Archive for the ‘author chat’ Category

Friday, May 28th, 2010

May-ish State of the Thing

We’re just started sending out the May/June State of the Thing, LibraryThing’s monthly newsletter of features, author interviews and other drolleries.

Check your inbox or read it online.

This month’s edition includes four author interviews, with:

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

November State of the Thing

On Monday 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 synopsis of our newest features, opening SantaThing, free books and the announcement that Abby is moving over to head LibraryThing for Libraries, and I’m taking over Early Reviewers and Member Giveaways, author chats, site questions and State of the Thing.

We also have three exclusive author interviews:

Gregory Maguire, is the author of the popular Wicked and many other novels for both children and adults. Maguire published The Next Queen of Heaven with the Concord Free Press, a revolutionary “generosity-based” publisher.

Charles Cumming’s new novel, Typhoon, is getting a lot of attention (he’s touted as a successor of John le Carré). Cumming’s intelligent thriller starts with the 1997 British handover of Hong Kong to the Chinese, and moves through to the lead-up to the Beijing Olympic Games.

Eugenia Kim is the author of The Calligrapher’s Daughter, a story that encompasses a enthralling personal story, the roles of gender and class, and Korea’s fight for independence and struggle with modernity.

Eugenia is also participating in an author chat (as well as giving away a signed copy of her book) with LibraryThing members from now until December 6th.

Next month, we’ll be interviewing Julie Powell and Masha Hamilton. Have a question for them? Post it here and we might use it in the upcoming interview.

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

Monday, October 26th, 2009

October State of the Thing

I just sent out October’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 2 exclusive author interviews:

Allison Hoover Bartlett, is the author of The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession. Bartlett digs into the true-crime story of John Gilkey, the obsessed rare book thief and Ken Sanders, the self-appointed “bibliodick” driven to catch him.

Hope Edelman‘s newest book is The Possibility of Everything, a memoir about a week in 2000 when she traveled to Belize with her husband and three-year-old daughter to visit a shaman.

Both Hope and Allison are also participating in chats with LibraryThing members right now—stop by and ask them questions here.

Next month, one of the interviewees we have lined up is Gregory Maguire. Got a question for him? Post it here and we might use it in the upcoming interview.

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

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Author chats upgraded

Author chat gets a makeover! In one of his last projects before he leaves us (goodbye!), Luke gave author chats a facelift. Previously, you could only find out about author chats (current and upcoming) by going to the Author chat group.

We now have a module for the homepage, which shows current and upcoming chats (you can customize how many you want to view at once).

You’ll also see links to current, past, and future chats on all the relevant author and book pages.

Labels: author chat

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 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

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

London Book Fair

A few weeks ago I flew across the pond to speak at the London Book Fair. The panel* I was on focused on books and marketing in an online world. I talked about how traditional marketing is seen as just spam when it comes onto social networking sites (the “hi, want to be my friend? buy my book!” posts endear no one), and how authors need to genuinely participate and become part of the community online.

On LibraryThing, there are a number of ways for authors and publishers to become involved. I talked about Early Reviewers, of course, but also Author Chats, LibraryThing Local (add upcoming readings!), and our (upcoming) author interviews.

I spent the rest of the fair walking around to publisher booths, inviting them to join Early Reviewers. We have a majority of the big publishers in the US participating, but only a handful in the rest of the world. Part of this trip was to attempt to remedy that, one country at a time (if LibraryThing wants to fund an Abby world tour, that’s fine by me)! I talked to many UK publishers, and hopefully we’ll see some books available to more countries on the Early Reviewers lists soon!

And, of course, London was great fun. I’d only ever been to England on layovers before (meaning, I’d been to Heathrow, but not beyond the airport walls!). In the evenings I played tourist and walked all over the city. I only went inside a few places, but the highlight was definitely the underground The Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms.

*See Lance Fensterman’s (my fellow panelist and director of BookExpo America) post about the panel here, and the moderator, Chad Post’s here.

