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message 1: by J.A. (last edited Oct 28, 2011 10:51PM) (new)

J.A. Beard (jabeard) Recently, a couple of hits on my blog from LibraryThing (courtesy of a link Andrew put up) reminded me about them.

I keep thinking about joining, but I was curious about the culture there. Are they tolerant of authors or do they despise the presence of foul creators of stories? I'm not talking about spamming idiots, but just the mere presence (kind of like the utter hatred they seem to have on the the Amazon forums).

Any experiences you could relate would be most appreciative.

message 2: by Patricia (last edited Oct 29, 2011 07:39PM) (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments I don't know anything about LibraryThing, but speaking of the hatred on Amazon's Kindle Forum, here's someone who dared to post there recently: (link is now dead, topic removed)

message 3: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Beard (jabeard) It's almost comical in a way.

message 4: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments More than "almost"....

message 5: by Andre Jute (last edited Oct 29, 2011 06:27PM) (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
J.a. wrote: "Recently, a couple of hits on my blog from LibraryThing (courtesy of a link Andrew put up) reminded me about them.

I keep thinking about joining, but I was curious about the culture there. Are the..."

Librarything corrals writers on the Hobnob with Authors site. Authors can also start limited-period discussion groups of their own about their books (common) or interests (I haven't seen such a group) in a defined space. In theory I could go over there and start a version of ROBUST. But see below; I have zero faith that on Librarything it would last longer than a week or two. (The Goodreads management, with whom I have never exchanged a single word, have been amazingly generous and tolerant about ROBUST, considering the bandwidth we consume yet how little effort we make to promote the sale of even our own books, never mind books in general.)

On Librarything many groups clearly exclude authors. Or, if they don't explicity exclude writers, it would be very difficult to contribute without the fact that you're a writer causing a kerfuffle.

There are some seriously author-unfriendly infrastructures on Librarything. Example: Andrew uses the cover of his current novel as his avatar, a common practice, even encouraged by sites like Kindleboards. On Librarything, within minutes of the book cover avatar going up, some hall monitor wrote to him that it isn't a photograph of the author and therefore unacceptable. That's not the worst. This storm in a pisspot wasn't even private, despite the promise on the same page that such messages are private and that the offending author would have time to make a change. The self-appointed avatar policeman had *already*, without waiting for a reply from him, opened a *public voting procedure* in which if there are x (possibly 5 -- I got this story at third hand and didn't investigate myself) votes against the author, the illustration is banned. Imagine the embarrassment to a writer with a new book of being dragged into a controversy about his avatar, of all the sensitive things! Imagine the cost to his publisher if his very book cover is banned because of an unwritten rule of this kind!

In short, it seems that on Librarything writers are presumed to be guilty of some unspecified original sin, just like on Amazon, and to be hunted down for it. There was some talk of just pulling all the Coolmain Press authors out of there forthwith but I persuaded Gemma to wait and see if there is any advantage to keeping a very tightly controlled presence there.

The official giveaway on Librarything of The Meyersco Helix resulted in nearly 50 copies being requested and given away, several multiples of what was given away on Smashwords. That has so far resulted in one excellent review but it seems likely more may be expected. Perhaps sales will be generated. I certainly live in hope because if the exercise turns out to be pointless, it will be on my head as the one who advised patience.

Most writers don't want to have to handle unpleasantness, and I still stand to be persuaded that Librarything is worth the effort of avoiding unpleasantness there if a silly thing like an avatar can open up a writer to a controversy created by any malicious or even careless member, and the writer's publisher to substantial costs if a new cover has to be made.


All of that said, Jeremy, I imagine that several of the Librarything groups, if they are truly interested in learning and not just in a protected space where they can listen to the echoes of their own voices, will welcome you as a scholar and a popularizer. Whether they will welcome you as a writer or even as a blogger remains to be seen. Let us know how you go if you go.

message 6: by J.A. (last edited Oct 29, 2011 06:50PM) (new)

J.A. Beard (jabeard) Yikes. That sounds kind of annoying.

I might dip my toe in over at LT after November when I actually have a bit more time. I intend to expand my presence on GR and KB. There are a lot of cool groups here and now that I'm more settled in, I'm exploring a lot of those more.

I just find it so bizarre that on so many places people have to apologize for being content creators.

