HelpThing was written by members like you, with some help from LibraryThing staff.
View a list of all of the HelpThing topics.
The first rule of HelpThing is "be bold!" If you can add or edit it, go ahead. We also have a HelpThing Style Guide.
Every author of a book that's been entered into LibraryThing has their own author page. Here you can find information about the authors themselves, as well as books they've written.
Authors' pictures are user-submitted. If no one has submitted a picture, you'll see a blank silhouette with a question mark in place of a picture. You can see a larger version of this picture (if one is available) and other submitted pictures by choosing 'picture gallery.' In the picture gallery you can also comment on pictures, snag them for your own gallery, and choose which picture shows as the 'primary picture' on the author page.
You can add pictures by uploading one from your computer or grabbing one via its URL. Be sure you're familiar with LT's photo policy first. Images uploaded to this page should be of the author, not cover art.
LibraryThing believes that the best way to identify an author is by what they write! The author's most common work is listed here to help differentiate between authors who share a name.
Includes the Names
LibraryThing allows combining of authors much in the same way that it allows combining of books, so that "J. R. R. Tolkien", "JRR Tolkien", and "John Ronald Reuel Tolkien" all point to the same person. This list allows you to see a list of which variants and pen names have been combined with an author's page; clicking 'see complete list' will expand the list.
The stats bar gives you a quick snapshot of information about the author.
- Members - The number of LibraryThing members with at least one book by the author.
- Reviews - The total number of reviews written by LibraryThing members about this author's books.
- Rating - The average rating of all of this author's books.
- Favorited - How many LT members have added the author to their Favorites list.
- Events - Whether they have any upcoming events in LibraryThing Local.
If you've cataloged any books by an author, a line will appear here saying "You have XX books and XX works by Author." The number of books and works you have by an author can differ if you have two different versions (books) of the same work. For example, if you own Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in both paperback and hardback. Clicking on the link will take you to a catalog view containing just the books you have by the author.
A list of all of the works attributed to this author, sorted with most popular first. You can see at a glance how many copies of each work have been cataloged and how many reviews have been written about it. Clicking on a book will take you to its work page. The "See all XX books" will expand the list on the page.
- Books you have catalogued will display a colored checkmark, according to the collection they are in.
- Only one checkmark will be displayed, so if a book qualifies for more than one checkmark LT will display the color that is nearer to the top of the list above.
- Top members - Members who have cataloged the most books by the author.
- Recently added - Members who have recently added books by the author.
- Your Friends - Friends who have cataloged books by the author.
- Member Favorites - A list of LibraryThing members who have marked this author as one of their favorites. Click the link to add it to your favorite author list; click again to de-favorite. You can see the list of all of the authors you have marked as favorites on your profile.
A mini tag-cloud of tags that have been applied to this author's work. Tags are sized by a combination of frequency of use and overall rarity of the tag; thus "celtic" might be larger than "fiction", even though it is only used 18 times to "fiction"'s 124. Because "celtic" is much rarer across the site, its concentration on this author's works is more significant.
Events on LibraryThing Local
Any events connected with this author in LibraryThing Local. These events are frequently appearances, lectures, and book signings by the author, but may also include discussions of the author's work (such as a book club meeting).
Common Knowledge is a place for users to enter facts about an author. To edit or add information, click on the small gray pencil . Most fields allow more than one line, to get additional lines hit the "+" box. For more information and formatting guidelines, see the Common Knowledge wiki page. If you want to see what changes have been made to the Common Knowledge fields over time, click on the "history" link in the header bar.
Clicking on a fact will search for other incidences of that fact in Common Knowledge - for instance, clicking on "Chicago, Illinois, USA" in the "places of residence" field will find other authors who have also lived in Chicago.
LibraryThing Author/Is This You?
If this author is a member of LibraryThing, a box with the LT Author Badge will appear at the top of this column, along with a link to their profile page, where you can view their catalog. If they are not, there will be a link where authors can become a LibraryThing author.
A space to enter links to external sites relating to this author - their blog, their publisher's author site, interviews, etc. You can add new links or edit existing ones.
The distribution and average rating of all of the author's books.
A quick overview of the author's picture gallery. Click on any thumbnail to enter the gallery and see a larger version of the picture.
A list of series to which an author has contributed one or more books, sorted with most popular first. Clicking on a link will take you to the appropriate series page. Series information can be entered or edited on the Common Knowledge sections of the work pages of individual books belonging to a series.
Related Book Awards
A list of awards won by the author. The list is drawn from the Common Knowledge sections of the work pages of individual books. Clicking an award will show you a list of all award winners who have been added to CK.
A list of people or characters in the author's books, drawn from the Common Knowledge sections of the work pages of individual books. Clicking on a character name will show you a list of all books featuring that character which have been added to CK.
A list of important places featured in the author's works, drawn from the Common Knowledge sections of the work pages of individual books. Clicking on a place name will show you a list of all books featuring that place which have been added to CK.
Improve This Author
- Combine/Separate works - LT relies on combining to create works - it takes the hundreds different versions of Pride and Prejudice and puts them in one place so that readers can talk to each other about their favorite works. Access the work combining page here.
- Author Division - When more than one author share a name, the author page is split and works are assigned to authors different numbers.
- Includes - A complete list of all names that have been combined into the authors'. This is usually to account for aliases, misspellings, spelling and puntuation variations, and foreign translations. You can separate out any names that have been mistakenly combined here.
- Combine With - Combine suggested authors here, or search for them.
- Recalculate -
More on Author Combining
LibraryThing allows combining of authors much in the same way that it allows combining of books, so that "J. R. R. Tolkien", "JRR Tolkien", and "John Ronald Reuel Tolkien" all point to the same person. The top part of this box allows you to see which variants have been combined into one author's page (like the list at the top), and to separate out any combinations you think are in error.
There may be some suggested authors to combine. These are based on authors whose works have been combined via ISBN. For instance, if one person has the book "Combining for Dummies" by Random Q. Author and another person has the book "Combining for Dummies" by author R. Q. Author, both copies with identical ISBNs, someone may have gone through the Edition page of either work and combined the books. If that's the case, then R. Q. Author will show up in the "Combine with..." section of Random Q. Author's author page.
If you suspect there are other variants of an author name out there, you can search for them - results will appear on the author search page, with options to combine them with the author page you came from.
Who Should/Shouldn't Get Combined
- Variants of spelling, middle initials, capitalization, etc.
- Pen Names ("Samuel Clemens" and "Mark Twain"), UNLESS there is another author by the same of either name
- Designations of role after the author name ("George Lucas (director)" and "George Lucas")
- Ordering differences where multiple authors are listed as one ("Ingri & Edgar D'Aulaire" and "Edgar & Ingri D'Aulaire")
- Authors where another non-author contributer (i.e. Illustrator) is listed in with the main author ("Julie Andrews Edwards; Emma Walton Hamilton (Illus.)" and "Julie Andrews Edwards")
- A surname, or surname and initial, only with an author with that surname, even if it's the most popular. (Neither "Brown" nor "D.Brown" should be combined with "Dan Brown")
- An individual with a collaboration ("Neil Gaiman" should NOT be combined with "Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett")
- Anything you're not sure is right! When in doubt, don't combine, and ask a question in the Combiners! group.
- A named individual with "Anonymous", "Various", etc.
If anyone appears on the "suggested combination" list that belongs to one of the "Should NOT" categories, you can "never" that author to prevent them from being combined in the future. Again, don't "Never" someone unless you're sure, and ask questions if you're not.