Archive for the ‘santathing’ Category

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Happy Hannukah from LibraryThing

Remember to sign up for SantaThing, our “Secret Santa for book lovers.” Sign-up closes 8PM Friday (Nov. 29).

Labels: holiday, santathing, secret santa

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

SantaThing 2013 is Here!

Welcome to the SEVENTH ANNUAL SantaThing!

What’s SantaThing? SantaThing is Secret Santa for LibraryThing members.

Done it before? Sign up is now open!

The idea is simple: You pay into the SantaThing system (choose from $15–$45). You play Santa to a LibraryThing member we pick for you—we try to match up similar members—and you select books for them. Another Santa does the same for you, in secret. LibraryThing does the ordering, and you get the joy of giving AND receiving books!

You can sign up as many times as you like, for yourself or someone else. If you sign up for someone without a LibraryThing account, make sure to mention what kinds of books they like, so their Secret Santa can choose wisely.

Even if you don’t want to be a Santa, you can help by suggesting books for others.

Important dates:

  • Sign-ups close Friday, November 29 at 8pm Eastern. Saturday morning, we’ll notify you via profile comment who your Santee is, and you can start picking books.
  • Picking closes Thursday, December 5th at 12pm Eastern. As soon as the picking ends, the ordering begins, and we’ll get all the books out to you as soon as we can. There’s no guarantee that we’ll have books to you by December 25th, but we’re going to do our best!

» Go sign up to become a Secret Santa now!

Tweaks this year:

Every year we tweak SantaThing a little. This year we’re happy to have Longfellow Portland’s own Longfellow Books, Powell’s, Book Depository, and Amazon as our booksellers.

At any and all price points, you can choose to have your books picked and sent from Powell’s Books, Longfellow Books, Amazon.com (including national subsidiaries: .uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es). or BookDepository.com. Book Depository ships to the most number of countries (see the full list), but they can’t promise your books will arrive before Dec. 25th.

Important note about Amazon: Amazon’s minimum for free shipping jumped up to $35 this year, so, if you want paper copies from Amazon, you will get $5 less in books than you pay—paying $30 will get you $25 worth of books. This does not apply if you select “Amazon Kindle Only,” OR if you go with the $40 or $45 price points, since shipping will be free.

Aside from that, you don’t need to factor in shipping. (Except for Amazon, booksellers have promised to waive that for us.) Unlike some years ago, there’s no profit “cushion” built into this for us, although we expect under-orders to pay for situations where the shipping isn’t free. We do this for fun, not money.

Ebooks are available again this year, but again, only via Amazon, and only for US members. We’re sorry to limit it, but ebooks are complicated in terms of rights and availability outside the US. Ebooks also don’t come with shipping costs, so this is one way to avoid the Amazon shipping issue, without having to go up to $40 or $45.

Go sign up now!

Questions? Ask them in this Talk topic.

Labels: santathing, secret santa

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Reminder: SantaThing Signup Closes November 29, 4 p.m.!

Quick reminder: signup for SantaThing 2012 closes at 4 p.m. EST tomorrow, Thursday November 29th!

Go here to sign up, or feel free to browse the list of Santas and make suggestions!

Also see the Talk thread where generous LTers are sponsoring others so that they can participate in SantaThing this year.

Labels: santathing

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

SantaThing 2012: Play secret Santa to a book lover!

We are delighted to announce the sixth annual SantaThing!

What is SantaThing, you ask? SantaThing is Secret Santa for LibraryThing members. Go ahead and sign up now.

The idea is simple. You pay into the SantaThing system (choose $15, $20, $25, $30, $35, or $40). You play Santa to a LibraryThing member we pick for you*, and choose books for them. Someone else (secret!) does the same for you. LibraryThing does the ordering, and you get the joy of giving AND receiving books!

You can sign up as many times as you like, for yourself or for someone else. If you sign up for someone without a LibraryThing account, make sure to mention what kinds of books they like, so their Secret Santa can choose wisely.

Even if you don’t want to be a Santa, you can help by suggesting books for others.

Important dates:

  • Sign-ups close Thursday, November 29 at 4pm Eastern time. Shortly afterwards, we will tell you who you are matched up with by sending a profile comment and you can start picking books.
  • Picking closes Thursday, December 6th at 12pm Eastern time. As soon as the picking ends, the ordering begins, and we’ll get all the books out to you as soon as we can. There’s no guarantee that we’ll have books to you by December 25th, but we’re going to do our best!

> > Go sign up to become a Secret Santa now!

The details. Every year we tweak SantaThing a little. This year we’re thrilled to be able to involve Portland’s own Longfellow Books as one of the bookstore choices. We’ve also adjusted the payment levels given the demand from last year, adding $35 and $40 options and removing the little-used $10 option (it also proved very difficult to find a book that hit that price point well). Like last year, though, you choose to pay what you want: if you pick $15, for example, someone will pick $15 worth of books for you. Choose $30, and someone will pick $30 worth of books for you.

