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What is LibraryThing Early Reviewers (LTER)?

LibraryThing is teaming with select publishers to provide advance copies of books to you, in exchange for reviews. The publishers are supplying the books, you get to read and review them, and we play matchmaker! :)

How can I get books from Early Reviewers?

  • Sign up. You have to have a LibraryThing membership--which is free--to apply for books. No purchase is necessary.
  • Check out the list of available LTER books once it's announced, and indicate which one(s) you're interested in reading and reviewing. The flag icons indicate which countries the book can be shipped to. You can apply for as many books as you'd like, but you can only apply for each book once.
  • We announce new batches of books monthly - you'll see postings on the blog and in the Early Reviewers discussion group. You may apply any time between when a book appears on the Early Reviewers page, until 6pm on the date listed under "Request by" for that book.
  • At the end of the giveaway period, winners will be selected. You will receive a comment on your profile page letting you know whether you've won a book or not.

LTER is open only to residents of the United States and Canada 13 years and older. Some books are open to residents of other countries (e.g., the UK). Those books will be noted with a country flag. You can sign up for LTER no matter your country, but you will not be eligible to receive any books until we bring your country into our terms. We would love to open this up to LibraryThing members the world over. We are, however, a small company, and have not investigated the legal ramifications of doing so. Also, publishers often have rights country-by-country. We are working on this. Thank you for understanding.

Employees of LibraryThing and its affiliated companies, and members of those employees' immediate families, are not eligible.

Can I give away eBooks?

You can give out eBooks, but you cannot giveaway books that are freely available elsewhere. This means you cannot post eBooks that you also provide free access to online. You also must make sure to check the box indicating that the book is an eBook.

I'm an author, can I offer up my books for Early Reviewers?

If your publisher isn't participating in Early Reviewers, then you can offer your books up for review yourself! Use our Member Giveaways program.

How do I remove myself from Early Reviewers?

Sign in to your Early Reviewer profile page, and click the link next to your name.

I can't find the book on Amazon or in any library - how can I add it to my library?

Use the "Add manually" option underneath the list of sources on the Add Books page.

How will I find out if I won a book?

At the end of each round for which you requested a book, we'll post a comment to your profile page letting you know if you did (or didn't) win a book.

What's the deadline for my review?

We don't have a hard-and-fast deadline for reviews, because it depends on how long it takes for the book to reach you. We hope that you'd put your Early Reviewer book to the top of your reading queue, because the publisher would like to get a review from you soon, to go with the release of the book. Even if the book is already out, getting reviews up on LibraryThing ASAP is our primary goal.

After 90 days from when you won the book, a failure to write a review may be counted against you.

  • If you haven't received the book yet, you should mark it unreceived so we don't count it against you.
  • If you have received the book, you should really get reviewing!

I can't remember which books I've won!

Check out the Books you've won page. This page shows you all the books you've won through Early Reviewers (not including Member Giveaway books).

Sometimes books take a month or two to show up, but if you suspect one has been lost in the mail you can mark it unreceived, so the lack of a review won't count against you for future batches.

Oh, then I'm just going to report all my books "unreceived" and I'll never have to review them!

Hey, don't cheat! In fact, if a member employs this too frequently, it's going to raise a red flag for us, and man, will you be sorry...

I reviewed the book, but it's not showing up on my Books You've Won page.

There could be a number of things that happened. Here's some troubleshooting:

  1. Make sure your review is entered under the review column in your catalog, not the comments.
  2. If the link from your catalog is going to a different work, then the two works need to be combined.
  3. If your edition goes to the same edition that we're counting for Early Reviewers (and you'll know this because the book's page will have the bird symbol), but it's showing as not reviewed on your Books You've Won page, then email jeremy@librarything.com with your username and the particular book that's not showing up. We'll manually add it.

How do you know where to send the book?

You give us your name and full mailing address when you sign up for Early Reviewers. You can check or change your address at any point -- make sure it's current!

Some publishers ship FedEx, which doesn't deliver to PO Boxes. If you have a PO Box, please include a street address as well.

Check/change your address

I'm moving! How do I make sure I get my book?

Update your address for upcoming giveaways.

If you've already moved, or you're moving soon, we suggest you set up mail forwarding with your post office. LibraryThing is not responsible for books that end up lost in the mail, or never arrive.

Where do I post my review?

First, add the book to your LibraryThing catalog. Then click the Edit-pencil.gif "edit" icon next to the book, or click "edit book" from the work page. Type your review into the Review box, and click "submit" to save it.

A book will be considered "reviewed" if a review is posted to LibraryThing and is composed of at least 25 words. Reviews may include but not solely consist of a URL.

More review tips can be found here.

You can post your review elsewhere too—on your blog, Facebook or even Amazon. In fact, we hope you do! See below for graphics you can use.

The Early Reviewers page says I haven't reviewed one of the books I received, but I have.

Reviews are attached to books in your catalog. If you delete the book from your catalog, then it deletes the review from LibraryThing, and it will no longer count as reviewed.

How long will it take for the book to get to me? (AKA: My book hasn't come yet! Why do you hate me?)

It depends. The publishers ship the books directly - some are speedy, others less so. It can take up to a month or two for a book to come, sometimes longer if the publisher sends it media mail. We don't control this, and we can't track the books for you. Publishers ship everything from FedEx to UPS to USPS media mail. Because LibraryThing never touches the books, we can't control how fast the publisher gets them out! To repeat, we (LibraryThing) have no control over when/how/if the books are shipped.

Check the Early Reviewers group to see when others are receiving their copies of the same book. Every month someone starts a "book watch" thread to keep track of when the books start arriving on doorsteps.

If your book doesn't show up, mark it unreceived on the Books you've won page. The lack of reviews on books you never received won't hurt your chances for getting books in the future.

How do you choose who receives Early Reviewer books? (AKA: I haven't been chosen yet! Why do you hate me?)

Winners are selected by LibraryThing, whose decision is final. Winning is based on a combination of factors, such as:

  • Expressed interest
  • Random chance
  • How many books the reviewer has received from LTER
  • The reviewer's reviewing history
  • The contents and organization of the reviewer's LibraryThing account
  • Other factors not revealed or not yet determined
  • Lecanomancy

So as long as reviews conform to the LibraryThing Terms of Service, LibraryThing will NOT factor the content of your reviews into future disbursements. That means: write what you want; it will not affect your chances of getting books in the future.

In April 2010, Tim revealed that Early Reviewers had a "Long-time Loser Boost," favoring members who keep trying but don't win. See Talk thread.

You are not legally obligated to review books you receive through LTER. But subsequent LTER dispersal decisions may take your number of reviewed and unreviewed books into account. A book will be considered "reviewed" if a review is posted to LibraryThing and is comprised of at least 25 words. Reviews may include but not solely consist of a URL. (If you wrote it elsewhere first, just copy and paste the text).

Where are there more privacy rules and regulations?

Make sure you're signed in first, then go here.

Where can I get LTER graphics for my blog?

How about Early Reviewers Graphics? You can use them with your review or just as a badge that you are part of LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

How can other publishers get involved?

Read our FAQ for publishers

Can I approach publishers and ask them to participate?

Sure! We've put together a sample letter to publishers that you can use to get started. We're especially interested in finding publishers who have the distribution rights to send Early Reviewer books to countries outside the US and Canada.

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