SantaThing 2014 is here!
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It's that time of year again! This is our EIGTH Annual SantaThing, if you can believe it. I'm so excited!
Check out the blog for full details, or go here to sign up!
Update: SantaThing sign-ups have been extended! Sign-ups now close Monday, Dec. 1st at 9pm Eastern.
I've also got a handy new SantaThing Help page in place, for details like store shipping deadlines and exchange rates.
ETA: Every year, amazing LT-ers come out of the woodwork and give generously to each other through SantaThing. This year has been no exception. If you're in need of or looking to offer a SantaThing donation, you can find the Donations thread here.
Thanks to ladylenneth for running the donations thread again this year! And those of you who've already donated, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
ETA: Each year, we post a "SantaThing arrivals" topic, so Santees can let us know when their books have arrived. We also use that topic to map SantaThing arrivals.
Once you've received your books, let us know!
Any questions? Post them in this thread.
Woo-hoo! I like the book art on the SantaThing page. I'm glad to see Sherman's on board: They have a great selection of New England maritime history books.
>1 lorannen: There was a discrepancy between the Help and sign up pages. It's now been fixed, but please confirm: Sherman's is free shipping?
Is the $5 reduction on all amazon sites worldwide? Because buying on amazon.co.uk you get free shipping within the UK - if you combine 2 UK people, they should be able to get the full amount in books (for example, the $15/£9, which is usually the price of one book)
YAY!!!!! I love SantaThing!
I don't have time to run the sponsorship thread this year, but I would greatly appreciate if whoever starts it would post on this thread with the link when it's up so I can sponsor someone!
>5 ScarletBea: We don't have a way of combining orders, unfortunately. That said, it does look like we can get free shipping on orders of £10 or more. So, for Santees who select Amazon.co.uk as their store, and pay in at the $20 price point or above, there will be no reduction for shipping costs. I'll update the help page to reflect this, and double check our other Amazon national subsidiaries for similar details.
Amazon.de offers free shipping for all book orders to be delivered within Germany - so no shipping fees for German participants.
And besides that: Too bad I did not know about this the last years. Great idea! :)
I believe I've tracked down accurate shipping cost information for all the Amazon national subsidiaries now. You can see those here: http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/SantaThing#Store_specifics_2014
These are based on the best guidelines I could find, but if you find conflicting info out there, do let me know!
While some packages do have charges, Books from Amazon.de to Austria and Switzerland have no shipping charges. I'm not surprised you missed that. The German is somewhat convoluted.
>10 lorannen: Now that we have the updated Amazon information, can I change my store selection from Book Depository to Amazon.ca?
(Store changes are not an option on the edit page.)
It says you don't need a paypal account to pay, but you do! There is NO other option: I click the amount I want and I get a screen to login to paypal. No way around it anywhere that I can see.
>14 Ennas: PayPal apparently doesn't allow for you to pay by credit card without an account in all countries. And of course, there's no list of which countries that applies to online. I've discovered this through trial and error testing over time.
We'll be happy to accept a check in the mail. Sending you a private message with details.
Have yall SantaThingers ever thought about letting us select gifts from here?
I'll try something else first, because I have no idea how to send a check. ( O_O check? you mean, like...paper?? in an envelope, with a stamp on it?? O_O )
>18 Collectorator: We've actually talked about possibly sending along some LT swag, especially in cases where the Santee's budget hasn't been used up entirely, but there's not quite enough leftover to add another book. In the past, we've also picked out some gifts—bookmarks and the like—to fill in gaps.
I'm certainly not opposed to making LT shirts, stamps, etc. actual options. I'm open to other opinions on this, and will chat with other staff about it.
Question: The blog page says the choice of amounts is from $15 to $50. However, the highest option to pay on the sign up page is $45 dollars. Is this a discrepancy or am I missing something?
>20 lorannen: YaY! See, I am so dadgum picky about the books I actually want that I just don't want to bother anyone with their having to find something. Plus, I only like vintage books, which does not work with SantaThing. However, I see things in that CafePress place that I would like. All good LTers need a stamp. I have just never gotten around to buying one. Anyway, if CafePress stuff is available next year, I might participate in SantaThing ...
>21 sangreal: Think we overlapped in our updating of the page a bit today. I'm pushing the correct version now, and the $50 price point should be in place momentarily.
Once again, I find myself in a position where I can be generous. I work in the book industry so I don't really need people to send me books. But I'd like to help some people to receive them. Last year I was able to give my SantaThing number to someone else who couldn't afford it. And some wonderful person started a thread to track it all.
If that happens again, I'd like to know.
I've never done the Kindle Ebook thing before (never had a tablet with the kindle reader on it). And so I have what is probably a not so smart question.
It says that in the address field is where I should put the email address. Does that mean the email address that is connected with the Amazon account, or the 'Send-to-Kindle' address thingie? I assume that y'all mean my email not the kindle.com email, but, I'd just like to make sure.
Can someone please explain the santathing wiki statement regarding ebooks?
"Amazon still offers no way to gift specific Kindle books to people outside the US."
I've given ebooks to people and the only thing that was required for me to know was their email address. They then logged in with an Amazon.com account to receive the book.
I'd love to be able to select ebooks only as postage is significant when books have to be delivered all the way to New Zealand.
Hmm, there are a couple of Santees who already have comments. However, when I click on their entries, I'm unable to see the comments and the suggestion box is missing.
The '0 comments' entries still have the suggestion box and the (none) below Comments/Suggestions.
ETA: Win 7, FF 33.1.1 (it just updated—again)
I'd like to second the comment issue. I've commented on 3 or 4 pages but every time I click "enter", the page then comes up blank and the comment box has disappeared (despite saying the page now has 1 comment).
>26 DanieXJ: That's correct—we want the email address you use to log in to Amazon.com—not your send-to-Kindle email address.
>27 wifilibrarian: Amazon's national subsidiaries (Amazon.co.uk, .ca, .fr, etc.) do not allow you to gift individual books trough their Kindle stores—you can only send gift certificates, which causes problems for SantaThing, because we need to be able to send the Santee specific books. Amazon.com's Kindle store does allow for this.
That said, despite the significant postage you mentioned, if your SantaThing entry somehow doesn't qualify for free shipping of physical books, we only reserve $5 of what you put in to cover shipping costs. So, if you sign up for SantaThing for $35, and shipping ends up being $10, you're still getting $30 worth of books.
>28 LibraryPerilous: That should be under control now. Thanks for chiming in.
>30 lorannen: Thank you, thank you. That's what I assumed, but wanted to make sure. Now to figure out what to put in those other big... empty boxes with such demanding questions... :)
>30 lorannen: thanks and I do understand about Amazon's national subsidiaries but I don't use those, I'm on Amazon.com. I do give and receive amazon ebooks as gifts and they work fine. So if one is on Amazon.com, which I am, I can sign up for santathing and request ebooks only?
I don't think there's ever free shipping with Amazon to where I live, so I don't really understand the shipping information over on the santathing wiki about shipping costs for Amazon. I've just added some books to a basket on Amazon and they state "Items shipped to addresses outside the United States are not eligible for FREE Shipping."
I selected book depository last year so if I still can't qualify for ebooks I will stick with hard copies from them.
>33 wifilibrarian: We should be able to make it work for you to receive ebooks. I'm sending you a direct message with some further details.
>24 lorannen: Great! Thank you!
What about shipping? Schwag seems to come from different places...
I'm not sure I understand the Amazon Kindle limitation for non-US countries. I live in Sweden, I have an .se email address, log in from a Swedish IP number and have a physical address in Sweden registered with Amazon and I buy Kindle books from Amazon all the time. Exactly why can I not ask for Kindle books? What's the problem?
Oops, I just signed up for Santa Thing. Exactly like LAST year I didn't take any note of the book supplier. I think I left it at the default. I would like it to be changed to
Amazon.com. I don't even know who Powell is and would like to give my Santa the widest options. I think I had suggested before that the supplier be left blank
and if not selected at the end a warning message be sent. ie. the user has to make a positive choice.
>36 anglemark: I'm looking into extending Kindle books to everyone, regardless of location. We'll just have to put those orders through Amazon.com, rather than any of the national subsidiaries, since they don't allow us to gift individual books. The only drawback I can see so far is that it appears we can't get non-English editions through the .com Kindle store.
ETA: >37 guido47: I'll get your store updated to Amazon.com for you.
>36 anglemark: I think the issue is in the GIFTING of ebooks, not the purchase of ebooks in general. When on a non .com Amazon site, it won't let you gift specific ebooks, only send a Kindle gift card. Which is why lorannen can get around it with sending from the .com but only for English language titles. It's Amazon's weirdness, not LTs.
>39 leahbird: That's precisely the problem.
I'm running a couple tests to make certain this is going to work, but things are looking good so far.
Just chiming in on the Amazon thing - it all boils down to what flavour of Amazon you use/have your Kindle registered to, rather than where you live. If your Amazon account exists purely on .com, it doesn't matter where you live - as a .com Amazonite, you can gift/receive Kindle books.
However, if your account is affiliated with .co.uk or .de (et al) then you can't. I have Amazon accounts with .com, .co.uk and .de (because I like to buy US books sometimes, and I have family in Germany), but because the .co.uk account is the one associated to my Kindle, I can't receive gifted ebooks (or gift them to others, which is super annoying given the number of bookworm friends I have in the US).
Amazon have been promising for about 2 years to extend Kindle ebook gifting/receiving to Amazon UK, but so far there's no sign of them actually doing it.
But as long as your Kindle is registered to .com you should be golden.
>41 imyril: Amazon have been promising for about 2 years to extend Kindle ebook gifting/receiving to Amazon UK, but so far there's no sign of them actually doing it.
I'd imagine the ability to do so involves a tangled mess of subsidiary rights negotiated with all the publishers.
There isn't a local Amazon site for Sweden or most other countries. This sounds like a problem that only affects a few countries, in that case, countries with a local Amazon site. Of course those are big languages/countries, so this means that many members are affected, but I'm not sure I understand why it should affect the rest of us. If you tried to explain that above I apologise, in that case I didn't understand.
>43 anglemark: it doesn't affect you :) As you are only a .com user and have a Kindle associated with .com and don't live in a country with a local Amazon, you should be able to receive/gift ebooks just fine - I have relatives overseas (but not in the US) in who are happily gifting/receiving. I just can't join in the fun ;)
>42 southernbooklady: as long as they have the ebook in the local Amazon and only allow gifting within that territory (i.e. .de to .de) I wouldn't have expected a problem with the rights, but you may well be right - subsidiary rights are a minefield. Also I understand from an insider that the different Amazon websites sometimes have substantial differences in their codebase for whatever reason, and doing 'easy' things can become a bit of a nightmare, so this may also be a factor...
OK. So instead of saying
Amazon Kindle Only (USA only)
Note: Kindle orders possible through Amazon.com (USA) only.
It could say
Amazon Kindle Only (Amazon.com only)
Note: Kindle orders possible through Amazon.com only.
thereby extending it from one country to around 190 countries?
>41 imyril: As far as I can tell, you're absolutely right.
I'm going ahead and amending all SantaThing info to allow for members to request ebooks regardless of location—so long as their Kindle is registered through Amazon.com, and not one of its subsidiaries. This should be in place within an hour or so.
Sorry for the delay on this, everyone. I've been sick today, checking periodically. Thanks for your patience and your help!
ETA: Changes pushed. If anyone who has already registered for SantaThing would like to switch their store to Kindle Only, given this update, drop me a line: email@example.com
Thanks so much to lorannen for sorting out kindle purchases only from Amazon.com.
On the comments page, it'd be useful to know if the santee was requesting Kindle books. I'd like to suggest some of my favorite ebooks that a person might not otherwise know about in the comments but no point if the person is requesting hard copies only.
>47 wifilibrarian: Good point. I'll have to talk with Tim about that. I know you can see that information once Santas are matched up and picking of books begins, but it's currently hidden from view.
>47 wifilibrarian: I would say there is a point even if the person is requesting physical books. After all, most Santees read their comments after the reveal and enjoy perusing the suggestions.
