Archive for January, 2011

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

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Separate pages for divided authors!

I’ve introduced separate pages for divided authors. It’s very rough so far. Read about it on Talk.

Labels: common knowledge

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Common Knowledge milestone and feature

Some time last night LibraryThing Common Knowledge hit three million edits.

Common Knowledge, introduced back in 2007, is LibraryThing’s “social cataloging” experiment—a fielded wiki for all the data that you can’t find elsewhere.

The three-millionth edit was made by starlightgenie, who marked Texas Ranger Takes A Bride to the Western Weddings series. starlightgenie, want a t-shirt?

I recently introduced two features that make Common Knowledge better. Inter-language visibility allows members to see what members using non-English version of LibraryThing have entered into Common Knowledge, and even to edit one language’s Common Knowledge within another site. “Borrowing” data between languages shows Common Knowledge across languages, with a notice, and allows you to edit the entry to bring it into your language’s Common Knowledge. Together, they solve a long-standing social problem with Common Knowledge–how to make sure information flowed easily, but appropriately across LibraryThing’s many sites.

Here’s a screenshot the new features:

Labels: 1

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Non-English book piles contest!

You may not know it, but LibraryThing is available in almost 50 languages, from Dutch and Catalan to Russian and Japanese–not to mention Pirate.

Member civitas points out that whatever language you’re on, the home page sports a pile of English books. As he put it, “The effect may be subtle, but why give a prospective new user something negative to think about, or to have a vague feeling about, before signing up …?”

We agree. So, a contest! Win a CueCat, or a LibraryThing t-shirt (plus everlasting fame and glory, of course).

What to do: Go to the list of language sites (there are 51 total) and choose which* to submit. We’ll also accept “Polyglot” submissions, to use as the default for any languages we don’t get entries for.

The photo:

  • Should show a stack of books in that language (probably ~10 books or so is optimal).
  • Light background
  • We should be able to read the titles clearly
  • Don’t include an e-reader (they look dated too fast)

Where to post it—do one of the following:

  • Post to Flickr with the tag “LTInternationalBookpile” (also tag them “LibraryThing“). If you make a new account it can take a few days for your photos to be publicly accessible, so post a URL to them in the comments here.
  • Upload the pictures to your LT profile (be sure to let me know they’re there by adding a comment to this post with your LT username).
  • If all else fails, email your submissions to me (
  • Regardless of how you upload the images, please make sure to tell us what language you’re submitting for! LibraryThing employees are a linguistically talented lot** but labels will help.

All submissions must be received by Monday, 31 January at 6pm EST. Talk about ideas/submissions here.

What we’ll do: Once the entries are in, we’ll pick a winner for each language, and they’ll have their choice of a CueCat or a LibraryThing t-shirt (plus the aforementioned fame and glory). We’ll also pick an overall winner, who’ll win both a CueCat and a t-shirt, plus a membership upgrade or gift membership).

While you’re at it … This contests also offers us the perfect chance to remind people that translations for the various non-English sites are ongoing, and new contributors are always welcome! Anybody out there know Maori? Tim made the Maori translation in a fit of optimism during a talk in New Zealand. But it has yet to receive a single edit!

* You can submit bookpiles for more than one language. You can even win for more than one language. Tim’s standard fine print (“Our decision is final, incontestable, irreversible and completely dictatorial”) applies. Any questions or clarifications, just ask.
** Tim’s done Hittite, Abby Russian and Chris Catalfo is fluent in Italian.

Labels: book pile, contests, cuecat

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

“Paper Man” Blu-Ray Giveaway

We’re partnering with MPI Media to give away a gift pack for the Blu-Ray release of “Paper Man,” starring Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Daniels and Lisa Kudrow (watch the trailer – available on Blu-Ray and DVD today!). Daniels plays a novelist with some pretty serious writer’s block, and Reynolds is his imaginary friend, Captain Excellent.

The gift pack includes a Blu-Ray of the movie, plus an Amazon Kindle.

Entering is easy: just comment on this post with your LT username, and we’ll pick the winner at random at 3 p.m. EST on Friday (21 January). Multiple comments will not increase your chances of winning.

Update: Congratulations to LTer aglaia351, the winner of this giveaway. Enjoy!

Labels: contest, movies

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Learn about LibraryThing at Arisia

Tim and I will be at Arisia 2011 in Boston this weekend: at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday Tim will offer an introduction to LT , and I’ll be talking to publishers about our Early Reviewers and LibraryThing for Publishers programs.

If you’re there too, make sure to come say hi!

Labels: conference, events

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Free Books! January ER Batch is Up!

The January 2011 batch of Early Reviewer books is up! We’ve got 76 books this month, and a grand total of 1893 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, January 28th at 6PM EST.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, and many other countries. 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!

HarperCollins Childrens Books Henry Holt and Company Canongate Books
Kregel Publications Lake Claremont Press Chronicle Books
Harper Paperbacks Gefen Publishing House Penguin
WaterBrook Press New American Library Crossway
The Permanent Press Bloomsbury Orca Book Publishers
Hyperion and Voice Double Day Religion Candlewick Press
Taylor Trade Publishing Ballantine Books St. Martin’s Griffin
Zed Books Active Spud Press Rockin SR Publishing
Human Kinetics The People Builders BookViewCafe
St. Martin’s Press Nolo Swank Books
Small Beer Press Riverhead Books Spiegel & Grau
Oxford University Press C. Hurst & Co Publishers Mulholland Books
Frog Legs Ink Hungry Goat Press

Labels: 1