Archive for November, 2010

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 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

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Search redesigned, improved

Casey and I have completed work on a cross-LibraryThing search system.

Key features:

  • Search is now available from every page.
  • It searches one type (like works or authors) at a time, but always gives you result-counts for all types on the left. Click on the type to pivot off it instead.
  • It’s blazingly fast (as vaneska wrote, “The speed of the search is just a little bit scary.”)
  • It includes a number of elements not formerly searchable (or searchable well), like member reviews and words in tags.
  • Tabs have been reorganized a bit. The search tab has been removed and the “More” tab moved left. The “Zeitgeist” tab has been removed. It will probably be available under “more,” from the home page and at the bottom of every page (like “about,” which was a tab once).

Find out more, and talk about it on Talk.

Labels: new feature, new features, search

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Three thousand free books: the November Early Reviewer batch is up!

The November 2010 batch of Early Reviewer books is up! We’ve got 100 books this month, and a grand total of 3,088 copies to give out. (The number was 99, but satisfyingly we had a late addition, pushing us into the triple digits of titles!)

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, November 26th at 6PM EST.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to nearly all of them! 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!

W.W. Norton Canongate Books MSI Press
Hachette Book Group Bromera Bell Bridge Books
Del Rey Kregel Publications HarperCollins Childrens Books
Clerisy Press Menasha Ridge Press Doubleday Books
Signet Idea Men Productions St. Martin’s Griffin
B&H Publishing Group Hyperion and Voice WaterBrook Press
Little, Brown and Company 12 Spectra
Double Day Religion Kensington Publishing Dafina
BookViewCafe Ballantine Books Nolo
Zed Books Harper Paperbacks Rovira i Virgili University Press
Zondervan William Morrow Bethany House
Penn State University Press Putnam Books ROI Marketing
L&L Dreamspell Riverhead Books Ulysses Press
Peak Performance Press EOS Systems Eos
Pink Narcissus Press Penguin Young Readers Group PublicAffairs
St. Martin’s Minotaur Human Kinetics Tor Books
Bloomsbury St. Martin’s Press Open Road
Bull Publishing Random House Silver Oak

Labels: early reviewers