Do you want readers to review your books? If so, try Library Thing

Library Thing

LibraryThing is a fabulous resource for anyone who loves books.

Although LibraryThing  is the grand daddy of book lover sites on the Internet, I only discovered it in September 2012 when author Robert B. Lowe mentioned it to me.  I signed up then, but promptly forgot to make it a part of regular book places to visit.  I have now corrected that oversight and plan to spend time enjoying books on LibraryThing.

Here’s how the good folks at LibraryThing summarize the nature of the site.

LibraryThing is an online service to help people catalog their books easily. You can access your catalog from anywhere—even on your mobile phone. Because everyone catalogs together, LibraryThing also connects people with the same books, comes up with suggestions for what to read next, and so forth.

The LibraryThing crew has also compiled a blog that explains the primary features of the site and provides direction for new members.  Click here to read What Makes LibraryThing LibraryThing?

The site is free to anyone who wants to build a catalog of 200 books or less.  If a member wants more space than that she can pay $10 per year or buy a lifetime membership for $25, which is what I did a few days ago.

book reviewsBut the feature of LibraryThing I want to bring to your attention is how Indie writers can use the site to obtain reviews of their books.

Indie authors who have been down in the trenches a while realize that reviews are an essential component of book marketing and promotion.

It is a hard to obtain reviews.  Many Indies think initially that if they run some free days on their book or books, they will garner a number of reviews in nothing flat.  Unfortunately, for  most authors, that’s just not the way it works.

But LibraryThing makes two avenues available for writers to obtain reviews. It has a giveaway program targeted at pre-release or advanced reviews and another targeted at books already up for sale.

I haven’t tried the pre-release program yet, but I will the next time I have a new book ready.

But this last week I utilized the Member Giveaway.

Here’s how it works.

An author can conduct a giveaway of a print book or an eBook. I chose the eBook route.  Under LibraryThing’s rules, a member can giveaway up to 100 books as part of a specific giveaway (I chose to giveaway a maximum of 50). The giveaway can run for a day, a week, a month or whatever. If the number of requests for a free copy of the book exceeds the limit the author has set, LibraryThing will draw for the winners.

If the author wants people to review the giveaway book, she just has to check a box and that message appears at the top of the book description.  In other words, members who request a free copy do so knowing that the author is asking for recipients of the books to review it.

I ran my giveaway on The Alzheimer’s Conspiracy for one week from May 1 to May 8.  I received 32 requests for the book.

When the contest closed, I received a notice from LibraryThing with a link to the list of people who requested the book.  That list included their names and email addresses.

I then “gifted” the book to the winners through the Kindle store and also emailed each of them individually and attached digital files for the book.

It is a very seamless way to get books into readers’ hands, readers who have already selected the book from a list of other books and also indicated a willingness to write a review.

Of course, I don’t know yet what percentage of the recipients will read and review the book, but I believe a good number of them will.

So, if you are an author who is looking for reviews, or a book lover looking for a bookish place to visit on the Internet, check out LibraryThing.


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