If you choose the $15, $20, or $25 options, you can choose to have your books picked and sent from Powell’s Books, Longfellow Books or BookDepository.com. Book Depository ships to the most number of countries (see the full list), but if you’re located outside the UK, they can’t promise that your books will arrive before Christmas.

If you select the $30, $35, or $40 options, you can choose from any of the options above in addition to Amazon.com or its national subsidiaries (.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es).**

You don’t need to factor in shipping. There’s also no profit “cushion” built into this for us, although we expect under-orders to pay for situations where the shipping isn’t free. We do this for fun, not money.

We’re allowing folks to request e-books this year, but only via Amazon.com and you must live in the US. We’re sorry to limit it, but last year proved very tricky to manage in terms of rights and availability for e-books outside the US.

That’s it. Go sign up now!

Questions? Ask them in this Talk topic.

Update: As in past years, LibraryThing members are sponsoring SantaThing gifts for others. You can join in the fun here. We love that our members do this: you all are awesome.


*We match members based on the contents of their catalog, thereby matching you with a Secret Santa you share tastes with. In theory. No guarantees.
**Restricting Amazon to the $30 option or higher is necessary because LibraryThing can’t get free shipping unless the gift totals $25 or more.

Labels: santathing, secret santa

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Reminder: SantaThing Signup Closes Soon!

Quick reminder: signup for SantaThing 2011 closes at 4 p.m. EST tomorrow, Thursday December 1!

Go here to sign up, or feel free to browse the list of Santas and make suggestions!

Also see the Talk thread where generous LTers are sponsoring others so that they can participate in SantaThing this year.

Labels: santathing

Monday, November 21st, 2011

SantaThing 2011: Play secret Santa to a book lover!

It’s time to announce the fifth annual SantaThing!

What is SantaThing, you ask? SantaThing is Secret Santa for LibraryThing members. Go ahead and sign up now.

The idea is simple. You pay into the SantaThing system—this year $10, $15, $20, $25 or $30. You play Santa to a LibraryThing member we pick for you*, and choose books for them, based on their LibraryThing library and a short description. Someone else (secret!) does the same for you. LibraryThing does the ordering, and you get the joy of giving AND receiving books!

You can sign up as many times as you like. You can sign up for yourself or for someone else. If you sign up for someone without a LibraryThing account, make sure to mention what kinds of books they’d like, so their Secret Santa can choose wisely.

Even if you don’t want to be a Santa, you can help by suggesting books for others.

A peppermint twist to the plot. Like just about every year, we’ve decided to make some tweaks to the SantaThing process. For the first time we’re allowing members to choose how much they pay in. Choose to pay $15, for example, and someone will pick $15 worth of books for you. Choose $30, and someone will pick $30 worth of books for you.

If you choose the $10, $15, $20, or $25 options, you can choose to have your books picked and sent from Powell’s Books, Harvard Book Store or BookDepository.com. BookDepository ships to the most number of countries (see the full list), and they have free shipping on orders of any size!**

If you select the $30 option, you can also choose to have your books come from Amazon.com or its national subsidiaries (.co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr). Restricting Amazon to the $30 option was necessary because LibraryThing can’t otherwise get free shipping unless the gift totals $25 or more.***

Note that you don’t need to factor in shipping. There’s also no profit “cushion” built into this for us, although we expect under-orders to pay for situations where the shipping isn’t free. We do this for fun, not money.

Important dates:

  • Sign-ups close Thursday, December 1 at 4pm Eastern time. Once the sign-up closes, you’ll be able to use the same page to pick for your Santa.
  • Picking closes Thursday, December 8th at 4pm Eastern time. As soon as the picking ends, the ordering begins, and we’ll get all the books out to you as soon as we can. There’s no guarantee that we’ll have books to you by December 25th, but we’re going to do our best!

Go sign up to become a Secret Santa now!

Questions? Ask them in this Talk topic.


*We match members based on the contents of their catalog, thereby matching you with a Secret Santa you share tastes with. In theory. No guarantees.
**All the time! Go check them out—their prices are often as low as other online booksellers, and the free worldwide shipping with no minimum order is the absolute icing on the cake.
***The problem is that Amazon’s free shipping starts at $25, especially since they won’t let us use our Prime account. We considered making everyone pay $30 and then “splitting” the order—so everyone would get and give to two people (see the Talk thread debating what to do). But there were obstacles. $15 is a lousy target on Amazon, and if the total of the gifts was below $25, we’d end up paying full price for it. Abby came up with the solution—$30 for Amazon, $10-30 for everyone else.

Labels: santathing, secret santa

Monday, November 29th, 2010

SantaThing – sign up ends TODAY!