>49 LibraryPerilous: I'm particularly thinking of the people who shun self-published ebooks out of principle or preference. Suggestions of these type of books might not be appreciated. And as these books might not be available in other formats it's wasting both our time. But I see your point, they could be requesting physical books only for santathing but are also keen on ebooks.
>50 wifilibrarian: Yes, self-published might be different. People have strong opinions in that area. And, of course, everyone approaches SantaThing suggestions on their own terms. Some people might not even read their profile's comments. Personally, I like getting them, even if the suggestions aren't ones I will pursue. I also have left OOP recommendations on other Santees' profiles, along the lines of, "Your Santa can't pick this because it's OOP, but you might like it."
I enjoyed being able to do it last year so I started the donation thread! https://www.librarything.com/topic/183231
YAY! I love SantaThing Sponsorship even better than SantaThing itself! I'll pop over there.
Do we really need to specify hardcopies only, rather than explictly requesting ebooks if that's what we want?
>54 lorax: Sorry, that's the opposite of what I'm saying. I'm assuming people want hard copies unless ebooks are explicitly requested.
But, there must be people who are requesting ebooks only, as that is an option on the sign up page. That could easily be indicated on the comments page.
>55 wifilibrarian: Since we can't mix-and-match ebooks and hard copies in the same order (thanks, Amazon), that's why they're two separate options. Amazon.com (and national subsidiaries) are hard copies only. The Amazon.com Kindle Only option is what it says on the tin.
There's no need to specify in your SantaThing profile that you want only ebooks or only hard copies, as that is indicated by the store you've selected.
What I have seen folks do that is handy is specify that they want only hardcover editions. If you're the kind of reader/book collector who wants to receive hardcover copies only, it's good to let your Santa know!
I just want to say thank you for doing this - it's one of my favorite things to do each holiday season!! :)
I'm so glad SantaThing is back! I've been waiting for it ;) I've discovered a lot of excellent books and authors thanks to previous editions! Thank you LibraryThing and Santees of Christmas Past! Thank you in advance Santees of Christmas Future!
Donations has been amazing this year! https://www.librarything.com/topic/183231 just a reminder if you are in need drop by and say hello! We want a very one to have a happy holiday!
Great news, everyone! We've extended the SantaThing sign-up deadline to Monday, Dec. 1st at 12pm Eastern. At 12:01pm, we'll start matching Santas, and send out notices of who you're playing Santa for ASAP.
Say, lorannen, did you happen to have a chance to think about the shipping question for the LT swag? I asked earlier in the thread but you were very busy.
>62 Collectorator: Ah, sorry about that! I missed that one, thanks for mentioning it again. LT will cover shipping for swag!
I still can't do it because it's not on the page to select as a source of books?
>65 Collectorator: It's going to be a bit informal this year, as I want there to be a way for members who wish to do so to select books and LT swag, and it's too late to implement a system that would allow for selecting multiple stores on one SantaThing profile.
So, as mentioned in the FAQ (which I just updated to be a little clearer on this point) put your preferences in the "About recipient's book tastes" or "Other notes" section. In your case, since you want LT swag only, I'd say putting in the former would be best. For members who want both LT swag and a books, put book tastes in former, and LT swag preferences in the "Other notes" box.
But which source do I select under choose the bookstore? It doesn't matter?
I'm sorry to be such a PITA.
>67 Collectorator: As your Santa is not going to use the bookstore anyway, I'd think it doen't matter which store you pick. :-)
>67 Collectorator: Not a problem—we want to make sure everyone gets what they'd like for SantaThing. Nope, store won't matter! Put down whatever you'd like for store. To help your Santa out, you might also link to the LT store or specific items that you'd like.
Don't worry—we review each order carefully before it goes out, so you won't end up with books when you asked for LT swag.
ETA: I definitely started writing this message 30 min ago and got sidetracked. Sorry about that.
Will there be a way to track our gifts or maybe get a message they should have arrived so we know if there is a problem?
>70 timidmagick: Good question. As in years past, once gift picking wraps up, I'll start a "Tracking SantaThing arrivals" Talk topic, where members can post that they've received their gifts. I'll also be mapping those arrivals (here's the 2013 arrivals map, if you're interested).
On top of that, I'm going to get profile comments sent out to let everyone know once all orders have been placed, which will include a reminder of who each member's Santa was, and encourage them to drop Santas a note to say "thanks" once their gifts have arrived.
http://www.librarything.com/topic/183231 The Donation thread is still open! There are several donations floating around! If for any reason you are embarrassed about asking (I understand being in a hard place!) Please feel free to contact me directly. Your username will not be announced. :)
I'm tempted to go all out and request $50 dollars in new books from Powell's, but I'm wondering: if Powell's offers free shipping on order of $50 or above, I'd need to have a very talented Santa who could make the books add up to $50 exactly... right? Otherwise their shipping is 3.99 flat. /Ramble
I guess it's unlikely I'll get the free shipping. However, what happens to the 1.01 extra subtracted for shipping?
>73 knotbox: The shipping is explained on this page http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/SantaThing#Store_specifics_2014 and it says that Powell's: All orders will have $5 less in their budget, to cover shipping. So if you do spend $50.00 it will be $45.00 in books and $5.00 shipping.
>73 knotbox: The extra that's left over gets thrown in the pot to cover Santas who go over their price points. LT doesn't take a specific cut; it all just goes back to the general SantaThing fund.
>75 LibraryPerilous: Is right. Sometimes Santas go a bit over their Santees' price points by a bit, and we do our best to send out exactly the books picked.
I'm pleased to say that we're extending SantaThing sign-ups by a few more hours! We've seen a rush towards the end here, and want to make sure everyone gets a chance to join in on the fun. Sign-ups are now closing today, Monday, Dec. 1st at 9pm ET. I'm in the process of updating all other pages to reflect this.
One problem with this year's SantaThing - it's VERY DIFFICULT to find. Luckily enough, I kept the advertising message from Tim, but when I log into LibraryThing, or if I simply am at my home page, there appears to be nothing to link to here. I try to go to my profile, no link. Main home page, no link. Groups page, no link. Getting here initially the first time to sign up was no problem because of the advertising, but aside from going thru the advertising links every time, is there a simpler way to get to these pages, like when we get assigned our Santee, going to this page to see if anybody else has posted suggestions?
Of course, now that I have posted to here, this is under Topics I've posted to, and then the link in message 1, but again, something tells me there should be an easier, less round-a-bout way to get to this.
>79 ThrillerFan: Thanks for the feedback. I do have it on my wishlist for next year to find SantaThing a slightly more prominent home on LT pages during this most wonderful time of the year.
Just to double-check, though: you should see a post for "SantaThing 2014" under the "Top News" section of the right-hand side of the LT home page. Does that not show up for you?
Edited to remove broken link to screenshot.
The link seems to be broken, or something with it that I can't get to it in message 80, but I don't see a Top News section. I think I might have seen it before logging in. Is there a way to get to the LT Home Page when you are logged in? If I click on home, it takes me to my home page, like "Your Books", "Recently Added", etc.
Actually, don't see it if I log out either. Maybe I just have no idea how to get to the LibraryThing home page. Even if I click "LibraryThing" in the upper left, it goes to my own page with my books, recently added, my tags, posts I've posted to, recommended books, etc.
EDIT: Hmmmm....Ok, this is weird, if I log in on my cell phone, I do get what you mention in post 80, but on the laptop, I don't. Very strange. On the laptop, the items I mentioned above expand to the far right of the screen with no horizontal scroll bar.
>82 ThrillerFan: If I shrink my browser window significantly, I can make that right-hand sidebar disappear. Can you expand your browser window horizontally, and get the news section to appear?
I checked, and it's definitely not a problem with your account.
I don't see it unless I ctrl scroll out on my mouse wheel on the main page of LT.
I've never been involved with SantaThing before. I smiled when I saw the graphic - the book with the title 'Readjoice!'
Reminds me of my local library's holiday light display - all the town businesses have them custom made to reflect their own specialties. The library has a simple message above the door - 'Seasons Readings!'
>83 lorannen: I'm full-screen on my 13" laptop. I don't see the right-hand sidebar either, whether I'm logged in and on my own home page or not logged in and on the LT home/log in page. No horizontal scroll bar, either. As I rarely log out on this browser (my password manager said the last time I did was four months ago), I don't imagine I'd be likely to see it on the logged-out main page anyway. Still, it's odd that there's no indication on my browser that there's any other columns to be seen. FF 33, OSX 10.10.1, FWIW.
>83 lorannen: Just checked my other account using a different browser, Chrome 39, OSX 10.10.1 also. No sign of a right-hand sidebar on either the personal home page or the logged out/home page. No horizontal scroll bars.
>87 PhaedraB: I personally do not ever see the side bar unless I CTRL scroll out with my mouse wheel.
>90 PhaedraB: I had noticed that too. I have to remind myself to check the side bar a couple times a month myself.
Interesting. You're right. At a high enough zoom level and narrow enough window width, the right column disappears. Curious. Never noticed that before. Much more likely to occur on smaller laptops, of course.
I signed up when I got the email, but should have also wandered over here to follow the discussion! Oops! I'm here now. :-)
When I narrow the window so that the News column disappears there is no scroll bar on my MasBook. It's never on my tablet of course.
As a mere point of data. I log out all the time. I just looked at this with three browsers (IE, Chrome...and I HATE Chrome, and FF).
That side bar was there every time. I never browse the site with my phone (nor have any interest in doing so). I even pulled up FF on Linux, just to make sure. I should add that (except for Chrome), none of these are up to date, since I find browser updates to be filled with things I don't want, or like.
FF == 28.0
IE == 10.0 (and that was kicking and screaming, all the way)
Chrome == 39.something or other
ETA: I just tried shrinking the browser until the side bar disappeared, and it doesn't get the horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the page, which it should. Clearly, there's a bug in here somewhere....
>90 PhaedraB: Good suggestion. I'm pretty sure at least some of the behavior is a case of "it's a feature, not a bug". This news bar behavior predates my time here at LT, to my knowledge. Doesn't mean it should continue to work this way, though.
I made a bug report here anyway, so we can continue to discuss the issue, and how to make it better.
Wouldn't it be cool if there was somehow a search function on the sign up page? Then if you want to make a suggestion for a certain person, you can easily find their name instead of trying to sift through the hundreds of names in the list. Or you could search terms too, so if someone says in their description that they like "historical fiction" or something like that, then you can make a suggestion to that person (or all of those people) for a great historical fiction read that you loved this year.
*clearly I'm into this*
>99 CcanRead: When you are on the sign up page press CTRL F and then you have a little search window. Type the name and it will bring you straight to the name you are looking for. :)
>99 CcanRead: You can search for anything on the page by hitting Ctrl+F. Of course, that doesn't always help with words that are beyond the cut-off point.
There was a suggestion last year for an option to list names in alphabetical order too.
FYI: I just got into Portland and managed to get my kid to sleep. I'm going to be closing it soon.
(another point of reference... I've never not seen the news announcements in the upper right corner -- I use all kinds of browsers (Chrome, ie, safari) on all kinds of computers (mac, pc, ipad, iphone).... Maybe it's a setting issue?)
Looks like picking process is going to take all night. Seriously. It uses a similarity-between-users algorithm we discontinued on the real site five years ago because the calculation was growing exponentially as LibraryThing grew. It takes about 30 seconds per user at present.
>106 timspalding: As the song goes, "the waiting is the hardest part."
Thanks for all the work you and LT staff put toward SantaThing. It's one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.
Many thanks from me, too. Your efforts are much appreciated!
Yay! And thank you lorannen and Tim. It's an enormous amount of work for you, and I appreciate your willingness to do this each and every year.
And I hope that in five years our libraries have evolved enough that I don't get matched with my son again.... Though you folks were gracious in fixing that...
Seriously, I do appreciate the work that this takes- and it is such fun to do.