Yeah, yeah, I get it spammy indies, blah, blah. I think it's typically tearing up the yard to solve a problem a little weeding would have managed, but maybe I'm just blinded by naked self-interest or whatever. Don't know.

message 7: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Toner (jjtoner) I've been on LT for a while - maybe 6 months. Haven't got involved in any discussions over there, and I've never used a book cover as an avatar. I would have thought a heated discussion about a book cover as avatar might generate some useful publicity. Not sure why the cover would need to be scrapped/replaced.

I gave away 25 copies of my anthology OVOLUTION free in exchange for reviews and got just one review. (Maybe the book is rubbish, but I don't think so.) Anyway, I won't be doing that again. There is no equivalent system here, on GR, except for physical books with ISBNs.

message 8: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Toner (jjtoner) btw, I offered 25 copies and 54 copies were requested.

message 9: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments It's interesting that your gift/review ratio was so low. I wonder if that's how it usually goes. I've never asked for reviews so have no experience regarding that with my giveaways.

message 10: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Beard (jabeard) One of the big things motivating me to maybe mess was LT was the giveaways, but if I'm just going to give away a lot of product, I'd rather just give it to review sites where at least their is a higher chance of getting a review out of it.

message 11: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments There are so many sites - this is the only one that's any fun.

Anywhere else my twisted sense of humor is ignored. (sniff) It's terrible to be ignored.

message 12: by Katie (new)

Katie Stewart (katiewstewart) | 1099 comments My sense of humour gets me into trouble all over the place.

message 13: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments It doesn't pay to see the world with a half-twist. LOL

message 14: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
My sense of humour has always made me a lot of friends. Okay, a few enemies as well, but they're the sort of people who automatically assume you're laughing at them rather than with them, and those are a bore you don't want near you.

message 15: by Andre Jute (last edited Oct 31, 2011 12:43AM) (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
J.J. wrote: "II would have thought a heated discussion about a book cover as avatar might generate some useful publicity. Not sure why the cover would need to be scrapped/replaced. "

Sure thing, JJ, if it were me I'd have stoked it up into a cause celebre. But the author it happened to doesn't care for unpleasantness, and the publisher doesn't relish controversy unless in her control, meaning that in the first instance it was my idea. Horses for courses, eh?

If the book cover cannot be used on a major promotional outlet like Librarything, how can it not be replaced?

message 16: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments Aren't most of the give aways for paper books?

message 17: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Librarything is set up to give away paper books but they have a big section in which you can give away ebooks. However, those who give away ebooks are clearly considered second class citizen. Among the differences: Librarything gives preference in the paper giveaways to readers who've posted reviews in previous giveaways, thus cleverly fostering and reinforcing a review mentality among readers, but they give the ebooks away randomly, without checking if reviews result.

message 18: by James (new)

James Everington | 187 comments Did anyone join off the back of this & want to report back? I'm kind of interested in joining, largely because out if the blue I had a lovely email from someone who'd heard about one of my books there. She painted a rosy picture of what it was like; a bit different to on here!

So in two minds...

message 19: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments I'm on it - haven't been active.

message 20: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Join and in a while give us a report, James. A bit of balance never comes amiss, and I'd hate to put anyone off a good thing, if LT is a good thing, just because one of my writers had a single unfortunate incident there.

message 21: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Beard (jabeard) Well, I've subsequently hear bad reports from several people, and at this point, Goodreads keeps me busy. I'm fairly active in several groups here.

message 22: by Keryl (new)

Keryl Raist (kerylraist) | 240 comments I'm on, but only as a book reviewer.

I find the review system a little tighter and easier to deal with than GR, if for nothing else than the 1/2 star levels gives me a little more nuance in how I recommend books.

I don't think anyone has decided to read my book because of any of my reviews there. So, I don't think it's been handy from that perspective. But I do like getting other writers a little more attention.

message 23: by Sharon (last edited Dec 11, 2011 12:26PM) (new)

Sharon Tillotson (storytellerauthor) | 1802 comments I joined LT about the same time as GR because a (librarian) reader found me on **MobileRead and suggested I join. I did, 'friended' her as she requested, sent her a pm to which she never responded and pretty much backed away when I realized I would have to tiptoe around too much on her thread - or any thread. I would have loved to have a real dialogue with her. I recieve a monthly newsletter (from Jeremy, :--)) which I sometimes read.

I had a giveaway of 25 books from hundreds requested, because at least they recognized that ebooks might have some validity. The giveaway is well done. LT encourages reviews and the author is encouraged to write a personal note - why they are including their book, what their expectations are, that sort of thing. There one can make a further plea for a review. From the giveaways I got one pretty good review only posted to LT. I have no beef with LT giveaway, perhaps if I had made it more clear what the book is about, I would have had better luck, but those were early days and I didn't have the benefit of forums such as this one. I will probably do another giveaway when I finally do the Create Space thing and have a print book.

