Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: LibraryThing

25+ Book Recommendation Sites


Last year I wrote a post listing the “top 10” book recommendation platforms.

Of course, any listing of the “top” sites has a bit of bias built in—your “top” may not be my “top”…

And, plenty of people would say GoodReads is the Top since it’s touted as the largest and most-used reading-recommender.

However, last month, I found an article in the Self-Publishing Review that lists 10 alternatives to GoodReads.

So, since I know many folks are hard-pressed for time and may not take every link in a blog post (“Just give me the ‘important’ ones!”), I’ll list those 10 sites right here—with the caveat that there is a bit of overlap from the post I first linked to; and, with the hopeful encouragement to take my last link so you can read SPR’s Tips for Using these Sites…

Shelfari

LibraryThing

TheReadingRoom

Libib

BookJetty

Riffle

BookLikes

BOOKish

aNobii

Readernaut

If you know of other Book Recommendation Sites, do, please, give us a link in the Comments :-)
And, Check Out our Latest Poll…
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How Do Self-Published Authors Get Reviews?


There’s been a lot of back-and-forth in the book-world-news about whether reviews have as much clout as they used to in promoting an author’s work

But then, there’s a bunch of back-and-forth for most any aspect of the writer’s realm—this is the Paradigm-Shift-Era.

I’ve garnered a few reviews for Notes from An Alien, my short novel that’s for sale yet is still being given away free and having behind the scenes revelations posted here every Friday.

And, even though I’m a maverick, I still want to share info that non-mavericks can find useful.

So, here’s something about reviews from Denise Enck‘s site, Empty Mirror.

It’s a post called, 10 ways to find reviewers for your self-published book, and, as usual, I’ll give you just enough to encourage you to go read it :-)

First are 5 things to bear in mind when contacting potential reviewers, followed by 7 things that should be avoided

Then, the 10 ways to find reviewers:

1. Amazon’s “Meet Our Authors” Forum

2. Amazon’s Top Reviewers

3. Peruse the Amazon book pages

4. LibraryThing & GoodReads

5. Social networking sites

6. Google

7. Services which connect authors and reviewers
> The Bookbag
> Author Marketing Club
> BookRooster
> Kindle Book Review

8. Reviewer directories and lists
> The Book Blogger List
> Step by Step Self Publishing – Reviewer List
> List of literary / poetry review publications

9. Ask other authors

10. Look close to home & offline

11. (“yeah, forget 10 – we’re turning this baby all the way up to 11!”) ~ The Indie View

So, some of you may be able to read that list and set right off to find reviewers

For the rest of you, have fun reading the Empty Mirror’s full article :-)

And, if you know other good ways to get reviews for self-pubbed books, do, please, let us know in the Comments
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So, What Are Libraries Good For, Now That So Many People Use the Internet?


The first answer to that Title Question could well be, “Libraries are good for getting free Internet access.”pew study

It’s hard for some folks to remember that not everyone has easy access to the Internetyet

The Pew Research Center recently released a new study, Library Services in the Digital Age.

That colorful pie-chart shows the results for the question, “Would you use “Amazon”-style customized book/audio/video recommendation schemes that are based on your prior library behavior?”

Remembering that the study was conducted in the U.S.A., and taking Very & Somewhat Likely, 64% would tend to use such a service.

Would you?

Remembering the Title Question of this post, this statement from the study becomes very interesting:

“The availability of free computers and internet access now rivals book lending and reference expertise as a vital service of libraries.”

This study has much more information, such as these findings:

  • Online research services allowing patrons to pose questions and get answers from librarians: 37% of Americans ages 16 and older would “very likely” use an “ask a librarian” type of service, and another 36% say they would be “somewhat likely” to do so.
  • Apps-based access to library materials and programs: 35% of Americans ages 16 and older would “very likely” use that service and another 28% say they would be “somewhat likely” to do so.
  • Access to technology “petting zoos” to try out new devices: 35% of Americans ages 16 and older would “very likely” use that service and another 34% say they would be “somewhat likely” to do so.
  • GPS-navigation apps to help patrons locate material inside library buildings: 34% of Americans ages 16 and older would “very likely” use that service and another 28% say they would be “somewhat likely” to do so.
  • “Redbox”-style lending machines or kiosks located throughout the community where people can check out books, movies or music without having to go to the library itself: 33% of Americans ages 16 and older would “very likely” use that service and another 30% say they would be “somewhat likely” to do so.

Then, after even more fascinating results, the study begins a summary with this statement (bold text by me):

“This report explores the changing world of library services by exploring the activities at libraries that are already in transition and the kinds of services citizens would like to see if they could redesign libraries themselves.”

Is your local library in that category?

