5 copies of my books up for grabs

LibraryThing has just added a Member Giveaways programme, which amongst other things allows authors to give away review copies themselves rather than having to prod their publishers to join the Early Reviewers programme. I have put in five copies of Lord and Master, but am happy to change the book to one of my other solo titles from Loose Id at the winner’s request. The draw on mine closes on 22 Feb.

There are some other interesting titles up as well, and the giveaways aren’t just restricted to people in the US. You need to be a member of LibraryThing to register for a book draw. The FAQ for Early Reviewers and Member Giveaways is here:
and the list of currently open Member Giveaways is here:

You can filter the list by country, and by who’s giving away the books (author, agent, publisher, reader, etc), and sort by number of copies offered, start date or end date of the draw.


Tusday Thingers

Missed Tuesday Thingers last week, but am back this week. This week’s Tuesday Thingers prompt:

Last week I asked what was the most popular book in your library- this week I’m going to ask about the most unpopular books you own. Do you have any unique books in your library- books only you have on LT? How many? Did you find cataloging information on your unique books, or did you hand-enter them? Do they fall into a particular category or categories, or are they a mix of different things? Have you ever looked at the “You and none other” feature on your statistics page, which shows books owned by only you and one other user? Ever made an LT friend by seeing what you share with only one other user?

I’ve got 27 titles shared with only one other user — and oddly, it’s the same user in the case of “Star Cops: Little Green Men” and “Rome Insight Travel Map”

For the ones where it’s just me, it’s quite a mix, covering a wide range of categories:

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Tuesday Thingers

Late with Tuesday Thingers again. My excuse is that I was already past a deadline for a short story, and was trying to get it finished so I could send it out to my crit group. Anyway… this week’s prompt from Boston Bibliphile:

Why did you choose to open and maintain an LT account? Do you/did you use other online cataloging/social networking sites, like GoodReads or Shelfari? Do you use more than one? Are they different or do they serve different purposes?

I wanted a catalogue of my books for insurance purposes. Yes, you need to separately list anything with serious value if you want your insurance covered, but there’s also the problem of insurance companies refusing to believe that anyone owns several hundred paperbacks. Having a list of what you’ve got, plus some photos, makes it easier to persuade them that you’re one of the mutant freaks. I’ve had to claim on shipping insurance after a long-distance move, and the company paid out without a murmur on the detailed list I provided of water-damaged books, with notes on whether they were a total loss or whether I was just claiming the reduction in their value. At least there I still had the books, but sometimes you get complete loss. I was also running into the problem of buying duplicate books because I could no longer remember what I already owned.

I already had a small database on my own computer, but I wanted something that would let me just type in the ISBN and let it look up the details of the book online, rather than having to type in all the details by hand. So I asked around my friends, and someone suggested LibraryThing.

Tim knows what he’s doing with that free account covering up to 200 books. It’s a big enough number to let you think you can do something useful with the free account even if you never upgrade, so it’s worth your while putting in a few books to try it. I had my credit card out half an hour later. The system is easy to use, and it’s fun. And even in that half hour I could see all sorts of other ways it could be useful.

Since then I’ve got involved in the social side of the site. You don’t need to ever go near this to get a lot out of the system, but it’s a good place to talk to like-minded readers.

I don’t use other book-orientated social networking sites, although I can see the appeal of something like BookCrossing. One is enough of a timesink for me, and LT’s facilities suit me extremely well.

Tuesday Thingers

This week’s prompt: “how many books do you have cataloged in your LibraryThing account? How do you decide what to include- everything you have, everything you’ve read- and are there things you leave off?”

Right now I’ve got 907 books catalogued. My default is that if I own it and it’s a book-like object, it gets catalogued. I’ve now catalogued most of the books I currently have physical access to (a lot are in storage), and I usually add books to the catalogue as soon as I acquire them.

“Getting rid of books” was not part of my worldview until recently, but I’m facing up to the fact that I need to be realistic about whether I will read a book again. As I dispose of books, I’m going to leave them in my LT catalogue, but tag them as disposed of (probably with an annotation as to how they were disposed of). If nothing else, I want a record of the fact that I once owned the book and was willing to part with it, so that I don’t accidentally buy another copy.

So far I haven’t added books that I’ve read but never owned. My original reason for getting a LibraryThing account was to have a catalogue of my book collection for insurance purposes, so what I wanted was an accurate record of books that I owned, or had owned but no longer did. And I haven’t read many books that weren’t my personal property in the two years I’ve had a LibraryThing account — something to do with an excellent second-hand bookshop being closer than local library at the time I started the account. But I’ve been writing reviews of the few library books that I have borrowed, and I’d like to post the reviews on LT; plus it would be useful to have those books in my catalogue to feed into the various useful social networking features. So I may start adding “read but not owned” books, suitably tagged. I might have done so already, but I wanted to wait for the long-promised collections feature.

So far I haven’t left off anything, but I did think long and hard about some of the books I’ve bought for writing research. They’re not books I really want to have conversations about with workmates and family… If collections ever happen, they may end up in a private collection.

Index post for the blogring’s responses to this week’s prompt.

Thinging Through Tuesday

It’s two years this week since I set up my LibraryThing account. The original motivation was to get an off-site catalogue of my books for insurance purposes, but it’s become a lot more than that. The social networking side of it is *fun*. Amongst other things, I joined the Early Reviewers programme, which does pretty much what it says on the tin. Publishers supply review copies of books, programme members indicate which ones they’d be interested in, and the LibraryThing database is used to select good matches to review the book based on what people have in their catalogues. We get free books, and the publishers get reviews and word of mouth.

This week I did two things connected with LT. I posted my first review of a book I received through the Early Reviewers programme. And I set up a WordPress account to join a group blog, which meant I had a spare personal blog lying around as well. I decided that it would be a useful place to mirror my book and DVD reviews from my LiveJournal — and then wandered over to the LibraryThing forums and found a thread suggesting that we set up a book blogging circle for the ER group. Serendipity…

So you’ll find the new bookblog here: https://julesjones.wordpress.com/
I don’t expect it to have anything that’s not on my LJ, but it’s another way to pick up my reviews, LT-related posts, and the occasional serious writing post. There’s a section on the blogroll for the LibraryThing Early Reviewers blogcircle, and we’re planning to do a regular LibraryThing group blogging exercise. The Boston Bibliophile is our host for Thinging Through Tuesday, and the first post is here.