Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Operation (LibraryThing) Paperback

The gist is this: donate your gently used books directly to troops stationed overseas, with inexpensive shipping thanks to media rate postage and the fact that overseas APO/FPO addresses are charged the same rates as the US.

The 75 Books Challenge for 2010 group came up with a fantastic idea: they are challenging themselves to collectively donate 75 books through Operation Paperback before the end of 2010. Then they decided it would be more fun to open the challenge up to everyone at LibraryThing, to see if we can collect ten times their initial challenge–750 books.

Operation Paperback is a non-profit that organizes the collection of books to send to American troops* deployed overseas. Considering we’re a site devoted to the love of reading and books, I think it’s only fair we share!  It’s a win-win, giving books to troops who otherwise don’t have access to leisure reading, and making space on your shelves for more books! Sign up on the Operation Paperback site to send some books (they’ll tell you how and where to send them), then list them here, so we can work towards the goal if 750 books. Check the LibraryThing Operation Paperback page to see what books we’ve sent.

You can read about which genres are most popular**,  how the shipping works and what else you can do to brighten the day of folks who are far from home, on the Operation Paperback FAQ page. They say that a box of 20 paperbacks cost about $5 to ship to any military address.

Operation Paperback needs help spreading the word among troops that this program is available to them.  If you’re stationed outside the US, or have a friend or family member who is, sign up to get books.

*If you’re aware of programs like this for the troops of other countries, please leave a comment, and we’ll add the information.
**I talked to the good folks at Operation Paperback, who said that since 95% of troops are male, so there’s no need to send chick-lit or romance novels. Apparently, they end up with plenty anyway. There’s more information about this on their FAQ.

Thanks to Jayel Aheram for the photo.

Labels: event

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

LibraryThing for Publishers!

We’ve just finished a new feature for publishers called “LibraryThing for Publishers. Like LibraryThing Local, Local Book Search, LibraryThing for Libraries and LibraryThing Authors, LibraryThing for Publishers is about linking arms with another important player in the book world, for everyone’s benefit.

Publishers: LibraryThing for Publishers is free and open to any legitimate publisher. It’s dead-simple to upload your titles.

UPDATE: Here’s the video about how to join.

What You Get. LibraryThing for Publishers gives publishers three key things:

  • A box on the work page of all their titles.
  • Publisher pages.
  • Hundreds of links from LibraryThing. LibraryThing has a high PageRank.*

Members get:

  • A new way to connect with the publishers they love
  • A way to browse publishers’ titles
  • As we move this forward publishers can help on the data end, with better, less restricted book data from the people who actually create the books.

Show me. We’ve launched with five publishers, covering eight imprints. We thank them for their willingness to try something new!

You can see the the new publisher pages, and publisher boxes on work pages in these examples.

Some details. LibraryThing for Publishers includes a few nifty features, including:

  • LibraryThing’s first “shelves” interface (see the earlier blog post). Shelves are doing a lot more on publisher pages than on tag pages.
  • Faceted tagging, where one set of books (a publishers’) is sliced and diced by a tag. For example, here are Orbit Books’ Urban Fantasy books, and here are Zondervan’s
    <href=””>Youth Ministry books.
  • Reviews by publisher (eg., Zondervan)
  • An enhanced members page, with mini-shelves for top members.

*LibraryThing has a Google PageRank of 8, on par with the Boston Globe, and higher than any of our competitors or any publisher we’ve found. Why publishers do so poorly in the link game is the topic for another post, but we aim to do what we can do help publishers out.

Labels: LibraryThing for Publishers, new feature, new features

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

A Shelves Toggle in LibraryThing

I’ve released a new “widget” or “toggle,” that showcases a list of book in either list or “shelf” mode. (It also has a “covers” mode, like a shelf without the shelf.)

Some examples: graphic novel, British literature, paranormal romance, french art, wwii.

The goal is to add some graphic appeal, but keep things “light” and integrated with the page. We didn’t want the box-shaped shelves employed by some other websites, and in LibraryThing for Libraries. The feature is also optional. It’s a toggle. (See below.)

Right now, I’ve put it only one place: tag pages. Once changes have settled down, I’ll extend it to other places you now see only a list of works–authors, series, awards, subjects, tagmashes, etc.

You can change pages, and from “shelf” to “titles” or “covers” by mousing over the book area to reveal a gray region on the right. (IE users will find the gray area always shown.) Whatever you pick for shelves/titles/covers will stick for subsequent views of the element on that page type. So if you don’t like this feature, you only have to see it once.

Other notes:

  • The covers are based on the most popular ISBNs for each work. They are recalculated daily.
  • Shelves show the “checkmarks” seen elsewhere in lists.
  • Tags go to 200 now, as before. in fact, I’ve extended them to go to 1,000 but it will take a few days for the old data to expire and new data to be generated.
  • I am not currently painting the title on non-cover covers. This is, I think, the only undone feature here.

