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What is LibraryThing?

LibraryThing is a website that allows people to catalog their personal libraries, discover new books and connect with others who share their tastes. It is an open, collaborative project, driven by readers.

Take the LibraryThing tour to learn more.

What is LibraryThing Early Reviewers?

LibraryThing Early Reviewers helps publishers distribute advance copies of books to interested readers. The publisher provides books, LibraryThing members sign-up to request them, and then we match up books with members based on the rest of their LibraryThing catalog. Books find their way to readers who are likely to enjoy them!

LibraryThing members get books, publishers get reviews—LibraryThing plays matchmaker.

How does it work?

  1. You supply LibraryThing with a list of the titles that you'll be offering to the Early Reviewers.
  2. We announce the titles (in monthly batches), and LibraryThing members sign up for whichever books they're interested in.
  3. We use an algorithm to find the members most likely to enjoy and create buzz for your titles.
  4. We send a list of the winning members and their addresses to you. You send out the books.
  5. Early Reviewers read the books, and then post reviews to LibraryThing. They are encouraged to also cross-post to their blog, etc.

What does the publisher get out of it?

You get a community of readers, creating early buzz about your book and giving you insight into how it will be received. The publisher and author are granted perpetual non-exclusive permission to use the reviews.

What does it cost?

Early Reviewers is completely free. We reserve the right to charge for this service in the future.

What types or formats of books can I offer through Early Reviewers?

ER books should be new or upcoming titles. Books that were released more than six months prior to the first of the month of the corresponding batch are not eligible for Early Reviewers.

We are happy to list paper copies, ebooks, and audiobooks. If you are offering an ebook, you must specify the file type (epub, mobi, PDF, etc.) in the description.

How many books do I have to provide?

We ask for at least 5 copies of each title and welcome up to 50. We encourage both diversity and quantity.

What is the deadline to submit titles each month?

Titles for each batch of Early Reviewers must be submitted no later than 2pm Eastern on the first Monday of the month.

How far in advance of the release date should I offer my titles?

That's up to you—whenever you want the buzz to start.

Who ships the books?

The publisher is responsible for shipping. LibraryThing provides a list of names and addresses.

How do you pick which LibraryThing members to receive a book?

We use an algorithm to calculate winners, which is based on a number of factors, including:

  • The contents and organization of the reviewer's LibraryThing account
  • How many books the reviewer has received from LTER in the past, and whether they've reviewed them.
  • Factors that suggest someone likely to review a book, and talk about it widely, on LibraryThing and elsewhere.

Do the books I provide need to be pre-publication?

In general, we prefer books that have not yet been published, but final copies of titles released no more than six months ago are eligible, too.

Can we offer review copies to LibraryThing members outside of North America?

Absolutely. Most publishers that we're currently working with offer books to residents of the United States and Canada—we'd love to open it up to members around the world and are eager to work with publishers to make this happen.

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

We only accept Early Reviewer books directly from publishers. If your publisher isn't participating in Early Reviewers, then you can offer your books up for review yourself! Use our Member Giveaway Program.

What about self-published authors and single-author presses?

Self-published books and books from single-author presses are encouraged to use our Member Giveaway Program, which is similar to but separate from Early Reviewers. Read more here.

What else?

Get started

Go sign up as a publisher. If you're already signed up, go to the Early Reviewers page and click the "Post an Early Reviewers book" tab at the top of the page to list your title.


Contact Meg (meg@librarything.com) with questions.

LibraryThing statistics

Members 2,631,703

Books cataloged: 157,958,863

Ratings: 26,749,033

Reviews: 5,247,044

Free books given out

Early Reviewer books given out 454,807

Member Giveaway books given out 1,168,132

Total free books given out 1,622,939

(More numbers available on the Zeitgeist page)

(More numbers available on the Zeitgeist page)

Early Reviewers Buzz

Mainstream Media

"LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program ... uses the site to match Random House ARCs with readers likely to enjoy them, in hopes of generating word-of-mouth publicity."

Marc Schultz, Publishers Weekly, "Business, Pleasure Mix on Book Networking Sites," July 9, 2007

"Ms. Bashirrad ... was struck by the potential the site's algorithms had to place Random House books in the hands of readers who might genuinely enjoy them – "that ability to match people with books based on the what books they have read," she says."

Teresa Mendez, Christian Science Monitor, "Peer-to-peer book reviews fill a niche" June 15, 2007

"This program sounds really smart."

Publishers Lunch, "Early Reviews, from Real (Targeted) Readers," June 5, 2007

"Sending books according to the algorithm means readers are more likely to write a review and publishers get better feedback from a 'consumer expert.'"

Publishing Trends, "We Won! Publishers Learn That Everyone Loves (to Talk About) a Free Book," Nov 2007


"Why is this a great idea? ... LibraryThing tends to attract rabid book fans, including plenty of reviewers your typical publishing PR person simply doesn't have the time to hunt down."

Joe Wikert's Publishing 2020 Blog, "LibraryThing "Early Reviewers" Program," May 24, 2007

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