Have you signed up for SantaThing yet? You have until tonight (Monday, November 29th) at 8pm Eastern time. Less than 12 hours! Go now.

Sign up here. (Go to the page, and then click to pay with PayPal first, then go back to the sign up page, fill in your PayPal receipt ID and the rest of the info!) *

Tonight we’ll get busy with our fancy matching algorithms and give everyone a “Santee” (note, you’re not likely to be picking books for the person who’s picking for you–it’s not a straight back and forth thing).  Then tomorrow (or Wednesday, if it ends up taking longer) we’ll let you all know who to pick for, and the virtual book shopping can begin!

More info on the SantaThing page, or ask questions here.

*Remember, to participate you must have an address in one of the countries listed here.

Labels: santathing, secret santa

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

SantaThing 2010: Secret Santa for Booklovers!

It’s time to announce the fourth annual SantaThing!

What is SantaThing, you ask?* SantaThing is Secret Santa for LibraryThing members.

The idea is simple. Pay $25. You play Santa to a LibraryThing member we pick for you**, and choose up $25 worth of books for them, based on their LibraryThing library or using their short description. Someone (secret!) else does the same for you. LibraryThing orders the books and pays the shipping, and you get the joy of giving AND receiving books!

You can sign up for yourself, and you can also buy in for anyone else–LibraryThing member or not. If the person doesn’t have a LibraryThing account, make sure to mention what kinds of books they’d like, so their Secret Santa can choose wisely.

Even if you don’t want to be a Santa, you can help by suggesting books for others.

A peppermint twist to the plot:
This year, we’re ordering all books from BookDepository.com. After three years of tinkering with how we order, we decided this is by far the easiest solution.*** BookDepository ships to the most number of countries (see the full list), and they have free shipping on orders of any size****! After years of spending hours and hours manually ordering for each Santa, their bulk upload of orders is going to leave us enough time to decorate the LibraryThing tree (otherwise known as “the stick in the corner of the office” in previous years).

Here are the important notes:

The sign-up will close Monday, November 29th at 8pm Eastern time. Once the sign-up closes, you’ll be able to use the same page to pick for your Santa.

Picking closes Wednesday, December 8th at 10pm Eastern time. Once the picking ends, the ordering begins, and we’ll get all the books out to you as soon as we can. There’s no guarantee that we’ll have books out by December 25th, but we’re going to try our darnedest.

Go sign up to become a Secret Santa now!

Questions? Ask them in this Talk topic.

*I feel like I should break into a holiday-sounding song to describe it. I found a Christmastime flash-mob in Cincinnati for you instead.
**We match members based on the contents of their catalog, thereby matching you with a Secret Santa you share tastes with.
*** Two years ago Amazon let us use Amazon Prime. Last year they ended up nixing it, so we had to eat all the shipping charges. As for independents—which we were an option last time—while we’d like to support them, less than 5% of members chose them last year, and the orders were spread out. Book Depository has agreed to give us free shipping, and a special spreadsheet that will cut down on all the manual labor.
****All the time! Go check them out—their prices are often as low as other online booksellers, and the free worldwide shipping with no minimum order is the absolute icing on the cake.

Labels: santathing, secret santa

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

December State of the Thing

Last night I sent out November’s State of the Thing, our monthly newsletter. Sign up to get it, or you can read a copy online.

This month’s State of the Thing features a ton of new features, the SantaThing recap and free books.

We also have two exclusive author interviews:

Julie Powell first wrote Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen as a blog, which turned into a highly successful book, and a movie. Her new memoir, Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession, picks up with Julie heading upstate to learn the fine art of butchering, while shuttling back to New York to confront her marriage and the end of an affair.

Masha Hamilton is the author of four novels, including The Camel Bookmobile. Her new novel, 31 Hours, starts in New York City, where a mother with the age-old intuition that something is wrong chooses possible overreaction over inaction. The story then follows several connected paths to reveal one character’s motives behind his desire to help carry out an act of terrorism in the very city he grew up.

Next month, we’ll be interviewing Colum McCann and Josh Ferris. Have a question for them? Post it here and we might use it in the upcoming interview.

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

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Be a good Santa: pick books for SantaThing

SantaThing is about to close! You have until 10pm EST to pick books for your Santa (or Santee, since you are the Santar).

You can see who your Santee is here. Look under the section “You choose the gift for:

Click on the member’s name to leave a comment with the title, author, ISBN and link to the choices. Be sure to note if your Santee has listed a bookseller preference.

In both of the past years, there were people who didn’t pick for their Santa*. This year, we have a mobilized force of volunteers who will help pick books for those who have been abandoned. Join the group here. We’ll start at 10pm when we close picking, and everyone will work until everyone has books!

*One thing to note: if you sign up someone else, as a gift recipient, the responsibility for your recipient’s Santee is on you. You’ll see one or more Santees in your You choose the gift for: section.

Labels: santathing, secret santa