Apologies to the non-Californians (hey, I’m one of you!).

Labels: movies

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Help out with default covers!

LibraryThing now shows a special blank cover whenever a book lacks one.

We think we can do it better. We’d love members to be able to pick a different cover, and even different default covers for different books. For example, I’d love to have a default cover for the Loeb Classical Library’s Latin (red) and Greek (green) books.

So, let’s open it up. LibraryThing members have time and again shown they take better pictures than us. So let’s have a contest!

UPDATE: Two people sent in some very slick covers, in a rainbow of colors. I think they’re pretty cool. Check them out below. I also set up a wiki page for the contest.

What do to: Take a photo of your favorite, probably old book. Make sure you take it from directly above and the image is clear.

The image. Quality is key. The image need to be large and clear. You don’t need to Photoshop it yourself—slicing it out of background and removing the title, if there is one—but it has to be doable. Shadows are killer.

The rules. We’ll give out three-to-five free accounts, but we reserve the right to use any image submitted. All images will be credited on the page where you choose them, if you want it.

Sent today!:
Image:book-cover-violet.jpg Image:book-cover-black.jpg Image:book-cover-brown.jpg Image:book-cover-blue.jpg Image:book-cover-green.jpg Image:book-cover-red.jpg

Current page:

Google’s default covers:

Labels: book covers, contest, covers

Monday, November 5th, 2007

Free books! November Early Reviewers

LibraryThing Early Reviewers
The November batch of Early Reviewers books is now up. It’s a nice varied list this time. 13 different publishers provided 24 different books, adding up to 600 copies in total.

See all the books and request the ones you’d like to review here: http://www.librarything.com/er/list.

Open to UK residents The big news this round is that we’ve got a publisher from the UK participating, so one book is available only to residents of the UK! We’re still working on opening this up to more countries, so if you don’t live in the US, Canada, or the UK, don’t give up hope yet!

The deadline to request books this round is Monday, November 12th at noon EST. Check out the rules and Frequently Asked Questions, or talk about the program in the Early Reviewers group.

A big thanks to the following publishers for participating:

LibraryThing Early ReviewersTim also made up a bunch of new graphics for Early Reviewers—feel free to take them, love them, use them on your blog, proudly proclaim that you’re an Early Reviewer. You can find them here: http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/Early_Reviewers_Graphics

We also made the news last week—the Early Reviewer program was mentioned in November’s issue of Publishing Trends (“We Won! Publishers Learn That Everyone Loves (to Talk About) a Free Book“), which was also picked up by GalleyCat. Hopefully this will bring more publishers (and thus more free books) our way.

Labels: early reviewers

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

Twenty Million Books / Three-hundred thousand members.

We recently hit another big milestone—20,000,000 books and 300,000 registered members!*

The exact twenty-millionth book was All Day Every Day by David Armstrong (2002), added by BernardYenelouis last Wednesday night. BernardYenelouis, who gets a gift-account for his good luck, has a library filled with interesting photography books. In this case, he was actually the first to add the book.

It’s an interesting light on the books members have. I usually stress how books bind people together. I once almost broke the system proving that while, as the idea goes, everyone may be six-acquaintances away from everyone, if you consider books as the connection, they’re more like three books away. But people’s reading tastes are also amazingly diverse. Over 1.7 million books are singletons on LibraryThing, and five million books belong to a work in ten or fewer members’ libraries. Sure we have a hundred-thousand Harry Potters, but the “long tail” of books is very long.** Chris Anderson has shown this in book sales, but the long tail of ownership is much longer.***

Twenty million feels pretty big to us, but we’re not quite sure where it puts us on our—admittedly asterisked—climb up the global libraries list. We’re in the top five, it seems. The largest, however, the Library of Congress has 30 million books. That’s going to be a fun one!

We’re also announcing the winners of the 20-million/Halloween photo contest. The Halloween winner is Bluesky1963‘s wonderful Oz-inspired photo (right).

The Halloween runners-up was micketymoc‘s wonderful “Scary Stories.” (What sort of stories do books tell around the camp fire? Termite stories, of course!) Micketymoc‘s profile’s also great. As for the 20-million photos it was a tie between erelsi183‘s candles and the cake-and-numbers photo by white_Dandelion.

I enjoyed all the others, but thought I’d post a few, including AnotherJennifer‘s “Annabel Lee, Shakespeare, and the devil celebrate Halloween together,” mekela05‘s Steven-King/spiders pile and Mojosmom‘s horror pop-up.

Four more pictures deserve a mention. Abby and Sara invited Lisa, Liam and I over for dinner in Cambridge, and I brought along the bottle of champagne that my brother had given me in commemoration of LibraryThing’s one-millionth book. It was time to drink it, and it was good.

The other two are the only costume photos we received. One Thingamabrarian who wants to be known as Christine submitted her MySpace profile costume. She gets ten points for originality and loses them for not going around as her LibraryThing profile! The other photo is just nepotism.

*Of course, not all 300,000 are active, and a small number of our books are really DVDs or CDs—which are harder, but not impossible to enter. Against that, however, many records combine multiple volumes in a single entry, so the number of uncounted volumes may well balance out the non-book stuff.
Around the same time we hit 26,000,000 tags and 600,000 user-contributed covers. Still, I spent half an hour trying to find the cover for my copy of the Complete War Memoirs of Charles de Gaulle, the one with him very tiny in a big white Cross of Lorraine, a cover I feel like I’ve seen in a thousand used bookstores! No dice, on LT or elsewhere. I don’t usually understand the desire for the right cover, but this one got me. Unfortunately, my scanner is non-functional. In related news, we’re going to announce something really exciting about covers sometime this month.
**It seems to me that LibraryThing really comes into its own in the sweet-spot between very obscure and very common, perhaps 25 to 500 members. After all, there are ample real-world opportunities for discussing Harry Potter or the latest hot novel, and when only a few LT members have a book you can’t be sure any will be actively engaged with the social-networking side of the site. About eight million books belong to works between 25 and 500 members.
***And of library collections. I found a good quote in the short essay “The Long Tail and Libraries” by Tom Storey (in Developing Cyber Libraries, 2006, not yet in LT!). “If Anderson’s theory is correct, and all media are in the throes of radical change, libraries may be well-positioned for this new. The Long Tail is something they understand and have practiced for years.” (p. 238)

Labels: 20 million books, book pile, contest, halloween, milestones