106 - Are you saying you do or do not use the algorithm in the last 5 years? One breath you say it was discontinued and in another you say it takes 30 seconds a head. I could believe either as I did this 2 times before back when I read political fiction and espionage, one year I got an almost exact match and the other wanted books on born again christianity. That made me skip a year or 2. I just hope I do not get a Santee that wants a very touchy subject like real politics or religion this time. Anything else I am good. Any fiction genre, cooking, sewing, health, you name it. I just pray to God that my Santee isn't looking for jesus, allah, or Sarah Palin.
I keep visiting the website to see if I've been matched to a santee yet!! Twitchy fingers! I just want to get going! :-D
Of course, I'm in the UK so the time is actually 1:30pm!! I need more patience!
>114 melawen: I have been doing the same thing and I live in the US. I love this part of picking books for my santee!
It is now 1:32 here in Australia. I too want to start picking for my Santee.
No message here either. As far as I understood, there was computerized match making during the night. How long untill the messages are sent out?
I'm filling in the time by browsing participants and making recommendations. Hey! This is fun! Takes me back to my days as a book seller and a librarian.
Bear in mind Tim is on the West Coast at the moment (in Portland) - so if it's going to take all night to run, it's unlikely to finish until West Coast morning! Patience folks, we're nearly there :)
Altho I do love that we're all as excited about starting the Santa-ing as kids on Christmas Eve!
I like browsing through people's libraries, looking at what they're asking for and making suggestions. Even if the Santa doesn't use those suggestions, I don't think anyone minds having a few book ideas when they're able to see their SantaThing page. I know I like it.
>119 imyril: He's in Portland, Maine, which is on the eastern side of things.
>120 RidgewayGirl: Yeah, I've already checked out a couple of titles I hadn't seen before.
>121 RidgewayGirl: Ah, of course he is! The very late timestamps bamboozled me into forgetting all about Maine. Oops :)
...I still reckon we can be patient though. As you said, it's fun making suggestions in the meantime anyway!
>120 RidgewayGirl: I hope you have left some suggestions for my Santee. This is my first time on SantaThing and already I'm worried that I'll run into difficulties.
I love that people are getting into "the spirit" this morning as they wait. While you're being patient, I think it's a great suggestion to go and make some recommendations on other people's profiles! I think that's one of the best parts about this whole thing.
I've posted a few suggestions thus far. Must say though that some profiles are significantly easier to come up with ideas for than others, even if what they are looking for isn't what you yourself read. For example, one mentioned they liked horror based on setting and surrounding rather than action horror. Even if you aren't a horror reader, that is a lot easier than "Just look at my library and base it on that." Ok, if I had read all the books in your library, I have some idea what you like and what you don't, but I could look at your library, see a bunch of books that look like romance novels because of provocative covers with a man and a woman when in reality, it is domestic violence horror fiction. When it kicks in, I may go into more detailed research for the more complicated profiles and post a few ideas in those.
It says we have until Thursday, December 5th. Thursday is the 4th, Friday is the 5th. Do we have 48 hours or 72 hours to decide? Also, the key dates section says Monday the 8th. Very confusing.
Either way that's very short! I find picking a longwinded process to do right, and I do have other things going on too. 48hrs will be very difficult to choose appropriately.
Am I am terrible person for already having two Santees and snagging a third one?
SantaThing is now open. We wanted to get over 500—woo-hoo!—so all LibraryThing children got a $20 one. Yeah, tough decisions by the CEO…
You can also "claim" any of those, and a few others we snuck in, if you are minded. Later on there may be others unclaimed because someone doesn't do it in time.
Kristilabrie is figuring that out. We'll hold off on picking announcements until then.
>129 ThrillerFan:: I'm guessing that the red text saying Thursday, December 5 was from last year (which would have been correct).
The correct closing date for Santee gift picking is Monday, December 8 at 12:00 noon EST. You have one week!
I've updated everything to the correct dates. If you see faulty dates anywhere else, please post them here. Thanks for your help.
I could use some help picking for my santee, as she asks for books I never ever read. (The matching algorithm doesn't seem to work very well for me. :-/ ) She also directs me to her amazon wishlist, but there's no link. How do I find it?
When I've entered all the details for the books I want to send to my giftee and press save, it seems like I get no confirmation. Has it gone through?
Is it okay to pick books from my Santee's LibraryThing wishlist? The books on their wishlist are ones that I was thinking of getting them anyway, and when I searched their library to see if they had the books, I realised they were on the wishlist. This would result in them getting a couple of books from their LT wishlist and a couple of other books too. I don't know if this is okay or not? Is it safe to assume that the person does not own the books on their wishlist? Would they be disappointed if it looks like I haven't put much effort into picking books? I had no idea this would cause me such indecision! Any input would be welcomed...
>138 Railok:: You won't necessarily get a confirmation for your Santee's book choices.
1. Enter in all the ISBN's, links, Titles, Authors, and Prices for your Santee selections.
2. Click the "Save ISBNs" button below.
3. The page will update and let you know if your ISBNs are valid, or not. See my test example below - I entered one valid ISBN and four incorrect ISBNs. The screen updated to alert me:
>139 kjforrest: Are the books rated or reviewed? Some members use wishlist for 'already read but want to own' titles. Some Santees expressly say, "don't get me wishlist items." Unless they've done so, it probably is okay.
You could leave a comment explaining that great minds think alike and why you've picked the wishlist books. Or, you could use the two wishlist books you want to get as a springboard to readalikes, instead of choosing those two specific titles.
Are the messages still going out? Guess I am getting impatient to start book shopping for someone!
If you visit the SantaThing page, you can see who you got. I've yet to send out the messages, mostly because the message needs to be written and Loranne's on a plane…
I have specific questions about Santee settings and posted them as comments. Will that get the LT attention needed or do I need to pm Loranne?
I cannot get the ISBNs to save for my Santee. I first verified them and they did that, but when I say submit they are erased. I put them in a comment with title and prices.
Wow, the algorithm definitely didn't work for me (laughing out loud over here!). I need some serious help. I'm over here reading chick lit and cozy mysteries, and my Santee is into some super heavy stuff that's way over my head. I don't want to give away who I was matched with...but guys, please get out there and make recommendations on profiles! I'll be doing that right now as well.
Re: 148 - I am having the same problem, I enter the ISBNs, hit the submit button, and it all erases. No error message, just gone.
>148 majkia:: You shouldn't be putting book titles and prices in the Comments section. The Comments section is for just that, or for other members to provide helpful suggestions.
Under the Green heading for "Santa: Select books..." there is a table for up to five book selections (with fields ISBN, Link, Title, and Price).
You should put all of your book data in those rows (one book per row), and then click "Save ISBNs". This should save all of your selections for your Santee.
Did you click "Save ISBNs", and your selections erased?
I have a 'save choices' button and my selections erased. Ive tried several times and I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.
I've had the same problem with the Save ISBNs. It doesn't save, just clears the table.
Ennas- If you've been given an email or name to search for in amazon wish lists then go to amazon, look for the option to search wish lists and enter the detail that you've been given and hopefully the right list should then appear.
Kristi: Can you test on other browsers?
Others, can you just enter crap in it—just test to see if entering stuff works?
I am definitely pressing the save ISBN button, not the comment button.
>157 timspalding: another one chiming in with the same problem - if I enter ISBNs and hit Save Choices (I am absolutely definitely not hitting Save Comment) then the page refreshes with a blank ISBN table and no confirmation message or record of what I 'saved'.
If I enter crap... exactly the same thing happens. Page refreshes, no message.
I'm on a Mac Air with OSX.10.1 using Chrome 39.0.2171.65 if that helps..
I was browsing the list and noted that someone is getting books from Longfellow's- I assume this is left over from last year and needs to be changed.
I'm on my iPad and I have the same problem as I've entered a book only for it to vanish. Will try again later!
Now that was weird, I saved the book and it worked (saying it was a valid isbn) but then I entered a comment and it vanished!
I don't see how much I'm supposed to be picking out for my santee. Is it not listed on the page, or am I just missing it?
Ah, nevermind. I just read the message I was sent about my santee and see her dollar amount is uncertain and will be filled in later.
Once you hit submit should you still be able to go back and see your selection? I hit the submit for the books then hit submit for my comment. The comment remains but the books are gone. Does that mean it saved or have they vanished?
Well it worked this time, but I'm not entering another comment just in case!!!
Just tested comments in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari -- all saved, and I didn't lose my selections.
Question - My Santee has multiple accounts. There is a link to one of them. The other he or she just lists in the comments, no link. How do I get to that account to view the library?
I signed up for two sets of gifts (for myself and my daughter), but so far I've only been assigned one person to pick for. Shouldn't I have two?
My page is telling me I have -$5 to spend. Am I too early to start picking?
No. Sorry. It means we are still trying to figure out the money for them—Kristi and Loranne are combing through PayPal. People sometimes entered some other number, not the receipt number.
Thank you LT busy-busy-workers!
I'm very excited.. I've picked mine, but I'm still open to suggestions! (though... I suppose if it's in the "picked" list, people aren't likely going to go down there to offer suggestions, are they.....)
Ooh if my name has a green tick by it does it mean that my book(s) have been chosen by Santa!!! Itching to know what they are!! :-)
Not sure what to do. A book I REALLY want to give my Santee is a Kindle book and it's $1.99 (on sale maybe?) but the rules say nothing under $2.50. Help!?
So the person I'm to pick books for has an amount to spend as "-$5 USD". I'm guessing this is some kind of bug, since there is no other amount listed. Help?
>188 JacobsBeloved: It is an amount that isn't determined yet and will be filled in later. I think the reason why it says -$5 USD is because of the book store they chose could possibly not have free shipping.
Gotcha. Guess I'll just put a few ideas and check back later to see the real amount.
I kept the $1.99 book but left a couple dollars in case it was a sale price. If the $1.99 book is okay as is, I have another book I can add. Let me know?
Also, there was no confirmation that my books went through. It just went blank. How do we know if you got it?
I'm supposed to order my Santee's books from "Sherman's (Portland, Maine) (http://www.longfellowbooks.com)"... So which is it?
How do I get more rows to enter more books?? I have picked 5 books so far and am still short of spending all of the money I am meant to spend
Mine wants Kindle books only. I put in the ISBNs. They don't look like ordinary ISBNs but three of the four were accepted, and one wasn't.
Hoping that, between the link and the book title, the ST order fillers here will understand what I meant.
I ended up 20 cents below the requested amount, which is about as close as I've ever gotten.
Help, I believe I signed up, and I know my credit card was charged the money. But I have no information on who my secret santa person is. I only have this week to select the gift and so I'm concerned that I'll miss giving someone something which would be so sad!
>196 maggie1944: I don't see your ID on the list of Santees. Did you enter the PayPal payment code on LT and then hit submit? PM or e-mail lorannen for help.
>194 apachecat: You can leave staff a comment with the ISBNs and titles/prices of your additional picks.
But, since we now can select $50, LT probably should add a couple of additional rows by next year.
If there's anyone who might still like a donated SantaThing entry, we've got a couple left! A couple spots opened up when I discovered duplicate entries. Either post here or message me if you're interested!
ETA: >196 maggie1944: I'm messaging you—I'll get you set up!
My Santee specified Amazon UK. The book prices are in Pounds. Do I have to convert them to USA Dollars?
I can't even find the Pound sign :-(
>199 guido47: We always make a point of posting approximate exchange rates, for just these types of situations: http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/SantaThing#Exchange_rates_2014
>193 qebo: I'm seeing the same issue. It says to order from Sherman's but the link is to longfellowbooks.
This might be trickier than I thought (this is the first time I've done this)! And my apologies to whoever got me, as I wasn't particularly specific with suggestions!
>201 LibraryCin: Looking into the Longfellow link issue. That said, because Sherman's doesn't have a website from which we can order, there are some special instructions for shopping for Santees who've picked Sherman's, here.
Basically, you can do your shopping on Amazon, Book Depository, Powell's, whichever you'd like, to grab the ISBN for the titles you'd like to select, and base your budgeting on list price.
