Recently I thumbed through David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Digital, where he highly recommended LibraryThing, which was also one of my own recommendations of reader communities in a two-year-old blog post.
LibraryThing: 1,800,000 book lovers
A reader community that offers some interesting, over-looked features, such as:
- the possibility of early reviews for registered publishers with a variety of books
- for authors the Member Giveaway Program
Both are great opportunities to receive some of the highly needed reader reviews – for the price of an e-book (can also be in your own PDF format) or a paperback version.
Details for Publishers Early Reviews
As a publisher, you can now create a profile page for EACH of your imprints on LibraryThing, offering a way to highlight current titles, and link visitors back to your website. There is even a short video introduction for publishers.
- Then supply LibraryThing with a list of the titles that you’ll be offering to the Early Reviewers.
- We use an intelligent algorithm to find the members most likely to enjoy and create buzz for your titles. These aren’t just random giveaways.
- We send you a list of the winning members. You send out the books.
- Early Reviewers read the books, and then post reviews to LibraryThing. They are encouraged to also cross-post to their blog, Amazon, etc. The publisher and author are granted perpetual non-exclusive permission to use the reviews.
Authors’ Member Giveaway Program
Member Giveaways is an informal way for any author or member to list books to give away. Anyone can give away books, you don’t have to be affiliated with a publishing house. Optionally, you can request that the winner reviews the book, but the winner will not be penalized if they do not review.
At the end of the indicated giveaway period, winners will be randomly selected. You will receive a comment on your profile page letting you know who won your book(s). Winners are encouraged to review the books they receive.
Become a LibraryThing Author
The best way to begin connecting with readers on LibraryThing is to become an official LibraryThing Author. If you haven’t yet, search for your LibraryThing author page. When you’re there, you’ll see an “Is this you?” box in the upper right corner. Click the link there to request Author status. If you don’t find your book by searching, you may first need to add it to LibraryThing.
There is also: Hobnob with Authors
This is a group for readers and authors to connect.
Unlike the rest of the groups, this is a “safe space” for authors to promote and converse about their books without fear of being accused of spamming. Authors are encouraged to chat with members, not just copy and paste blurbs about their books.
More Tips for Authors on LibraryThing
– Spruce up your author page. Add a photo and links to your website.
– Edit your profile page. Add a photo, describe yourself and your library, and link to your website.
– Contribute to the “Common Knowledge” on your author page and all your work pages, e.g. capture details about yourself and your books, from series information to where you went to school.
– Add your readings and other events to LibraryThing Local. Events will then show up on your author page as well, so your readers can learn about your public appearances.
– Join the Hobnob with Authors group and discuss all your books with interested members.
LibraryThing is a place to connect with readers, not a place to advertise outside of “Hobnob”.
As always: Connect with readers first, be social, show interest in others’ books and fill your virtual shelves with books you want to read or did already. Only then start a Giveaway, asking for reviews in exchange for a book. But it’s worth it, the possibility of reviews seems higher than elsewhere.
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