Labels: author chat, authors, early reviewers, London Book Fair, publishers

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Authors: Free barcode scanner or tshirt for all!

I love authors. I love them so much I married one! LibraryThing has a whole host of special features to encourage authors to join, and make the most of the site.

So it comes as a surprise to hear LibraryThing called anti-author. (What we are, is against pay-for-review schemes, and authors who think LibraryThing is for posting advertisements and not engaging with anyone.)

So, we’re going to prove it. Until May 1, authors willing to join up, become LibraryThing authors and add some books, get a free CueCat barcode scanner, shipped for free. If you’d rather get a t-shirt, we’ll send one of those instead.

The rules:

  • This applies to new members, or members with less than fifty books added today.
  • Your LibraryThing author page has to show at least 10 members with one of your books.
  • You have to add fifty books to qualify for the scanner.
  • Or: If you have 100 members with one of your books or have had a book on LibraryThing Early Reviewers, we’ll send you the scanner before you catalog fifty books.

How to do it:

  1. Sign up for an account.
  2. Send an email to Abby at to become listed as an official LibraryThing author.
  3. When you meet the rules, send Abby your address and we’ll send you the CueCat and/or t-shirt.

More for authors on LibraryThing. There are a number of other ways authors can use LibraryThing:

  • If you’re interested in providing copies of your new books for LibraryThing members to review, check out Member Giveaways or have your publisher participate in Early Reviewers.
  • If you’d like to give your fans a chance to chat with you, sign up for an Author Chat.
  • If you have upcoming readings or events, you can add them to LibraryThing Local.

UPDATE: Let us catalog your library! If you are a really “big” author, a LibraryThing Flash Mob Cataloging mob will come to your house and catalog all your books for you! We won’t tell anyone where you live, bother the cat or steal the silverware. You get a high-quality catalog entered by librarians and book nerds. We get the fun of cataloging an interesting library. (Yes, we think this stuff is fun.)

We tried to get this offer to Jon Updike, after doing his church, but he died soon after. (Jeremy and the Legacy Library crew REALLY hopes his library is not broken up and unrecorded, like Arthur Schlesinger, Jr’s!) We’ve also offered to do Neil Gaiman’s, so far without success. I now extend our invitation to Steven King, a fellow Mainer, and indeed close neighbor to Katya, librarian and flash-mob cataloging’s “original cataloging” maven. Anyone got King’s email? (Rhetorical question.)

Labels: author chat, authors, cuecat, cuecats, early reviewers, LTER

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Early Reviewers October Bonus Batch

This month we’re trying something new with our Early Reviewers bonus batch. Sourcebooks is offering up 2,500 “copies” of In the Land of Invisible Women as an electronic download. The first 2,500 people will be able to download a copy to read and review.

Read a description of the memoir on the Early Reviewers list page:

And then you don’t even have to bother clicking “request it!” Just click here to download your copy.

You have until Friday October 31st to download a copy.

The author, Dr. Qanta Ahmed will be on LibraryThing doing an Author Chat from November 10-21. Read it now, and save your questions for her!

Labels: author chat, early reviewers, LTER

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Author chats…

LibraryThing has a number of ways authors and publishers can get into the LibraryThing thing, including LibraryThing Authors, Early Reviewers and pimping out author pages.

We are now cranking up the volume on another way: Author Chats.

Basically, Author Chats are a special group set aside for scheduled chats with authors. Chats are scheduled and time-limited, taking one or two weeks max. An author with a new book, or who just wants to connect with some fans, can sign up for a chat without feeling obligated to keep talking on LibraryThing month after month.

Abby and I recently reviewed what we’re doing with authors and publishers, and have decided to pump up Author Chats as much as we can. We’re going to be adding some minor features around them, like putting notices on work pages for the author. And I’ve just started a basic letter for members to adapt and send to authors and their publicists. I’ve also started a talk thread about this, so we can figure out the best way to get the message out and, frankly, to apply some pressure to publishers to cough up the goods!