>203 lorannen: So just to be completely clear, the web site for Sherman's in Portland ME, which lists only books about Maine, is irrelevant?
>192 Morphidae: Sorry about that—still playing a bit of catch-up after flying in today! I'd say, if you really think the $1.99 book is a good fit, keep it and go ahead and add another book onto it.
As is the case with any sale price, though, it's possible said sale will be over by the time picking ends and placing of orders begins, at which point LT staff elves may have to remove a book.
The pendulum swings both ways in that regard, of course—if a book is suddenly on sale and the Santee has more room in their budget, we'll add another one.
I cut and pasted isbn 13 from the book site However upon pasting YOUR form said NOT a VALID ISBN Then realized you only allow 13 digits thus 978-nnn...
truncated the last digit. So I had to delete the dash and find my books again.
I would have thought that by now LT knew how to parse ISBN's.
>210 Morphidae: Not necessarily—that's what we attempt to do, but it's dependent on the math. If an order is, say, $5 over budget, and the first book on the list is $5, the next one $12, and the one below that, $10, we'll take off the $5 book.
>212 lorannen: Ugh, okay. I'll watch it. Meanwhile, how do we know if our order went through if it comes back blank after clicking on submit?
>213 Morphidae: Are you pressing Submit comment at the bottom of the page? There is another button between the comment window right under the boxes that says Save Choices. I accidentally pressed submit once and it went blank and I had to reput my choices.
I'd be okay lowering the minimum for Kindle books. The thing we don't want is everyone making their order equal exactly the number, adding thumb-tacks or Dover books. It takes more time to order, and that small gap between the limit and what's under the limit helps pay for the shipping on the places we don't get free shipping but are eating it (i.e., Shermans).
For Kindle books, should we be putting in the ASIN, or the 'page numbers source isbn' from the Amazon page?
> 217 If I do that, it keeps all the information, but thinks the person isn't picked for. Is that okay?
I have more than five books. Should I put the remaining in the comments section? Won't they be overlooked there?
>220 RaphusCucullatus: I think that is all any of us can do. I had to do that too.
Hi. Signed up for SantaThing but didn't receive a "Santas have been picked!" message.
I know there are instructions somewhere but I can't find them. I searched Kindle on the entire thread with no luck and well as the SantaThing wiki. The form isn't accepting ASIN's for ISBN's. How do I order Kindle ebooks for my Santee?
>222 Cuervo: We don't currently have you in the SantaThing system, but if you'll send me (firstname.lastname@example.org, if you'd like to email) your PayPal details, or forward a copy of your receipt, I'll fix that straight away!
>223 Morphidae: Sorry you're having trouble Morphy. I'll be adding this to the help page shortly, but posting it here, too:
ASINs shouldn't have trouble saving, but sometimes they do. In these situations, put a dummy ISBN (for one of your picks that you'd like us to send in Kindle format, if you like) in one of those slots, and click "save choices." Then, remove the dummy ISBN (or replace it with an ASIN), and save again. That should do the trick.
If it still won't save without an ISBN, just leave the dummy ISBN in place, and leave a comment for the staff elves denoting whether that ISBN corresponds to a book you'd actually like to send your Santee.
As a last resort, you can always save the ASINs in a comment on the SantaThing profile.
>220 RaphusCucullatus: We always make sure to read the comments section (especially comments from their Santa) on each SantaThing profile when processing the order. You can put extra picks there—we'll get them!
Wow! What a tremendeous amount of work this is for LT staff. Tim, I hope you keep the music turned up and the punchbowl filled for your elves. Merry merry!
I recommend The Muppets Christmas album with John Denver. A classic!
>226 2wonderY: Aw, thanks! Personally, I'm partial to the Muppet Christmas Carol, but I'll have to put that one in rotation, as well!
There are some great suggestions being made! I just finished another round of suggestion-making. Is there going to be a place where all of the chosen/gifted books are listed this year? It would be so fun to see what got sent out this year and how many times a book was given. I wonder what the most popular SantaThing novel will be this year!
>228 CcanRead: I'm going to try to make it happen, although I'm not 100% certain what form it will take—possibly a dedicated account? Maybe a list?
>229 lorannen: A list sounds great! But whatever form it takes, I'm sure it'll be fun.
I sponsored a couple of people but didn't personally sign up this year (as I'm getting stupidly particular these days) so I'm officially throwing my hat into the ring as a volunteer to pick up any Santees who haven't been picked for come the end of SantaThing rush. I LOVE picking books for people, it's the part of SantaThing I miss the most when I don't participate.
And a humongous THANK YOU to Tim and Loranne and the whole LT crew for this amazing thing you do and for all the amazing things you do all year long! Happy Holidays and Merry SantaThing!
ASIN update: Because ASINs have been giving us all so much grief, we're removing the validating process for the ISBN/ASIN field.
This means you should no longer be getting "invalid ISBN" errors when picking books for your Santees who've requested Kindle editions, and everything should save just as you've entered it.
>211 guido47: will be happy to hear that we've also extended the field up to 20 characters, so leaving the dash in an ISBN-13 should no longer cause any problems, and you can just copy/paste from the bookseller's site.
>233 lorannen: I put all the info for the books in and it is saved but it isn't marking my person as complete.
>234 DeathsHand1328: Thanks for pointing that out. I'm looking into it—suspect it may be related to changes we just pushed.
A thought, perhaps for future years...
It'd be nice if we could see all the santees' pages we've commented in, in a list of some sort. Generally if I make suggestions on someone else's page, I've just picked at random and added thoughts if I had any, and I definitely don't remember all the pages I've gone to. I'm assuming this is true for most people.
But what if the Santa has follow-up questions? (I happen to have follow-up questions for a commenter on my santee's page :))
Is that way too complicated programming for this sort of thing? Just thought I'd throw it out there as an "if you can, it'd be cool if..." kind of suggestion.
Thanks again for all you guys do! So much work you do! So much appreciation I have!
Huh. Loranne or Kristi can you confirm nd try to troubleshoot?
An interesting thought Avanders - I second that!
Btw, it is soooo difficult trying to find a paperback for a precise (more or less) amount to make up the money. I managed it, but it's hard!
I picked the books for my partner based on my info page telling me I had $20 USD to spend on my partner. I ended up finding $18.34 USD worth of books for her. However it just dawned on me that my partner is from Australia and so she likely chose $20 -Australian - dollars to spend. Which amount do I really have to spend? $20 US dollars or $20 Australian dollars??
>242 seongeona: The amounts listed on LT are in USD. You can use the exchange rates to determine how much you have in AUD. 20 USD = 23 AUD. That's really only necessary, though, on sites, such as amazon.co.uk, that default to other currencies. If your Santee requested 50 USD worth of books from Amazon UK, you'd be looking at prices in £ on that website, so you'd want to pick only £32 worth of books. You're fine staying within the 20 USD guideline on, e.g., amazon.com and Book Depository*, because they default to USD—although you can change the currency settings to AUD if you want.
Basically, your 18.34 USD = around 21.75 AUD at today's exchange rate, so you're good.
*Book Depository defaults to the currency of your ISP's location, I believe.
Okay! I'm supposed to use Book Depository and I did keep to USD, so I'm good. Thanks so much. I thought I'd have to start over.
My santee wanted only Kindle books. Per Tim's instructions, I changed the ISBNs to ASINs and now she's gone from picked to unpicked.
If my Santee chose Shermans, is there a way to see if a book is in stock? There's a book that I think would be a great fit for them, and it's in stock on Amazon, but it's a bit obscure. If there isn't a way to check, should I put an alternate in the comments just in case?
>246 ryvre: Right, the Sherman's storefront is for their books about ME. You'll be chancing it. I definitely would leave an alternative ISBN/title in the comments, and also the name and ISBN of your preferred choice. That way, if LT has to change the ISBN, your Santee can see your original selection and decide if they want to read it. (If LT has to change a selection, they remove from the ISBN list the ISBN of the book they aren't purchasing, so there's no record of it unless you leave a comment—although I think lorannen usually notes the names of books she removes in a comment.)
Note that it's not about Sherman HAVING it, but being able to get it from their distributor--Ingram, presumably. Most things should be gettable.
I love Love LOVE SantaThing but my pony wish is that I could edit my comments :(
Just finished shopping. It was fun this year as I got a giftee who is more open to surprises rather than dictating the 4-5 books that I should buy.
The algorithm did match my library pretty well with another library. Unfortunately, most of the matches are not with my Santee's books but with his wife's. This means I don't really have personal insight in the kind of books my Santee wants. He has a really short wishlist with no books that I really know.
Any suggestions on how to find suitable books? I could randomly pick some of the books on his wishlist but that's no fun.
ETA: I found one book I liked, and now my Santee has moved to the "picked" list. How do I get him to "unpicked" again?
>251 wester: Delete the isbn you entered and save choices again? (And save it somewhere else, of course! :-) )
>251 wester: - it's not an issue. Just keep adding ISBNs as you decide and re-saving. 'Picked' sin't final until Monday, you can change them all several times over if you wish. It's what I do as new inspiration strikes or a find a better set of books.
#252: You're right, that works. I was just hoping there'd be an easier way. Wasn't there an option to see if the ISBNs were valid without submitting them last time?
#253: I know they're not final until Monday, but if it looks like the books are already picked, people are not going to suggest books, and I could really use some suggestions.
I have a problem, is there a protocol if a santa has a private library and directs us to their wishlist? Can I comment on their profile about this?
>255 knotbox: Definitely. If they don't get back to you soon, let me know, and I'll try reaching out to them myself.
Oh, boy. That book that was $1.99 is now $7.99. I had to remove a book and I'm still $2 over. I'll have to keep watching and hope that a book's price drops.
>260 Morphidae: Yeah, I've noticed the same thing on price changes so I'm planning on verifying prices again close to the end in case I have to make changes, or in case some of the books I'd like to select drop back down in price again.
Just making sure I did this correctly- If my Santee chose Amazon UK and it says I can spend 30 US dollars, that means I can spend around 19 British pounds right?
>249 Jenni_Canuck: Yes! I have an extra paragraph space in my note to one of my Santees. It makes me cringe to think of it. And a comment elsewhere that no longer makes sense because the Santee changed his entry. :)
Also, paragraph breaks in our own entries would be very useful. I tried using HTML markup to force the breaks: no luck.
>249 Jenni_Canuck: Me, too. There's an embarrassing grammatical error in mine.
Another SantaThing issue I'm noticing is that if you go to one of the Santee's, and post to their page, walk away, come back, and hit the refresh button, whatever your last message was (if you sent multiple, otherwise it's the only message you sent) duplicates itself.
Is "Abe Books" a sub-affiliate of Book Depository? Many books I see the book, a price, and then instead of "Add to Basket" it says "Try Abe Books". What does that mean?
That means that they don't have it. (Abe books and BD both belong to Amazon. Abe books carries a lot of used books.)
Re: 267 - I believe that means they don't have it, probably because it's out of print.
>259 qebo: Nope: Santa LT identities aren't secret—just the books they've picked. You can see the name of your Santa at the end of the short blurb connected to your own SantaThing profile, in brackets. Edited to reflect Loranne being confused: this is an admin superpower only.
>260 Morphidae: I wouldn't sweat it too much, Morphy. I appreciate your dedication, but things like that crop up frequently for SantaThing—it's just one of the fun parts of the ordering process for staff!
>262 CcanRead: Yep, that's right, according to the approximate exchange rates I've posted here. If you want up-to-the-minute, down-to-the-cent exchange rate info, Google's exchange rate tool is pretty handy.
>265 ThrillerFan: I'll delete duplicate comments on SantaThing profiles from the DB when I see them. So far, I've run into it twice this year—I'm not sure what causes the glitch. I have added to my notes for next year to make sure there's a way to edit/delete SantaThing profile comments. ETA: I meant to mention that it doesn't seem to happen to *every* comment, or even in any kind of identifiable pattern, which is extra frustrating.
