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Use LibraryThing to Market Your Book

RGraf is an accountant who loves to read, study history, and travel. She has researched and written for educational sites and authors.

LibraryThing is a very useful tool for marketing. Read on to see if it's right for you.

LibraryThing is a very useful tool for marketing. Read on to see if it's right for you.

There is no one way to market your book. There is no set number of ways actually. There are hundreds of them and not all work the same way. Each way can depend on who is marketing, what they are marketing, how, and when. Each way is also done in different fashions: indirect and direct.

One way to consider indirect marketing of your book is on LibraryThing.


What Is LibraryThing?

Most people are familiar with Goodreads, an online site where readers and authors get together to share experiences with books. LibraryThing is basically the same thing, just not as well known. There are thousands of users on LibraryThing who rate and review books and promote their own. You can get your book out for readers to see and for reviewers to comment on.

Sign up for the site. It is free. Review books on there. Get involved in groups. Post your own book out there though as it is a library of sorts, the odds are that your book will already be there unless it was literally just released and not with a traditional publisher. LibraryThing pulls from Amazon and other major publishing sources.


Member Giveaways

One of the most active areas on LibraryThing is the Member Giveaway. There are actually two giveaways on the site: Member Giveaway and Early Reviewers. Both of these can be a great tool to market your book.

The Early Reviewers are giveaways you can enter that are provided by publishers. Even if you are a self-publishing author, you can sign up to use this feature to get early buzz for your book. Keep in mind that this is for books that haven't been published yet. You have to promise at least 15 copies per book that will be available to be given away. LibraryThing collects the ones who want a copy and uses an algorithm to pick them out. You then receive their names and addresses/emails to send them to. It's free, so why shouldn't you use it?

The Member Giveaway is one that is provided by members, mainly authors who want to promote their own work. This can be for books that have already been published. Offer print or ebooks and watch others sign up for your work.

You can offer as many copies of your book that you want to in print or ebook format with some minimum requirements for the Early Reviewers giveaway. You do have to be specific how many you are offering and the format. You can make it for any length of time, too. This is a great way to get word out about your book and is another place you can find readers and books for yourself. To ignore it is missing out on some opportunities they are offering you.

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Networking on LibraryThing

Like any site you interact on, you can use it to expand your networking connections. The same can be said here. Look at other reviews. Comment on them. Talk about books you read. Join in groups as a reader. Don't focus just on your own work.

Use it as a social tool to indirectly market your book. You'll find that you'll meet a number of people to network with. Keep in mind that this site is not built to be as social as Goodreads is. It was created by librarians so the mentally is more for books instead of socializing. Yes, there are groups to interact in, but they aren't just there to chat. They are there to discuss.

As you use LibraryThing, keep in mind that this is focused on readers. Use it as a reader and only as an author secondary. I think you'll get more use out of that way.


Pros and Cons of Using LibraryThing

Let me start here with saying that LibraryThing does not want authors actively promoting. They want to avoid spamming and too much marketing. That means you have to do it only in the ways they allow such as networking in certain author groups and through giveaways. I know I have found several new authors simply by participating in book giveaways.

Think of LibraryThing as a...library. The best marketing to be done there is simply by being present. Don't be pushy. Don't spam.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Rebecca Graf (author) from Wisconsin on September 29, 2017:

Thank you. I don't use it as much as I should as I use Goodreads, but it is a great place to find some more interesting books to put on your to-read list.

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on September 28, 2017:

I knew about LibraryThing but I never looked into it much. I didn't know an author can use it to promote their book with giveaways. This sounds like a great opportunity.

But I think I'll use it just to keep track of books I've been reading as well, which is what I realize it is really meant for anyway. The video you included sold me on it for that purpose.

You wrote a great review of LibraryThing. Very complete and informative.

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