Archive for the ‘authors’ Category

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Author rating statistics

I’ve added an author sub-page for “Rating statistics.” It shows all an author’s works, together with their ratings. In addition to the average (mean), it also has rating count, median, and standard deviation. You can click on a column to sort by it, and filter out books with few ratings—useful for more popular authors.

Check out some examples: Ann Patchett, John McWhorter, David Sedaris.

Labels: authors

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

June State of the Thing

This month’s State of the Thing, LibraryThing’s monthly newsletter of features, author interviews and various forms of bookish delight, should have made its way to your inbox by now. You can also read it online.

This month I talked to award-winning author Bharati Mukherjee about her latest novel, Miss New India. Find how about her research visits to call centers in Bangalore, whose plays she memorized as a child, and what she’s reading now. Read the full interview.

I also talked to Kate Parkin of Hodder & Stoughton about the new flipback book format being released in the UK later this week. I started a Talk thread to discuss flipbacks as well, so feel free to join the conversation!

Read previous State of the Thing newsletters.

If you don’t get State of the Thing, you can add it in your email preferences. You also have to have an email address listed.

Labels: authors, state of the thing

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Introducing the Authors and Series views in Your books

Among the many things LibraryThing is—book recommendations, social networking and so forth—LibraryThing started out and and is a kick-ass tool for organizing your books. But we’re not resting on our laurels. There are things we can improve, and things we can add. This is one. Another one goes to the Beta group today.

This weekend I added a feature to see authors and series within the “Your library” tab, and as “first class things,” like books and tags, not just a field within books.

Access to the Authors and Series view can be found to the right of the Tags view. Click the little divot to show other views. (Yes, others are planned.)

Switching to Authors or Series view changes the bar:


Below that, the page changes to a list authors or series, with links to see them in your catalog or go to their stand-alone author or series pages.

The feature was introduced incrementally. There’s a Talk conversation that tracks that. Now that the feature is largely working and possibly complete, I’ve started another Talk conversation. Come let us me what you think.

Labels: authors, new feature, new features, series

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Becoming a LibraryThing Author just got easier!

We’ve streamlined the process for becoming an official LibraryThing Author (and getting the cool yellow author badge on your profile, author, and work pages).

Each author and work page now contains a green “Is this you?” box on the sidebar. Once the author clicks the “Become a LibraryThing Author” link, they’re asked to choose just one title from a list of all the books by that author (this step is useful in making sure we have the right one in case of split authors), and then we’ll confirm Author status.

This was part of a more complete freshening up of our How Authors Can Use LibraryThing page, which includes info not only on becoming an LT Author, but also on hints for sprucing up author profiles, joining the Hobnob with Authors group, Author Chats, and more.

If you’re an author and want to become part of the LibraryThing community, we’d love to have you! Search for your LibraryThing author page, find the “Is this you?” box, and we’ll get the ball rolling for you.

Labels: authors, librarything authors

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Author gallery updated

I’ve reworked the author gallery (see yours or LibraryThing’s) to use the new image system.

The author gallery shows pictures for all your authors who have one, and lists the ones that don’t. You can also see the most popular authors on LibraryThing the same way.

Images have recently undergone a change a licensing. After considerable debate, a large majority of members (208/26) agreed with my plan to shift away from member-moderation of image copyright to the more common pattern of relying on the instruments and protections of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The upshot is that while LibraryThing, like all websites, still prohibits uploading copyrighted content without permission, members are no longer encouraged to flag and remove images for copyright reasons on their own authority. If I have time, I’ll write up a longer blog post about the change, on Thingology.

Labels: authors

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Hobnob with Authors

After much discussion, we’ve introduced the Hobnob with Authors group, a special place for authors and readers to mingle.

Of course, authors are welcome everywhere on LibraryThing. Authors can become LibraryThing Authors, which links their author and member pages and promotes them on their books and on the home page. Many authors participate in Early Reviewers and Member Giveaways. And authors also participate in our existing groups. We even have a special Author Chat group for organized author events.

But, encouraged as they are, we’ve also found a certain amount of static between some authors’ desire to promote their work, and the tendency for that to seem one-way, non-conversational advertising or even spam, both of which are against the site’s Terms of Service. Confronted with the request to avoid promotion, many authors expressed surprise that a book site would hinder their efforts to reach potential readers. Members were in turn divided on just how serious the problem was, the line between acceptable and unacceptable author posts, etc. The situation was sticky all around!