>270 lorannen: lorannen - Well, I can help you out with two others. I saw a duplicate comment in BrewerGirl's profile, and then a duplicate comment by myself in my Santee's profile. (I think it is the 2nd of the 4 comments by me)
>273 qebo: Aha. My mistake. Admin superpower (makes things easier for us). I'd gotten too used to it. I'm sorry!
With regard to >255 knotbox: 's question, though, I think that it's at the discretion of the Santa. If they have a question for their Santee, I don't see any reason why they couldn't contact them via profile comment, but I'm also happy to do it for them, if they'd rather remain secret. I'm open to other opinions on that front, though.
>274 lorannen: Usually people ask other members who are on the thread to elf for them. I believe CCanRead volunteered services this year. I don't see why staff should have to add that to their to do list.
I can't speak for other members, but, personally, I don't want to know my Santas' identities until Tim releases the information. That's part of the fun. I'd rather another member contact me with any questions, not the Santa him/herself. That's generally how it's worked in previous years.
I will be willing to be a go between for anyone that has questions but don't want to give away who they are.
Looks like I was assigned a santa and a santee. I'll send you my transaction details just to be sure.
>275 LibraryPerilous: Yes, I did offer my services this year! I'm still ready and willing to do anything anyone needs me to as the final days of SantaThing approaches. I know things get hectic in the last couple of hours.
>278 CcanRead: Those are some fun hours! I picked up two people last year! :)
Yeah, I'm sure there will be stragglers and open ones.
I'm loving it, although I get frustrated at times - have had three (!!) santees this year, and am willing to help elsewhere!
Are there any fixes in the works for the Kindle-only ASIN problem? I filled in four ASINs and my Santee's status changed from picked to unpicked. I hope that a fill-in Santa does not override the choices I made.
>282 lindapanzo: That should have been fixed yesterday evening, when Tim pushed a change to solve this issue. Try going to your Santee's SantaThing profile, clicking "Save choices" again without making any changes, and let me know if that doesn't do the trick!
>283 lorannen: Thanks. You're right. She's now showing up as "picked."
>260 Morphidae: I found a lot of Kindle books on sale for $.99 and $1.99, but I didn't get them b/c of the "no books under $2.50" rule. I guess that might not apply to Kindle books?
>285 Cariola: I personally would make sure that any inexpensive Kindle books were 1) published by an established author, and 2) full books rather than novellas, before I used them as picks for SantaThing. I did choose a 99 cent Kindle book for my Santee to fill in part of the leftover $3 I had, even though it was a novella, because it was part of a series they liked, but the other ones I picked were all full books.
>285 Cariola: The ones I was considering (most at $1.99; the 99-center was a classic and possibly abridged) are not cheesey books that came out at that price; they are complete (and good) novels that I have read which are on a one day or weekly special. One was The Song of Achilles, which won the National Book Award. There are deals out there that aren't rip-offs. But I already requested four good books for my Santee, and I was less than 50 cents under the limit, so I'm content. Next year I'll ask about Kindle books under $2.50 before ordering
Tim said in >215 timspalding: that he was okay with a lower price for Kindle books. Just be wary. My 1.99 book turned into a 7.99 book pushing me over my Santee's limit. I'll be re-checking all my prices early Monday AM.
I just noticed that Amazon.co.uk put the price of a book I had chosen (and want it) by (UKP) 1.70 - this is too much to be absorbed.
I will rework my order. What would have happened if I hadn't picked it up? and that book was at the bottom. It constitutes almost Half the order.
>285 Cariola: hence the earlier discussion about a checkbox as being open to accepting self-published kindle books, which I am, but I don't know how many other people are.
I just asked my santa to add a comment if they liked a book below the min price so that I could buy it myself later. Maybe you can do that for your santees as well. That way they are aware of the book you'd like to buy.
>289 guido47: I'm not entirely sure I follow what the issue is hear, but it sounds like you're saying Amazon's price changed, and now you're over-budget?
We always have a certain amount of book-price-tetris to do when it comes time to order books, though we do look for other editions, etc., to try to make sure Santees receive exactly what their Santas intended. Sometimes we have to remove or add a book, but we always note what—if any—changes are made in a comment on the Santee's profile once the order has been placed.
>274 lorannen: I contacted them, with no response. Is there anything you can do?
Is it possible that a chosen store is defaulting to Powell's? I'm seeing Powell's and not the store that I think was chosen, which was Amazon.ca.
>295 Myckyee: I tend to use the tab key to navigate online forms. I did that when I filled in my SantaThing form and noticed that my bookstore selection changed. It's possible that others did the same thing with the tab key and didn't notice that it changed their bookstore selection.
>295 Myckyee: I can confirm that the store your books will be coming from is Amazon.ca! I'm not sure where you're seeing Powell's exactly, as your Santee's store is Book Depository...
It's not my or my Santee's store. It's LordValois. I was with him when he started filling out the SantaThing form and actually saw him choose the store (Amazon) but didn't see him complete it. But now that I look, it's Powell's. It's possible it was a tab issue, but I'm not sure.
>298 Myckyee: Ah, I see. Yes, LordValois's store is set to Powell's. I'll contact him directly to see if that needs changing.
>294 lorannen: No luck yet, I'm guessing. I hate this, but will staff be checking if my santee already has the books I've selected? Santee has a wishlist, worst comes to worst, I just can't access it.
>300 knotbox: Yeah, nothing so far. I'm working through the weekend, so I'll be sure to contact you as soon as I hear anything.
Worst-case scenario, we will definitely check your picks against your Santee's library before placing the order.
Is it acceptable to leave a comment for LT elves if we think a pick is not what the Santee will want? I do leave comments if someone is thinking of a book that already is in Santee's library.
How close to people usually come to the maximum amount? I looked at my Santee's comments (and added comments) and chose 4 books, and I am $6 short. It seems like a lot to leave on the table, but I'm not sure I'm going to find anything less than that.
3 of the 4 books were based on the Santee and added comments and they are the pricier ones than the one I chose. I feel better changing the one I chose, but I'm still not sure the amount will be enough to choose two.
Oh, the dilemma!!!! I can keep looking today to see if I can find something under $6, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to.
>302 LibraryPerilous: You're welcome to do so, as we definitely take all comments into consideration when placing orders. If it's really that egregious a mismatch, though, you might reach out to the Santa directly, with suggestions for replacements.
>303 LibraryCin: $6 is really too much to have leftover. Depending on the store, I know it can be difficult to fill out those last few dollars, but we'd much rather you go $1 over, than leave it at $6 under. If you really can't find anything, we'll end up finding a way to use up the rest of the funds during ordering.
>303 LibraryCin: If your Santee likes YA, you can find quite a few YA paperbacks in the $5-6 range. If they like classics, Signet or Bantam have many titles in the $4-5 range.
Sometimes trade paperbacks are cheaper than paperbacks. You might check to see if it's available.
Also, you might check to see if the person follows a series. If there's one they're missing or a new one available, that's an easy pick.
>304 lorannen:, >305 LibraryPerilous:, >306 genesisdiem: Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. Yes, I, too, thought $6 was too much to leave. I'll keep looking based on these suggestions; I'll take a closer look at their shelf (again). And if I'm really having trouble, I'll see if I can find something under $7, so I'll be over by $1, but as per lorannen's comment, it sounds like that will be ok if I have to go there.
I've just come in to pick the books for my Secret Santa. I checked for comments; it said there were none. So I chose two books, entered the details and hit "Save choices". I'm not getting the "valid ISBN" message, but the books I picked are still there and two comments have suddenly appeared! Any ideas as to what's going on?
>308 Tropical-Library: Up in >233 lorannen: I mentioned that we were doing away with the validation process for ISBNs, so the lack of the "valid ISBN" message is correct. So long as, when you refresh the page, your picks are still there, you should be all set!
With regard to the comments—it's entirely possible that they were left in the short window when you were adding your picks, though that is an odd coincidence.
Thanks Lorannen -- saw that but didn't compute lol. Just a bit gun shy because one year I picked books but they weren't saved. The odd thing is that it still says on the SantaThing page that there are no comments.
>310 Tropical-Library: For some reason, at the top, it always says no comments. If you scroll down to where their name (or your name) is in the list, it will tell you how many comments there are.
>311 bestem: Weird. They definitely didn't show until I hit the save choices button though. Oh well, at least my picks have gone through :-)
>312 Tropical-Library: Hmm, that is strange. I'll take a look and see if I can figure out why that might have happened.
Quick heads-up: I'm sending out profile comment reminders to any Santas with "unpicked" Santees in a moment, but thought I'd post here, in case anyone still has changes they want to make to their selections:
SantaThing picking closes in 24 hours!
Make sure to get your selections in (and saved) before then!
I got my dork on and used Excel to match my top selections with prices (current as of today), and selected books for my Santee w/in twenty-two cents of her price range... woo hoo!! Very exciting ;)
(now, if only those prices hold until ordering time.....)
>317 avanders: I have a friend who did that when Christmas shopping for his 5 kids. The kids all get the same number of gifts, and the combined price of the gifts for each child is the same as well. It throws him off when his wife buys something without telling him, and he has to rework his carefully planned spreadsheets and start finding items for all the other children. In the past couple years, he stopped worrying about this for the two older kids, who are in high school, getting them mostly gift cards, because they refuse to tell him what else they'd like. This has disappointed him to no end. For him, the best part of Christmas was watching the kids open presents on Christmas morning, but the second best part was his gifts spreadsheet.
>317 avanders: I did the same thing. I think I came in $0.50-odd cents under budget. Personally, I think Excel makes everything better; particularly if one is bad at doing math in one's head.
Now I'm all worried that the prices have messed things up on my santee's list since I picked so early...
Also, Lorannen, I can help pick at the end if someone's left without a santa. Just let me know. :)
Are the selections for certain members hidden? I was browsing the picked books and noticed the selections list for some members are blank. serendipitina, v_wiggins, ryvre, and RaphusCucullatus are a few I noticed.
321> Maybe their Santas haven't picked the books yet--although time is running out!
>322 Cariola: They're marked as picked, but there are no ISBNs/titles listed.
I had immense trouble picking books for my Santees this year. I think I'm pretty much all done, except that I have $3.06 remaining and I hate leaving that much unspent. I can't think of a grown-up book that would cost under that, but there has to be a mass market paperback that would fit the bill. Does anyone have any suggestions, please?
Incidentally, I have a suggestion -- not a complaint -- for next year's SantaThing. Two out of three of my entries this year was for my children. I noticed there was a lot of other children signed up this year, but I didn't get a single kid to pick for. Not having much time to read myself, I would have been much more successful choosing for little ones. Would there be a way to adjust the algorithm for next year such that people who sign up kids get other kids to pick for wherever possible?
Thanks for doing this for another year, LibraryThing staff!
>325 sahra: Although Tim has mentioned up thread that he'd rather people not stack their choices with Dover Thrift Editions, you definitely can find books for grown ups in the $2.50-3.00 range by searching for Dover. Pride and Prejudice, for example, is $2.57 on Amazon. Of course, if your Santee doesn't like classics, that's not helpful.
Just checking here, I've been in contact with a santa who is picking for a friend of mine. My friend picked the book depository for her store, and the santa is checking out bookdepository.co.uk. The store listed as my friend's store is bookdepository.com. Since the prices differ it becomes a matter of getting an extra book or not: was the co.uk version ever an option, and if it says .com as my friend's store, I suppose that's the website where the prices have to be taken from?
>326 LibraryPerilous: That is very helpful. Thank you! I am in the same boat as sahra..with about three dollars left, I hate to quit trying to find one more book, but haven't had any luck getting that price range.
>327 zjakkelien: Yep, bookdepository.co.uk is not an option, so please use bookdepository.com, as that's where we're going to be placing the order!
>325 sahra: That's an interesting suggestion. I'll certainly put it on my list of stuff to mull over with the rest of the LT team sometime in the next 300 days. ;) I'd be interested to know if other folks who signed up for their kids would like this feature, too.
>329 lorannen: I signed my nephew up last year, and this year, and would have no problems choosing for a child any other time I sign him up.