Come talk about it here.

Labels: new feature, new features

Monday, August 9th, 2010

August Early Reviewer books are available

The August 2010 batch of Early Reviewer books is up! We’ve got 75 books this month, and a grand total of 1779 copies to give out.

First, make sure to sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing address and make sure it’s correct.

Then request away! The list of available books is here:

The deadline to request a copy is Friday, August 27th at 6PM EST.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. 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!

Ballantine Books W.W. Norton Penguin
Goose Lane Kregel Publications Hachette Book Group
The Permanent Press Bethany House Fernwood Publishing
Tundra Books Canongate Books Eirini Press
Palgrave Macmillan WaterBrook Press Avon Books
New American Library Sourcebooks Demos Medical Publishing
BookViewCafe St. Martin’s Press Bantam Dell
Hyperion Books Doubleday Books New York Review Books
Orca Book Publishers Picador Oxford University Press
The Overlook Press Riverhead Books Putnam Books
St. Martin’s Griffin Santa Fe Writer’s Project Nimbus Publishing
Henry Holt and Company Aro Books worldwide Taylor Trade Publishing
Intellect Publishing Aquila Polonica Publishing Blue Steel Press

Labels: early reviewers

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

State of the Thing: July edition

State of the Thing logoOn Monday, we sent out the July State of the Thing, LibraryThing’s monthly newsletter of  features, author interviews and various forms of bookish delight.

We have a round-up of updated and new features, the start of the t-shirt sale, information about the Early Reviewer program and popular books this month.

Check your inbox or read it online.

Backseat Saints coverThis month’s edition has an interview with Joshilyn Jackson, about her new book Backseat Saints. We talk about how a minor character can grow like kudzu until she needs a book of her own. We also find out about writing an honest-but-readable account of physical abuse, Joshilyn’s recent reads and suggestions for other Southern lit novels. Did you know Joshilyn plays World of Warcraft?

Anthropology of an American GirlHilary Thayer Hamann offers author recommendations for her book Anthropology of an American Girl, including Atlas Shrugged and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Author recommendations are the author’s suggestions for other books you might like, if you like their book. You can also decide if you might like her book, based on her recommendations.
Anthropology came out in May. You can chat with Hilary about her book in her author chat, ongoing till August 5th.

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: state of the thing

Monday, July 19th, 2010

More “More”

I’ve pushed a major revamp of the More tab, which has expanded from one (confusing) page to eight better-organized ones.

The More tab is divided into convenient sections like Sites and Applications and Store. Helpers and Member Projects are just a start. Come talk about what’s missing here.

Labels: new features

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Teeshirt sale for the Read In Public ReadaThing

LibraryThing teeshirtUpdate: The t-shirt sale has started early! Buy your t-shirt here.

For one week only Until August 8th, we’re having a sale on LibraryThing t-shirts.

See, we’re having a ReadaThing readathon in August, and the theme is Reading In Public*, and I figured you might want to wear a LibraryThing teeshirt.

So, we’re having a sale. Our t-shirts are normally $15, but they’ll be $9 from July 26th (at noon) through 8th (whenever we remember to change it back). You don’t need a coupon code, or a secret password. Anyone who buys a shirt during that week will automatically get the sale price.

The Reading In Public ReadaThing is one of a series of readathons hosted on LibraryThing’s forum system, Talk. A readathon is a chosen period of time (24 hours, usually) where members take turns reading, as to have non-stop reading during the event. Thanks to night-owls and international participation, there can be non-stop reading

*Unlike knitting in public, RIP is an unfortunate acronym.

**We decided that reading on your porch or in a lit window count, as long as someone else can see you. It’s kind of a reverse-peeping-tom.

Labels: readathon

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

What groups are your friends in?

Following up on last night’s feature, jjwilson61 recommended turning it around. So I’ve added a stats/memes page to show the groups your connections—friends, and other people—are in.

Here’s your page.

Come talk about it.

Labels: new features

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Groups show connections

Two small changes: Group pages now show who among your friends and other connections are in the group. We’ve also restored group member-counts. Both look forward to a restored group-Zeitgeist.

Discuss here.

Labels: 1

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Welcome Julian!

A warm welcome to Julian North Catalfo, born 11:12pm on June 28—8 lbs. 5 oz., 20 inches. (We just got the first picture, to blog it.)

Julian was born to LibraryThing library developer Chris Catalfo (CCatalfo) and his wife Joanna. Older sister Ellie is adjusting well.

Julian caps LibraryThing’s odds-defying “Season of Babies“—five babies in five months! There is clearly something in the water here.

Labels: LibraryThing babies