LibraryThing for Book Lovers and Indie Authors

librarythingIndie authors, do you know about LibraryThing? It’s a social networking site specifically for book lovers. It’s also a place for authors to present their books, although self-promotion is frowned upon so keep it on the down low. Simply having a presence there may be all you want as far as promotions goes.

From their website;

LibraryThing helps you create a library-quality catalog of books: books you own, books you’ve read, books you’d like to read, books you’ve lent out … whatever grouping you’d like.

Since everyone catalogs online, they also catalog together. You can contribute tags, ratings and reviews for a book, and Common Knowledge (facts about a book or author, like character names and awards), as well as participate in member forums or join the Early Reviewers program. Everyone gets the benefit of everyone else’s work. LibraryThing connects people based on the books they share.

Yes, it’s one more place to list your books, but this one feels smart since it claims 1.4 million book loving members or the world’s largest book club (not sure if that claim is substantiated). You can also link your books to their Amazon page.

Sign-up is free and easy. Then you can add books to your bookshelf or catalog, which can be done with book title or ISBN in the search box. If it doesn’t appear, books can be added manually. LibraryThing gets its book data from and over 700 libraries around the world, including the Library of Congress. When adding your own titles, make sure to load up on smart tags that will help browsers find it with search terms.

librarything authorAll users can have their own profile, which can be set to public or private status. Lists of favorite reads, authors, your library and more can be in the profile. Authors have a special yellow button (right) designating their status as members who’ve also published books. To apply for Author status, visit the LibraryThing Author page for more information. I literally signed up today and was already approved for my Author Page, which you can see if you like.

There’s a lot to do at the site: see a list of the hottest reads, check reviews from others, do chat forums, join groups, find free books and even links to bookstores in your area. Since the site is more geared for talking about books than promoting your own, it’s probably best for book lovers or for authors just to participate in the dialogue. However, it’s also smart to make sure the books you have authored are listed there for others to browse.

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