As a bit of an offshoot of message 325, I would suggest maybe having a Radio Button selection at signup (meaning one selection only, not multiple) of book genres where you can select one subject to avoid, meaning, if you picked say, Romance, you would be assured that your santee would not be one looking for romance books. Doesn't mean you'll get what you read as a perfect match, but if there is one subject you find stressful, you could avoid it. The options might look something like this:
Politics and Religion
Where None means there's no subject you want to avoid. Just a thought as Sahra might have had a bad experience this year. Also, it would benefit the Santee too. What are the odds that a real romance book hater is going to find decent books for a romance fan? Same thing goes for people that really hate gore, what good would they be finding books for horror fans? Also, by only being able to eliminate one subject, you don't create a genuine nightmare for the person assigning the Santas. It's only to avoid extreme worst case scenarios, not to make your Santee the "perfect match".
I have a Santee this year that reads books different from what I read, but it was still a great experience and a very enjoyable challenge, but it sounds like it was more stress than fun for Sahra, and the same was true for me a few years ago looking for religion books (for me, I don't enjoy touchy subjects like Politics and Religion when searching for things for other people, so it's obvious which radio button I'd choose).
Again, just a thought. Either way, a great program you guys run. This year's has been an awesome experience for me like it was the first time I did this. Keep up the good work!
>331 ThrillerFan: Thanks for the feedback! That's definitely something for us to consider moving forward for next year. Don't worry—if we do implement a system like this, we'd still retain the free text box, allowing for more "don't get this" information than just genre.
And let the last-minute requests for suggestions begin! I told my mom (hi, Mom!) that I'd post for her, and ask for a few more suggestions for her Santee. She's got some great suggestions in the food department, and would love to mix it up with one of the other subjects the Santee mentions being of interest: gardening and/or travel.
Loranen - I'm not referring to the "Don't get this" section. That I figure would remain the same. I'm saying at sign up, you are requesting one genre not to get as your Santee. In other words, while I may not want my Santa to buy me Romance, Self Help, or Non-Fiction, I'd also be requesting to not get a Santee that wants Politics and Religion. Someone else may say they want Religion books, and request not getting any Fiction, but also request not to get a Santee that wants Horror/Speculative Fiction, etc.
>334 ThrillerFan: That's what I understood you to mean, but, presumably, these would also fall into categories you'd rather not receive yourself. I could see it working as part of "don't get this" or independently. The more I think on it, the more I think the latter makes more sense. Thanks for clarifying, though.
>333 lorannen: I left some suggestions. I feel more comfortable about the travel books I listed. I'm not sure the gardening books are 1) her specific gardening interests or 2) right for the climate in Oz—or even if that would matter. I don't actually garden! I just like to read about plants and visit botanical gardens.
I don't see why the "don't get this" box is not sufficient. As for not having to pick books in a genre you're unfamiliar with, why not ask one of the santee's friends or someone who has similar books to your santee? I did this last year when I got a santee who reads entirely different books than I do and it seems to have worked, or at least I was confident that they weren't unsuitable. And I learned a lot about a genre I'm unfamiliar with, which is always useful.
I'd hesitate to make the matching of santas and santees even more complex than it currently is, just for the sake of our fearless leaders.
I'm with RidegewayGirl on this. We all love to talk books, and I've noticed a LOT of suggestions for Santas being left by friends of the giftee, and that's helpful if you're not familiar with the genres he or she prefers. You can always go to the person's profile and contact a few of their friends for suggestions if you don't get them here. Most people have written that they would be open to trying something new or being surprised within their categories of interest, so I don't see much danger in getting a Santee who doesn't share your taste. Of course one should avoid genres in the "don't get this" comments. And, as RidgewayGirl said above, you might learn something about an unfamiliar genre as you search for the right books.
Last year my giftee had very different tastes than I do, but she also was adamant about EXACTLY what books I was to buy--so much so (listing specific titles) that there wasn't a lot of fun or surprise in it for me, but she got what she asked for. That's the downside of someone being TOO specific. I almost didn't participate this year, since I wondered why she didn't just take the money and order the books she requested herself. It wasn't fun for me, and how much could it have been for her, knowing exactly what would be coming? So I think it's good to keep an element of mystery and/or openness/randomness in the selection process. If we're only open to books on our wish lists, what's the point?
This year my Santee and I have somewhat more similar tastes, but there are still wide gaps. I just read her description carefully and looked for books I was familiar with that seemed to fit and weren't in her library. And I took one of the suggestions made by a friend.
Re: 338 - I have noticed a few people being very specific in their requests, both this year and in previous years. To me it runs contrary to the spirit of SantaThing. If you want a specific book then just buy the book yourself! Most of the fun for me comes in choosing books for other people, so I would be terribly disappointed if I was restricted like that.
>339 kjforrest: That is exactly the reason I don't participate in SantaThing. I can only see myself asking a list a specific books, as I have an extensive wishlist in the genres I like reading. My TBR pile is so big I have enough to try for myself. The one year I did participate I was a bit disappointed with my gifts, as I would have bought books I would have liked better for myself with that money. Surprises are just not for me I guess.
I don't mind the surprise but I do think that sometimes the Santa doesn't always find it easy to pick books. For the first time I actually gave the name of a specific book to include if they were having trouble and I would be delighted to get it but if not I will probably buy it for myself sometime.
I just hope that this year (at least) I don't get something that I put in the "don't get this" section. Strangely enough I have got something from there nearly every time. I suppose it doesn't help that one of the genres I ask for tends to come in series but I don't want series books :)
I did find it a bit tricky this year, it was a good match on what we have in our libraries but they asked for different things so I had to stretch outside my usual reading to find books I hope they like.
I still love SantaThing and hope to be part of it for many more years.
it is tricky I suppose - I participated in the first santathing and then didn't do it again until this time - the reason being was that the books that I received were not to my taste - I read them and enjoyed doing so, but would not read them again and I do normally read many of my books more than once.
This time I said that I would like to be surprised (cos that is part of the fun!) but I have also said that I have a wishlist on amazon - and that wishlist has about eighty books in it, so hopefully I will get both a surprise and something that I will enjoy.
But santathing is a bit of a crapshoot in that way - you just never know!! And that IS the whole point of it, I am looking forward to getting my parcel this year, probably because I have spent enough to ensure that I get what I like AND a surprise.
Last year one of the books we got was one we already had in our catalog. Our Santa apologised, but that was fine, we gave it away later as a birthday present. This thing happens with ordinary Christmas gifts as well.
As a Santa it helps us very much to have a large library, the What Should You Borrow list for our Santees has always been very long.
I've definitely had some books that were not to my taste and I've even had a book that I already owned. That's the risk with all gift giving, whether SantaThing or otherwise. I just accept that as the price I pay for getting to take part. Some years I get better books than others, but I enjoy picking the books for other people.
I don't always enjoy everything I get, but I do I enjoy surprises! I worry more about my gifts and how they will be received.
Sometimes my Santee (paired with me because of perceived interests) has a far superior knowledge of our joint topic. Then I
just have to play it by ear and hope :-)
I did find it difficult to find something this year (good match with the library, but half the books in the library were not the Santee's), but with some help from the other Santas I think I found some nice books. I usually enjoy the picking, but I like it better when there is enough similarity to go on intuition. And I'm always nervous about whether I have chosen the right books.
I like it when the book selection shows that Santa has put thought into it. I do find it hard to balance between being overly specific in what I ask for and risking getting books that I don't like at all. I have gotten some books in the past that felt like Santa wasn't thinking, but I suppose that risk is always there no matter how specific you get, so I try to keep the same level of specificity: a very large wishlist so books from my wishlist are a surprise too, reassurance that books can be from my wishlist but don't have to be, and a "Don't get me this" with just a few things that people might think I like when they look at my books. And then be ready to be surprised.
This is my first year to participate because of the reasons above. I only want vintage books, and they are not available via SantaThing. This year I decided to join and request LT swag, but I made it all specific and I know it was/is no fun for my Santa. I'm sorry! Hopefully my bored Santa will find excitement via picking for someone whose Santa is AWOL.
I asked, not demanded, that my Santa use my large wish list (200-ish books.) I read over 300 books a year and don't have them all in my catalog. It would be difficult to find a book, especially in my favorite genre, that I haven't read. Since this is the only time of year I get new books, I would prefer to not get duplicates. And with such a large gift list, it is going to be a surprise!
Like Morphy, I too have a large wish list so I'll be surprised. Between my wish list, my friend's suggestions, and santa's with similar interests, I've not been disappointed.
As for my santee, I try to pick some wish list books and add at least one book I've liked that isn't in her wish list.
I think there is an essential difference between small wishlists (under 20 books) and large ones (over 100 books). With a large wishlist, picking from the wishlist can be fun, and you know you're getting the Santee a book s/he likes while still being a surprise. With small wishlists, it feels like you're not doing any choosing of your own, so choosing books from the wishlist is no fun and I tend to ignore them. With inbetween size wishlists, it depends on the content.
I think the key is to be open to surprise and not expect to be delighted with all selections. I usually ask for new authors or the Santa's favorites- but have a reasonable wish list if they are stuck. We vary so much that one size will never fit all. The ones I would find frustrating to choose for are private libraries, gifts for folks not on LT or those who offer no guidance at all. When selecting, I try to have multiple lower price books so some will be a hit, but I have departed from that if I had what I thought would be a perfect match. I hope we do not get into making too much work for the LT elves- They have a lot on their plates and want to do their own holiday activities.
>350 wester: I wholeheartedly agree!
Now that the hour of ordering is nigh, expect posts from me and Kristi with last-minute requests for help filling out SantaThing orders with extra room in their budget. We've currently got 43 Santees still marked as "unpicked," so we'll definitely be needing some assistance. I'll post here again as soon as we open things up for folks to adopt an unpicked Santees!
>318 bestem: and >319 casvelyn: Lol -- glad I'm no the only one! ;) And Bestem, being a middle of 3 kids myself, I can understand how your friend would feel the need to "be even" ;)
>350 wester: I think there's even an essential difference between small wishlists of ~20 books and instructions saying "buy me these 3 books: __, __, __" :)
And my wishlist has a selection of genres, too. So there is bound to be something there my Santa could recommend. I have fantasy, science fiction, mystery, horror, graphic novels, YA, children's, "book club" fiction, nonfiction, etc. Lots of choices! I'm a promiscuous reader. :D
>353 avanders: Really??! Someone did that? That really does defeat the purpose.
>337 RidgewayGirl: - There is a reason I suggested having it separate and only allowing 1 category to dodge. If you avoided everything in the "Don't Get This" section when doing the Selection Process for which Santa gets which Santee, it would be just like you said, a complete nightmare for the staff.
However, it's not about the "I don't read this and find this extremely difficult". That's not the problem. I got a Santee this year whose reading preferences are nothing like mine. I used the advice from "elves" (other Librarything users) and some research to do my job as "Santa". A great and thrilling experience!
However, some people might actually take offense to certain genres and want absolutely no association between themselves and said genre. Some people would find Horror and Bizarro (the latter I myself read) offensive with it's heavy doses of slashings, crude sex acts and rapes, provocative book covers, and profanity. Case in point, some of the book titles by the author I have hit the hardest for 2014 are Clusterfuck, Zombies and Shit, and Razor Wire Pubic Hair (the latter 2 I actually read in 2014).
Others might find touchy subjects like Religion offensive. I will openly state that I am a former Catholic converted to Lutheran. I have my own association with God. What a Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Evangelical far left field Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddist, Agnostic, or Athiest has to say about their belief I could care 100 percent less, and have a pet peeve for people that try to force their religion upon other people just because they feel like their own is right. When I was Catholic, a Baptist, who knew I was Catholic, blurted out to my face, and I quote: "Catholics are not Christians, Catholicism is Bullshit!". People like this I wish I could take a sledgehammer and knock them upside their head. Only problem is, I'd be in jail if I did so. Another thing that really bothers me is when people go around saying that the Bible is hard proof and literal, which is also BS as it has been re-written and re-worded numerous times. It is clearly a book that has been interpreted, not verbated.