The LT was better than the KND paid ad I did, where I had some sales but the only reviews I got were two 2-stars here on GR with no comment. Again, I didn't do a good job of describing the book. I still believe it's a good book, just hasn't found it's niche (all on me).

Oh, and like Keryl, I like that they have a 1/2 star level, it's really handy for reviewing and I wish GR and Amazon had the same.

** I don't frequent MR any more, but probably should have another look at it - I still get their daily digest. I found it rather like KB, where the majority of posters were readers/writers of horror/vampire/not-my-type-of-read.

message 24: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
On KB I found that my sort of readers and writes would arrive at any post I made in the Book Corner, which is reserved for readers. They can see the covers of your books in your sig, but I got the impression many knew who I am before I arrived. It's =ono problem finding the fans of the writers I like, and readers who're grateful for the tip. I wish I had more time to correspond in the Book Corner.

You should also be patient with the Book Bazaar, which is where writers can post their books. Here I've had very little correspondence from readers, though some from other writers. However, there are thousands of views of my threads about my books, and I'm convinced that books are being sold there.

I founded ROBUST to have a venue for saying what I can't say in KB's Writers' Cafe without the moderators rushing in and locking the thread. I have no desire to offend people who bend over backwards to help writers sell books, as the operators of KB do.

No secret that I'm a fan of KB; its attractions and benefits far outweigh the few little difficulties.

However, KB is a visual venue. The writer must put in some work on the discussion page for each book, and then find the automatically created Profile page for the book and link it back to the visual index. He must also make a visual sig file, and make a point of learning to do the links right (there's a superb link tool near the bottom of each page, and an auto link tool in the toolbox, and a manual link tool also in the toolbox for those confident of their own code -- I just write my own with the last tool and find it very fast once you get the KB hang of it).

message 25: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments My mind clinks shut with that last paragraph. Me no speak computer-ese.

message 26: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Tillotson (storytellerauthor) | 1802 comments Yaah, my eyes kind of glazed over there too...

But then it's no secret I am not a fan of KB. Though I've been browsing a bit more there lately and actually found an intelligent convo or two.

message 27: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments Ah, but see, my mind clinks shut as soon as the conversation turns intelligent, too.

message 28: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Tillotson (storytellerauthor) | 1802 comments LOL, Patricia. Though I don't believe it for one moment...

message 29: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments there's a superb link tool near the bottom of each page, and an auto link tool in the toolbox,

The above is the sentence you need to look at.

message 30: by Andre Jute (last edited Dec 12, 2011 05:04PM) (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
And KB has superb, explicit, step by step instructions that even Apple, the House of Buskers, would be proud of. The proof of the pudding is that even the dumbest indie (and that, friends, is almost beyond your combined imaginations) manages to make a good page on KB.

Sierra's just being a luddite.

message 31: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments I've been called worse. In fact, I am worse.

message 32: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Somebody kick her into the twentieth century so I can at least see her while I devise a plan to haul her ass into the the 21st century.

message 33: by Sharon (last edited Dec 14, 2011 07:32AM) (new)

Sharon Tillotson (storytellerauthor) | 1802 comments Ha ha, I suspect Patricia is only a Luddite when she chooses to be. Very handy sometimes...

message 34: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments Hey! I'm standing right here and I can hear you guys!

message 35: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Tillotson (storytellerauthor) | 1802 comments Actually, I am speaking for myself, Patricia. I often call myself a Luddite when I know I am no such thing ~ and I'm betting neither are you, despite protestations to the contrary...

message 36: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments I really do glaze over as soon someone brings up formatting. Gadgets? I love them. I just don't want to know how to do tech stuff with them.

message 37: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Tillotson (storytellerauthor) | 1802 comments Same here, and I don't want to know either. But I could. I have many skills, I have a good left brain, but I learned a long time ago it's not in my best interests to do everything myself...

My best friend's mother taught me something about 30 years ago when I was just a kid. What you don't learn to do, you are not called upon to do. She was referring to things she called 'blue' jobs, but still... applies to everything as far as I am concerned.

On the other hand, I have a very thorough tool box (as in hammers, screwdrivers and the like). I don't want to have to call upon my male friends to fix my doorknobs. And I tell everyone I can't cook because then I'm not expected to. I can and do cook pretty well... when I want to...

message 38: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments LOL all of you!

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