So, Hobnob with Authors was born, a “safe place” for authors to chat with readers, without fear of being accused of spamming. While some standards will be enforced, no reasonable author need worry. As a “Community Project” the group is prominent, and its posts will appear in Talk alongside other groups. But sensitive members will also be able to “ignore” the “Hobnob” group.

So, authors, you’re now free to shout to the rooftops all about the book you write. Excited readers will be waiting to hear about it. Join, watch or just read Hobnob with Authors, and support authors who help make LibraryThing what it is.

Labels: author chat, authors, librarything authors

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Author interviews – you ask the questions

Each month, we conduct a few exclusive interviews with authors and then publish the interviews in LibraryThing’s monthly State of the Thing newsletter. We’re going to try something new—crowdsourcing part of the interview, and using questions from members in addition to our own questions.

How it will work
I’ve created a group: Author Interviews – you ask the questions

In the forum for that group, there’s a topic for each author I have lined up for an interview. Got questions? Ask them in the thread for that author. Then I’ll pick my favorites and send them to the author along with my own questions. The author will answer everything, and we’ll publish the interview both in the State of the Thing and on the author’s page on LibraryThing.

To start with, I need questions for Audrey Niffenegger! Add your questions for Audrey here.

Looking for inspiration? Past interviewees include Elizabeth Strout, Lisa See, David Ebershoff, Ayelet Waldman and more…

And an added twist
While I do have a slew of authors slated for upcoming interviews, there are many more out there we’d love to have. So, you can also add your own thread for an author we haven’t signed up for an interview yet. Make the author’s name the subject line, followed by “wanted”. For example, the subject could be:

Neil Gaiman (wanted)

Then add questions you have for that author. When we have a bunch of questions, I’ll write the author/publicist/publisher, begging for an interview.

Questions? Know an author who might want to be interviewed? Email abbyAT SIGNlibrarything.com

Labels: author interview, authors

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Authors abound

This month’s State of the Thing newsletter several exclusive author features, which you can now see on the site, even if you don’t read the State of the Thing.

Interview
Interview with Author David Ebershoff.

David is the author of The 19th Wife—the story of Brigham Young’s 19th wife, Ann Eliza Young. In his interview with LibraryThing, David talks about his own personal library, his research process, and the book.

Reading lists
On the search for something to read? Authors Steve Luxenberg and Mary Jane Clark, gave us two very different “summer reading” lists. The books they suggest are pictured below, but see their pages for their reasons why.

Steve Luxenberg’s creative take on a summer reading list

Mary Jane Clark’s summer reading list

Steve and Mary Jane are also doing author chats on LibraryThing right now, so stop by to ask them a question!

Author chats

Authors stop by LibraryThing to answer questions from members, talk about their writing, and more. These three authors are chatting right now, and check out the schedule of upcoming chats for what’s up next.

Labels: author chat, author interview, authors, state of the thing

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Author interviews posted

Our first two author interviews, first seen in the revamped State of the Thing newsletter, are live on the site itself. The interviews are:

Abby and I enjoyed reading the books—we both read from Bad Mother (thumbs up, but it will tweak you), and Abby read The Song is You (thumbs up)*. Philips’ interview convinced me I should check him out. “A child actor, a jazz musician, a speechwriter, a dismally failed entrepreneur, and a five-time Jeopardy champion” and a huge fan of Pale Fire? Will he come to our next party?

Want to do an author interview? Know someone who might? We’re looking for authors, and we’d rather get great ideas from members than declare open-season on our inboxes from publisher PR types. Email abby@librarything.com about it.

We have a number of other things authors and publishers can “do” with LibraryThing on the about page. We’ll be sprucing it up in time for Book Expo America in New York.


*I think we have to stop saying if we liked a book, as we’ll eventually read one we positively hate and “Check out this interview with Mr-Can’t-Write” probably won’t win us any friends.

Labels: authors, librarything authors, new features

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Who reads an author?

I’ve “brought back” top member lists on author pages, significantly enhancing them with lists that show the author’s readers among your friends and connections, and among Legacy Libraries (eg., C. S. Lewis had a lot of Twain).

Also new, LibraryThing Authors now get a new “Your Readers” connections category, so they can find out what your readers think of a given author or work.

Discuss here

Labels: authors, librarything authors, LT author, new features