Upcoming author chats. The two author chats starting this week aren’t household names, but might be worth a look.

Gene Healy. You want topical? We got topical! There’s a presidential election coming up, and Gene Healy‘s new book is title The Cult of the Presidency: America’s Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power.

The book is detailed critique of growing executive power under both parties. Healy is currently a vice president* at Cato Institute, a libertarian think-tank in Washington, DC. Is was also–and much more importantly–a friend of mine at Georgetown. I lost touch with him after graduation, so it was a wonderful surprise to turn over a book at Book Expo America and see a familiar face!

You can check out Gene’s book on LibaryThing, at Amazon (not, apparently on Booksense). Gene also has a blog.

If you want him now, or don’t like reading, there’s an excellent interview with Gene on C-Span’s Washington Journal, posted here. There’s another eloquent and very amusing C-Span appearance, in which he calls Teddy Rosevelt “one of the more ridiculous and obnoxious figures ever to occupy the Oval Office.”

On that note, the games begin! Here’s Gene’s author chat.

Dave Donelson. Dave Donelson is around to discuss his new novel, Heart of Diamonds: A Novel of Scandal, Love and Death in the Congo.

It’s an exciting romantic thriller about scandal, love, and death in the Congo. As the book cover copy reads, “Amid the bloody violence of the Congo’s civil war, TV reporter Valerie Grey uncovers a deadly diamond-smuggling scheme that reaches from Africa to the White House.”

More about the book on LibraryThing, Amazon. And check out the Heart of Diamonds webpage, where you can read the first two chapters of the book.

Dave, a library trustee, says that he’ll be happy to discuss the book, writing, or current events in Africa with the LibraryThing community.

Here’s Dave’s author chat.

And, of course, they’re just the new additions. There are five other chats going on right now:


*I think this means he takes over if the president dies.

Labels: author chat

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Author Chat

Our Author Chat feature is going strong! Stop by the Author Chat group right now to talk to a slew of authors:

We also have a list of upcoming chats posted, so you can plan ahead (go read/borrow/buy the book in advance of the chat!)

Labels: author chat

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Introducing Author Chat

We’re kicking off a new feature today, Author Chat.

Nick Trout, author of New York Times bestseller Tell Me Where It Hurts is going to be on LibraryThing for the next few weeks (from today, April 14th through April 30th). He’ll be talking about the book, and his work, and answering questions from you, the readers. Start coming up with questions!

If you were one of the lucky 24 to receive a free copy of the book in last month’s batch of Early Reviewer books, then you’ve got a head start!

If you didn’t get a free copy, then don’t fret. The book is out in bookstores and libraries, so go buy or borrow a copy now, and get reading.

Join the discussion in the Author Chat group. The direct link to the Nick Trout thread is here.

About the book

It’s 2:47 a.m. when Dr. Nick Trout takes the phone call that starts another hectic day at the Angell Animal Medical Center. Sage, a ten-year old German shepherd, will die without emergency surgery for a serious stomach condition. Over the next twenty-four hours Dr. Trout fights for Sage’s life, battles disease in the operating room, unravels tricky diagnoses, reassures frantic pet parents, and reflects on the humor, heartache, and inspiration in his life as an animal surgeon. And he wants to take you along for the ride…

From the front lines of modern medicine, Tell Me Where It Hurts is a fascinating insider portrait of a veterinarian, his furry patients, and the blend of old-fashioned instincts and cutting-edge technology that defines pet care in the twenty-first century. For anyone who’s ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at your veterinarian’s office, Tell Me Where It Hurts offers a vicarious journey through twenty-four intimate, eye-opening, heartrending hours at the premier Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston.

Nick Trout is a staff surgeon at the Angell Animal Medical Center and lives near Boston, Massachusetts.

For more on the book, check out this YouTube video, or even read an excerpt on the Broadway Books website.

Future Author Chats
This isn’t a one-time feature. I’ve got several other authors lined up, and am looking for more! If you’re interested in participating, email

Labels: author chat, new feature