So it's not about not finding books in subjects outside of your liking. I don't read Romance, Non-Genre Fiction, or Cook Books, but I am way more than happy to be the Santa for someone who is. The point is to dodge what the Santa finds offensive. A hard core Christian probably doesn't want to browse my sick-minded literature just as much as my rant about public views of religion. Said subject is what I had to sift thru in my 2nd of 3 times doing this. The first and third (this year) experiences were light years better, and extremely enjoyable!
I always mention my favorite authors just to give my person an idea of who I like to read and hopefully they will look for similar authors. I will read just about anything. I try to give every book at least one try. I always suggest to look at my wishlist so they can get some ideas if they are really stuck. Only once did I receive a duplicate of a book and that was my fault because I decided to purchase a book just after Santathing had opened. I just gave the duplicate to my neice as a present. I love surprises and look forward to what ever my Santa picks.
I really appreciate all the honest and thoughtful feedback on the matching process. It's unlikely we'll ever be able to make everyone 100% happy with it, but that doesn't mean we can't try!
That said, I'd like to keep this thread primarily for discussion on the continued goings-on of SantaThing 2014 (especially as we move into ordering, and needing last-minute Santas), so I've made a separate thread for feedback, suggestions on what we can do better, and further discussions like this one.
Thanks again, everyone!
As we come to a close today, just remember I'm here to help! I'll be logged in with an eye on this thread, if there's anything I can do to help in the effort to get those who haven't been "picked" some books. :)
If someone lists specific titles or points you to a wishlist, it's still a surprise for them. They don't know which books they're receiving. Some of those participants might have very little money to buy new books—that was my Santee's case last year. So, they might save for SantaThing because they think it's a fun thing to do but still want to maximize their own entry and get what they want. It's really not different than any of us listing our likes or don't get this tastes. And I don't think it runs counter to the spirit of SantaThing at all.
Sure, it's a little bit less fun for the Santa. But SantaThing is about selecting books you think the other person will like, and there are very few entries that give Santas carte blanche to pick just anything.
I think it's far more Grinch-like to pick books that don't cover any of a Santee's listed book tastes, or that specifically are on the don't get this list. I've seen a couple of those this year.
Re: 360 - "I think it's far more Grinch-like to pick books that don't cover any of a Santee's listed book tastes, or that specifically are on the don't get this list. I've seen a couple of those this year."
That is definitely out of order, I can't imagine many people would do that sort of thing, and I hope there is a way to flag up any dodgy picks like that.
>361 kjforrest: I left staff a message on the one that had good picks but just didn't have any that were specific to the person's "book tastes" request. It stood out because the Santee's listed book tastes are a subgenre.
>360 LibraryPerilous: Specifically on the don't get list? O_O That's just plain evil! Who would do such a thing?
Still a lot of unpicked entries! I'm available to help out with any that still need picks. There are a couple I have good ideas for.
Hear ye, hear ye! All unpicked Santees are now up for grabs! If you'd like to adopt one of them and pick some books, head over to the SantaThing page, and click on the username to go to their SantaThing profile. Then click the "Grab this member for yourself" link at the top of their profile.
>352 lorannen: Oh, I would love to help pick books for the "extras"!
>350 wester: That's the case with me; I suggested that Santa could take a look at my wish list, which has about 260 books on it. Half the time I forget what's on there, so it would be a surprise. I also listed some of my favorite authors, and my favorite reads of each year are posted on my profile page. That way they can use one of those matching websites, the "If you liked ______, you will like:" sites.
>355 Morphidae: Well, that happened to me last year. My Santee wrote that she only wanted 4 or 5 specific books and listed the titles. No fun at all.
>358 lorannen: Will move on to feedback thread for future postings.
>355 Morphidae: it's a slight exaggeration (and not my santee!), but when I was poking around making suggestions, I noticed that there were a couple where the selections were really limited... not quite to 3, but I think I saw one w/ 5 choices... boooooo ;)
>360 LibraryPerilous: >361 kjforrest: >363 Ennas: agreed! So sad!
Ooh you guys have got me twitching now!! I hope I haven't accidentally chosen anything on the "don't get " list!!
I've picked for a few orphaned Santees, but I don't think I can add anything helpful to the ones remaining.
>369 melawen: - LOL, I shall prepare myself when I open the box and be ready for that romance novel and books by Billy Graham!
Help! I picked up one of the members who needed a new Santa, only to find that they go through Amazon/Canada, but when I go to that site, prices are in Canada currency and the site says the amount to be used in USA currency and I am no mathematician. Also, when I look at prices even for paperbacks, they are outrageous. I don't know how to do this?
I could use a suggestion for a replacement for the first book on this Santee's list: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=458
They've already got a copy of La conjuration des imbéciles (A Confederacy of Dunces).
>360 LibraryPerilous: Exactly. I can't afford to buy new books, I get everything from the library. So all my new books are presents.
>366 Cariola: >367 avanders: Oh, ish. My wishlist is long enough and some of the books have been on there a long time, so anything will be a surprise! How can it be a surprise if the wishlist is only five books long? Totally defeats the purpose, I say. I agree, "Booooooo!"
I would also like to chime in and complain a little about Amazon.ca. Not only are the books stupidly expensive (I know, import taxes, etc.), but many common titles have 1-3 month ship times! And these are Penguin Classics or well known authors, for goodness' sake.
Today was my only day off in 13 days and I ignored the alarm when it went off thinking sleeping in was the way to go. I totally forgot I set the alarm specifically to come stalk this thread! Darn it! Glad to see everyone seems to be taken care of now but sad that I missed the fun.
>380 leahbird: Sorry you missed grabbing extra Santees! There are still 4 folks showing up as "unpicked" now, whose Santas might appreciate extra suggestions.
I'm really impressed. Only 4 left, at 2:30? Well done, all!
I've finished picking for my adopted Santees! Now I have to go back and write comments but I think I have more time for that :-)
It's time for a SantaThing group! There's some great info here and it would be useful to somehow have this thread linked to future SantaThing adventures.
Thank you lorannen and all LT peeps for the effort that goes into making SantaThing such a FunThing.
Didn't make it back home in time to be an adopted santa. So glad everyone got picked!
I just started ordering from Powell's (eek!) for our Santees.
I have my first Santee who still has about $8 left in their budget - their 2nd book wasn't as expensive on the site as the list price.
Take a look at their SantaThing page and reply to this message with some suggestions, please!
Many thanks in advance for your help. :o)
>387 kristilabrie: - I've got maybe $3 or $4 left, after one suggestion!
Possibly a bit of a stretch but The Terror by Dan Simmons is an historical mystery of sorts -- set before 1850 too. It's a big book though
no, I like your suggestion! and it's just about the right price. :o) thanks, I'll use that!
I've got one with $7 left in their budget at Book Depository here: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=31
Could use some suggestions, please! I checked the ones Limelite left earlier, but they're all well over the $7, unfortunately.
Without seeming like a one note wonder, perhaps Black Hills by Dan Simmons again.
Here's another one I could use a suggestion for: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=55
$10 left in the budget at Book Depository.
>395 lorannen: that last link comes up blank for me...does that mean the Santee is me or is it a broken link? ;)
>400 lorannen: They have a lot of Harry Potter in their library and they also have some paranormal mysteries...so how about something by Heather Blake?
>400 lorannen: If you can go a little over, Walk the Lines, by Mark Mason, is available in pb for $11.10: link. The Santee is reading Penguin's recently published fiction about the Tube and might like similar nonfiction.
Similarly, John Lanchester is one of the authors featured in that series. normandie_m might like Capital, available for $10.21: link.
>392 lorannen: How about The Skull Beneath the Skin? I know that Carrie (cbl_tn) has been eager to try something in the Cordelia Gray series. It's $4.31 at the Book Depository. See: http://www.bookdepository.com/Skull-Beneath-Skin-James/9780571228539
>392 lorannen: lorannen: Her library has lots of Jerome K. Jerome, how about To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. Not her usual genre, but it's very funny and
I think she might enjoy it. there's a copy for around $7. http://www.bookdepository.com/Say-Nothing-Dog-Connie-Willis/9780553575385
Thank you all for the excellent suggestions! Kristi and I are both taking some dinner breaks from ordering, but should be back later with more!
>379 LibraryPerilous: I'm Canadian, so am used to (though that's not to say I like) the higher prices. That's why when I didn't think I'd be able to find something under $6, I posted asking for advice! I'm not used to so many books being under $10!!!
Awwww, wish I could have helped out today. But with it happening during the week, during the day, I was at work!
Had fun with this. This was my first time doing it. Now, I also have a better idea of how I can help out my Santee for next year, too. I left things pretty wide open, so I hope it wasn't too difficult for them.
>407 LibraryCin: Perception is a funny thing, isn't it? :)
lorannen: Oddly, even though I did screw up the HTML markup on a comment I left on the unpicked Santee's page, all of the subsequent comments are completely in italics, too. I left the page and went back to it. The most recent comment italicized as well.
Sorry for whatever I did. I feel colossally stupid. Broken record, but: Please let us edit our comments next year! :)
>395 lorannen: Powell's has Wolf Hall on sale for $8.99; it's usually a lot more. She likes historical fiction and doesn't have it.
I share a lot of books with her; our taste is quite similar. I'm scanning through my tagged Historical Fiction for a few good ones. She also has quite a lot of Anthony Trollope--you should be able to find something she doesn't have for fairly cheap.
Since she likes Trollope and also has Lark Rise to Candleford in her library, she would probably enjoy Elizabeth Gaskell. I don't see any of her books in this library. North and South is available at Powell's in a Dover edition for about $4 and there are several other editions under $10. Wives and Daughters is another good one, but over the limit. The Cranford Chronicles is available for $9.95.
>409 LibraryPerilous: Everything was going to keep being italicized until the markup was closed somewhere. They don't automatically close markup in every submitted comment on SantaThing pages. I don't think it's enough of an issue to ask them to do so. I closed the markup, for you, so it's all fixed from that point forwards.
>411 bestem: Thanks. I didn't realize that was the issue because I thought I had already closed the offending markup in the next comment. Didn't think to just try it again!
I do agree that changing the way the system reads markups isn't worth it. But, I really think we should be allowed to edit our comments in future SantaThings.
>408 LibraryCin: Don't worry—I'm crashing early tonight, because I got so little sleep last night, but there will be at least one evening this week (tomorrow and possibly Wednesday) during which I'm placing orders and in need of backup suggestions!
>412 LibraryPerilous: Yep, I've heard the request for the ability to edit comments on SantaThing profiles loud and clear. Implementation is going to be up to devs, of course, as it's outside my technical know-how, but I've got a good long list of improvements going!
Okay, suggestions are welcome for this Santee: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=57. I have about $10 to spend, as one of the books isn't available from a local warehouse. Thanks for your help!
Not much longer before I hit the sack, myself, lorannen. This elf needs some shuteye.
>337 RidgewayGirl: I had the luck of getting Santees who fell within my scope of reading as I'm a big fan of giving books I've read or know. I've avoided giving books I was unfamiliar with in more than just passing up until now. So I agree with 'making the matching less complicated' but I don't quite like the 'learning a new genre' bit. I worry relentlessly about books I'm unfamiliar with.
>384 lorannen: Picked and posted. A few bucks left to go so I'm still kicking around after a final book but otherwise good to go.
Thanks so much @diana.n for sharing your Santee good fortune!
is anyone else rummaging round the SantaThing suggestions for their next pile of TBR books? :-)
I could use a suggestion for this santee: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=66
Around $9 or $10, at list price (possibly a couple over, if I take out one of the $15.95 picks from the original Santa). I'm going to have to remove one of their picks, as they were going off of Amazon prices, rather than list price for Sherman's.
And here's another: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=164
There are some great suggestions on the ST page already, but, unfortunately I need something $10 or under at list price (rather than Amazon price), and all suggestions are in the $14-$17 range.
>424 lorannen: Where can I find Sherman's list price?
