Monday, December 18, 2006

Mailbags stuff and more librarythings

I love the Librarything unsuggester too! They also have a library suggester based upon your whole library. My question is, why are you NOT one of LibraryThing's list of Authors who Librarything?

Mostly because I've been on the road too much since I discovered LibraryThing, and haven't yet had time to join up and start logging the books. Of which there are rather a lot. However, there is finally librarystuff afoot in this house -- I've recently sighed and admitted there are too many thousands of books for the current basement library to hold, which means that as of today a large former bedroom has begun to transmute itself into a library extension, and I may take the opportunity to LibraryThing and organise. I did buy a Cue Cat scanner recently, anyway. Or I may just put all books of a similar size and colour into boxes and haul them upstairs. (I always liked Chris Cobb's colourful take on bookshop organisation --

Neil,I think the unsuggester might be broken. I've tried multiple titles, including yours, and there is always at least one or two items from my library on the list. Either that, or my tastes are simply more varied than they allow for. I may actually use it as a suggester, as it generally is a more varied list than the other, though I won't like many things on each of those lists. Dune by Frank Herbert came the closest, and there's still one or two I've got on my to get to list.Byron Grimes

It's not broken, it's simply pointing out statistical anomalies -- it's not even talking about whether or not you'd like something (as some people have written to me, complaining they like books from both lists). It's simply saying that it ought to be able to find a certain number of copies of book Y for people who own Book X, and it can't. Statistically, people who have a copy of Mein Kampf on their shelves, for whatever reason, have fewer copies of Terry Pratchett books than might be expected. It may be that all the people with both Mein Kampf and Guards! Guards! just aren't on LibraryThing yet, and once they join the anomaly will vanish. Or it may be that there's something to be learned from that.

If you plugged your personal library into LibraryThing it might help smooth over the anomalies you've encountered.

Dear Mr. Gaiman:My name is Chloe Cole. I’m a junior at Marion High School, in Marion, Arkansas. I’m writing you this letter to tell you how I felt about your book Coraline, and ask you some questions.I really enjoyed your book Coraline. I enjoyed it so much, that I’ve read it more than once. I really wanted to ask you about the buttons. I loved how they were used as the other parent’s eyes. Do they symbolize anything for you personally? What do you try to symbolize when Coraline goes into the other world through the old door?I would like to thank you for taking time to read my letter. I hope you can find time to reply to me in an email. My email address is (removed).

Hello Chloe (although unless you're reading this blog you'll never know I replied). Just like it says on the FAQ form, I really don't do homework, so you'll have to decide on the symbolism of button eyes and doors and passages yourself -- but thought that it might be a good idea to point out and the following three pages, which are a conversation from the Well website about Coraline from 2002, and in which I answer an awful lot of Coraline-related questions. (It's practically a Coraline FAQ.)

Hey Neil, I'm doing a piece on how one can make money from blogging. Any comments to share?Happy day, Ariel

Well, this blog has certainly helped this author get onto the New York Times bestseller list, mostly by letting enough people know that I had new books coming out at the point where they came out. Which probably helped me make money in the long term, through increased royalties, but isn't what it exists for.

Beyond that, I've never put up advertising or made any of the kind of links to or Barnes and Noble or wherever that pay you a referral fee. And while I'm happy to link to DreamHaven Books' shop site, I don't get a cut of anything they sell or anything like that -- I figure it helps a comparatively small local bookshop that I like enormously to stay in business, which is enough.

And seeing that I don't have any plans at present to sell to Google for millions, I'm probably the last person to have any useful ideas on making money from blogging.

(Mark Evanier's method seems like a perfectly sensible one to me...

Mr. Gaiman, I sent this to you the other day, but I think I sent it to the wrong place. No offense, but did you know you look like the Corinthian with your sunglasses on? Thank you,Veronica

You know, on the cover of Sandman 14, I even look like the Corinthian with my glasses off. Or perhaps he looks suspiciously like a 28-year-old me with teeth for eyes.

Neil, the link on your webpage for the library unsuggester kept sending me to some internet crime reporting system, useful in it's own right but not the same thing. I was kind of disappointed. Have you been hacked by an over-zealous crime fighter?I absolutely love your books. Gaynel

I've checked the links and they work fine for me. I checked the LJ syndication and they seem to have worked fine for everyone on there. I wonder if your computer mistakenly thinks that LibraryThing is a fraud site or something.

Hi, Neil.
So this face recognition thing. Well. You, apparently, resemble yourself 66%.Please don't fall into an existential pit because of this.
Cheers,Andrew Scott

I've never been able to get it to recognise that I resemble me with photos of myself, so I'm very impressed you got 66%. Last time I tried it, it told me I looked like Barry Gibb, Placido Domingo and, er, Terri Hatcher, and at that point I gave up trying for good...


And finally, you might want to head over to to see what Stardust related sculpting Charles Vess has been up to recently...