I’d love to see some Comments after this post about Your local library

So, now, I have to bring up yesterday’s post, A Place Called LibraryThing ~ A Space To Have A Love Affair With Books, and let you know that I absolutely had a love affair with books at my library while I was growing up—even had a job in my early teens as a Page, re-shelving books

And, after I’d written yesterday’s post, I went on an exploration of LibraryThing and stayed up till six in the morning putting books on the shelves of my very own LibraryThing <<< that link will take you to my own little local library on the World Wide Web :-)

I slept for a couple hours then went right back to my library and added a bunch of tags to my books and another bunch of short reviews

So, tying all these personal-library-escapades into the Pew Research Study question about having your library offer the ability to have recommendations based on your past use, since I now have 54 books in my online library and nearly half of them have tags and reviews, LibraryThing sits in the background and makes all kinds of connections for me to use, based on the personal libraries of the other 1,632,691 members

My own little library helping me find recommended books and recommending connections with people who like the kinds of books I like :-)

But it gets even better!

LibraryThing has an article called, Pew study: Library patrons want personalized recommendations, and they talk about services they offer to real brick-and-mortar libraries.

Check out LibraryThing for Libraries where they spell out these services:

Catalog Enhancements
BookPsychic
Book Display Widgets
Library Anywhere

That service called BookPsychic is fascinating.

It’s only available in three countries right now and each country has only two libraries hooked up to the service; but, LibraryThing is actively seeking more libraries

So, here’s LibraryThing offering real libraries a service that the Pew study said 64% of those surveyed would use—an “Amazon”-style customized recommendation scheme based on prior library behavior.

Now, I know a few of you are wondering about the usefulness of a service that is only available at six libraries.

Never doubt the ingenuity of LibraryThing :-)

Get a free account here.

Put in a bunch of books you like—it takes about 30 seconds per book once you get the hang of it—don’t worry at first about tagging them or writing reviews.

Now, go over to BookPsychic, sign up, and link it to your LibraryThing account

Presto, you are one of the very satisfied 64% :-)

By the way, LibraryThing is quite multilingual, too
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A Place Called LibraryThing ~ A Space To Have A Love Affair With Books


Shakespeare is to England as Mark Twain is to the USA as August Strindberg is to Sweden as Goethe is to Germany?

Read a forum thread where folks talk about who they feel are the representative authors for various countries

I discovered that thread on a Site called LibraryThing that must have been around for years since it has 1,632,692 Members.

It also has these Vital Statistics:

Books cataloged — 78,495,198

Unique works — 7,356,624

Reviews — 1,967,030

User-contributed covers — 3,322,526

Author photos — 42,548

Groups — 9,101

Talk topics — 142,060

Early Reviewer books given out — 134,500

Total free books given out — 377,299

Here’s more info from the site:

“Your home page shows announcements, books recently added to your library, local events in your area, your top tags, your collections, and links to much more.”

“Each book you add to your library connects you to other people on LibraryThing through its work page. The work page gives you library-quality data about a book and shows you who else has the book and what they think about it.”

“Each book in your library is also connected to an author page for that work. The author page gives you personal information about an author, events for an author on LibraryThing Local, books they have written, links, member ratings, related tags, and much more.”

“All the group forums are connected through Talk. Talk is a special sort of forum system. With Talk, you can see the conversations happening in all groups, or just those conversations in your groups. You can also find conversations that mention books cataloged in your LibraryThing library.”

There’s lots more available on the Site and here are a couple short User Reviews:

“Collection analysis is one of the interesting aspects of LibraryThing. The statistics page reveals aspects of my own collection that I hadn’t realized.”

“This site can allow for a very broad, yet quick search. One can read what others have said about a book before they buy it should they want. I also like that English is not the only accessible language. This could be quite fun!!”

“I was pleased with the ease of inputting my books, the ability to merge information from Amazon.com and the Library of Congress, and the ability to leave my library open to comments from other users. The interface is simple, practical, and not over-designed. Clearly, thought has been given to the user experience of actually inputting your book-list, and it only took me about twenty minutes to input over a hundred books.”

Think this might be a Site you’d want to explore?

Not yet…? — Read this:

“LibraryThing holds about the same relation to Amazon that a brick-and-mortar library holds to your local brick-and-mortar bookstore. Amazon tries to get you to pad your shopping cart at every turn by pointing out related items, add-ons, and discounts; LibraryThing is more concerned with building a book community where people with similar tastes can connect.”

Want to explore it now?

“It really took no more than two minutes to understand how it works and why I absolutely needed it since I was born.”

O.K., just one more :-)

“The Library Thing will also crunch numbers for you in all manner of giddiness-inspiring ways: it will break down your library by language of publication or origin, by year of publication or date of entry; it will tell you if any of your books are owned by just one other user so that you can seek out the other misfits who were drawn to this strange corner of the literary world; it will even turn your list of authors into an alarming diagram which reveals that your snooty graduate school tastes will never outpace your secret love of mysteries and fantasy.”

Well… Maybe one more really good one :-)

“Cataloging content is only one of the amazing parts of Library Thing. Anyone who visits the site can learn about titles in a particular genre, with a particular theme, with a certain type of character, and so on. It’s a great tool to use when creating ‘more like this’ lists and to connect with readers with similar interests.”

There

Now go check it out and come on back and tell me what you think in the Comments, ok?

{post-publication edit: I just started my own LibraryThing :-)
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For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
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