ETA: OH! "list price" .. I get it.
E(again) to add: Am looking for suggestions; I'll comment on the page when I find something...
And here's one that has $8 left in their budget: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=456
>424 lorannen: done! I see others have added suggestions too -- whatever you think is best!
Thanks for all the help, everyone!
I'd greatly appreciate some suggestions for a replacement for one of the titles for this Santee: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=336
As it stands, they're currently $7 over-budget, but removing even the cheapest book selected by the Santa takes it $4-$5 under-budget. So, I'm looking for something between $5-$10, and I'll make replacements accordingly.
And here's one last one for Sherman's: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=297. The current picks are a bit over budget, so I'm looking for something in the $10 range to replace one of them.
>422 lorannen: The replacement ISBN chosen goes with a self-published, CreateSpace study guide/summary book. It looks like the actual title is available in pb, but the list price is $15.
>436 lorannen: Whew! Glad you caught it in time.
Those kinds of books are annoyingly disingenuous, and they litter Amazon. Classics, too: The first few titles that pop up usually are CreateSpace versions that are abridgements or full of typos. Blech.
I could use some suggestions for this Santee: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=85
From Book Depository— $17 left in the budget!
And I have $7 left for this Santee: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=98
Here's another one with $7 left over: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=151
>447 genesisdiem: Ha! I like to be thorough. It satisfies my own quirks. :)
Edited to correct comment reference #—see: thorough! ;)
>448 LibraryPerilous: You do a great job of it!
For the curious, here's what my process looks like: I'm doing a first pass through all of the Book Depository orders, placing those I can, posting when I need a little help.
Once I've made my way through all 130+ of them, I'll go back and pick up suggestions. So long as you're posting suggestions directly on the Santee's profile (which is great—I much appreciate keeping them all in the same place!), I'll definitely see them!
Here's one that's technically only got $4 left in the budget, but I'd say going up to $5 would be okay: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=171
And another that has $6 left: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=173
And yet another with $6 left over (it was $4, but in looking at other editions of Santa's picks, I found an extra $2): http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=174
Ooops, I was using the Amazon price for Sherman stuff for what I suggested for my Santee! I don't know where to look for the "list price". I guess I should have looked closer for it on Amazon? Or does Amazon even mention it? Is it something I should have looked for elsewhere? (For future reference... Thanks!)
>453 LibraryCin: Amazon gives you the list price. It's the crossed out number below the red number, which is their discounted price. If there's only one price, it means the book isn't discounted on Amazon; usually, these are mass market paperbacks with lower profit margins.
Here I need a replacement for Innocent in Las Vegas, one of the picks for this Santee: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=40, about $15 left in the budget.
>453 LibraryCin: It's okay, it was a bit tricky, and involved looking carefully at the numbers—you weren't alone there!
Could also use some help with this one: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=244
Santa's pick The Pilgrim is out of stock, leaving $17 in the budget, still.
Need help finding a replacement for kids book: Dad and Me in the Morning here: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=28
About $16 left in the budget.
>458 lorannen: Ah, that one is private. But, that title looks like it might be available: http://www.bookdepository.com/Dad-Me-Morning-Patricia-Larkin/9780807514191. Or is it just a bad choice?
>460 LibraryPerilous: Sorry about that—I really need to make it easier for admins to tell whether SantaThing profiles are private, without having to open them up in another browser.
This is for an order from Sherman's, and it appears that Dad and Me in the Morning is out of print. I think I've got a replacement lined up, now, though!
>461 lorannen: No worries. It looks like a pretty book; it's too bad Sherman's can't get it. It's available on Amazon, but what isn't, these days?
I'm struggling to find an extra for this Santee: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=254
They've got a pretty extensive library, and I've only got $6 left in the budget.
>463 lorannen: I'm on it! I'm looking for something for that Santee right now.
Thanks for the great suggestions, everyone!
>465 CcanRead: I've been struggling a lot to find something that a) is a good fit, and b) is $6 or under. I think we can go to $7. Typically, there's a bit of wiggle room.
Well, here's a fun situation: we've got a Santee who never got books picked for them at all—their first Santa missed the deadline, and, since their SantaThing profile was set to "private" they weren't visible to be "adopted" by anyone.
If anyone's willing, let me know, and I'll match you up in the system, and you can go pick some books for them?
I am back here as well for a bit if needed. Had to go feed the husband but it's great that there are so many elfs around. :D
>470 Jenni_Canuck: All righty, I'll match you up and message you directly once it's done. Thank you!
I've got another Santee that could use some suggestions. $7 left in their budget: http://www.librarything.com/santathing_thing.php?id=292
All right—I'm calling it a night.
Status of SantaThing: All Sherman's orders are in. Book Depository is half done now.
Thanks everyone for your help today! I'll be back (and in need of more suggestions) in the morning!
>454 LibraryPerilous: Thanks so much for that info! I'll take a closer look next time I'm perusing there. :-)
>439 lorannen: This is bizarre. When I looked at the Book Depository page, I got the prices in the boxes, which add up to 38.50, approximately.
>477 anglemark: The prices are not the same worldwide. They vary according to where you happen to be.
Yeah, I guess. Which makes this exercise very difficult. Thanks to @diana.n for filling in, her suggestions looked great.
Although it makes me slightly sad, because one of the books we picked was instead of a more expensive one which we would have preferred. Ah well.
It's been causing confusion for other people too - I managed to hijack someone else's santathing because I thought they were rather massively underspending, and it turned out that we were seeing VERY different prices for the same book. (it was all sorted in the end after much conversation!)
I was looking from a UK ip address, and the Santa was looking from an EU ip address and it really did make a difference in what price you were quoted from the Book Depository! I suppose that's how they can claim to deliver "free" around the world!
It is 'free' in the loose marketing sense of 'without further charge'.
I'm pretty sure that at least part of the difference is from the Exchange Rate, at least that explains the small fluctuations from day to day. Though that doesn't work if there are large price differences, unless a book was discounted when it was chosen and things change between the Santa picking and the ordering.
Thanks for filling in the BD debacle info.
>480 melawen: This is exactly what's happened. The books originally picked for the Santee in >439 lorannen: have prices recorded that are all off by a few dollars (granted, this is the largest BD price discrepancy I've seen—it's usually just a few cents to $1), and total $38.50 when I add them to my cart.
What really grates my cheese about this is that the price doesn't change depending on where the books ship to. Except for the handful of countries I've seen where they tack on VAT at the very end of ordering, the book prices stay the same, and VAT has never been more than $2 for an entire order. Price differences seem to be entirely based on where you're accessing the site from, not where the books are going, which is bad.
So, it looks to me like, if one of my friends outside the US wanted to send me books using Book Depository, they might end up paying more than I would if I ordered the same books for myself.
That said, I haven't tested this theory extensively, or done the precise math, so maybe I'm wrong? But I have noticed that, when ordering books for Santees in the UK, book prices haven't changed between when I add them to my cart, and when I specify where they're going.
ETA: I guess the good news for SantaThing is that, for each BD order, the price discrepancies between what the Santa sees and what I see when ordering have always worked in our favor—they see higher prices than I do, so I end up with money left over, rather than having to make a cut.
All this >485 lorannen: is to say that it's not causing massive logistical problems for SantaThing, since, typically the price differences are very small (a few cents per book). But it is definitely confusing, and irritates me on principle.
>485 lorannen: It sucks, but I have some obsessive friends who swear a price changes on amazon based on how many times you access it, how long its been in your cart and thus varies from friend to friend. So, it has precedent...
It could also be because when I look at bookdepository.com, I am quoted prices in SEK. I have to switch that to USD, and the prices I see then might be based on a really shitty exchange rate.
>488 anglemark: Also a good point. While I can't do anything about it this time around, I'm working on setting up some proxies so, once SantaThing ordering is no longer my life, I can do some testing, and, at the very least, be better informed next time around.
>482 knotbox: - In essence, that's how everything works. Free is never Free. To me, the best example is American car dealers (i.e. Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick, Dodge, Ford - Fix Or Repair Daily, etc). You go to a foreign car dealer like Volkswagen, the price you see is the price you will pay. There is no haggling. If the company wants 23K for the car, they will price it 23K
American car dealers are different. They want 21K for a Silver Chevy Malibu sitting in the lot of a Chevy dealer in Charlotte, North Carolina. They will mark it up, put a sticker price of 26,000 with a "0% financing or $3000 cash back" and will let the buyer haggle for another $2000 before saying it's final. If the customer doesn't haggle, GREAT! They just got $2000 more than they expected. You want 0% financing? GREAT! There's $3000 more! They won't gain interest in this case, but $26000 is what they got for a car they wanted $21000 for.
It's the American way! They make you think you got such a great deal, but you really didn't! They just moved the numbers around it make it seem like a great deal, just like how many prices end in ".99" and Gas prices are some amount and "nine tenths of a cent".
No surprise that BookDepository is just as deceptive as many American companies. Most of America migrated over from Europe a few centuries ago. Why should they be any different? :-P
Maybe we should just roll with whatever these websites are doing and shrug it off as one of the small parts of signing up for SantaThing. Just to preserve the magic of the event!
>479 anglemark: You're welcome, anglemark. Cariola left some good choices as well; they suit even better. If lorannen hasn't ordered the books yet, maybe you could leave the more expensive title and for what you'd substitute it as a suggestion as well.
>485 lorannen: Ooh, I hope you can update this thread and report your investigation's findings when you have the time. What's really strange is, as you say, they seem to base the price on the order location, not the ship to location. You'd think they would actually lose money in many cases using that method.
>487 knotbox:, >492 anglemark: The Amazon Illuminati are everywhere ...
Since we're almost at the 500-post mark, and this topic is taking longer and longer to load, I'm going to go ahead and continue it on to another one.
I'll of course keep checking this one, too, but will begin posting requests for more suggestions on the new thread.
In reply to the price discrepancies - I have personally seen it on a regular basis on Amazon. I add stuff to my cart sometimes just to see how often the price changes. Some of it just has to do with how prices drop after 6 months in general. Most hardbacks are cut in half almost. Paperbacks do not drop as drastically and sometimes take up to a year to change.
Annoying/ poor business practice is the fact that (probably linked to my cookies or IP) prices drop a good bit if I add something using the 'add to wishlist' widgit in my toolbar. And I have noticed that the free books offered differs with whether or not I am logged in and whether or not I've made a paid purchase recently.
It's a little frustrating but no more than when I did ordering for a public library years ago. I was shocked at the company markup on the books I had previously ordered at home for myself at a much lower price. My branch manager said that she thought it was b/c the books were going to be circulated widely and they were covering the royalties. I'm not sure that's true and wondered if they weren't maybe made of a little better quality since they were being circulated. I'm not a book seller so I don't know. I'd hate to think it was just a way to bilk libraries out of their dwindling funds. You would think they would be offered a discount for making large, frequent purchases.
>494 lorannen: Now I understand that feature! :D
>487 knotbox: >490 ThrillerFan: >493 LibraryPerilous: *shrug* It's good business.
>495 genesisdiem: You may find the app/site CamelCamelCamel of interest. :3 I don't know anything about the library markup, but I suspect you're on the right track with 'covering royalties/durable library copies'.
>499 jll1976: Just remember that, like very other gift, this too can be returned and exchanged for something different. :)
>499 jll1976: I don't know, I really tried not to suggest anything that the Santee would hate. Do people really do that? Or is it just poor research?
I was wondering about when I might expect to hear about books I requested over Kindle? Just want to make sure I haven't accidentally deleted something important!
Lorannen wrote elsewhere that she's going to send them at 8pm Eastern on the 23rd.
>502 Patricia_Gale: Making the correction here as well as elsewhere. Turns out Amazon doesn't allow me to select the specific time of delivery, just the date. It says they'll be delivered between 12:00am and 3:00am on Dec. 23rd instead. No details on how it accounts for time zones, but I'd assume that that's based on Amazon Standard Time (Pacific).
You'll receive a separate email notification for each book, as I can only gift books one by one.
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