Monday, November 20, 2006

How to get your bookstore on LibraryThing

Today we launched simple integration with Shaman Drum Bookshop of Ann Arbor, MI. Basically, users can put themselves down as customers and get availability and pricing information on work pages (see right). There's are no strings or costs to the program; we're just trying to give give people a better service.

To integrate you need to have an inventory system that can write a file to the web. To make it work, we need a simple XML feed. For performance reasons we can't be querying an API book-by-book.

The format of the feed is very simple. Here's an example:
<isbn count="1" price="29.95">3598710364</isbn>
<isbn count="2" price="19.95">351911304x</isbn>
<isbn count="1" price="69.50">3519112892</isbn>
<isbn count="4" price="69.50">3519112906</isbn>
<isbn count="1" price="59.50">3519112884</isbn>
We are open to modificatons (eg., if you can post availability, but not prices). In addition to the feed, we'll need to have URLs to link to the book pages, and a URL for searching. We willl grab the file between midnight and 2am every night.

LibraryThing isn't going to double your sales—you've probably already have the loyalty of the Thingamabrarians—but it's a nice service to give your customers.

In the near future, I'll be producing some stats for bookstores, like holdings patterns against work popularity, that might be interesting or useful to them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

will you also include publishers who also sell their books directly to the consumer?

caleb (LT: questeroftruth)

11/28/2006 9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would one go to all that trouble to list prices/etc. for a single bookstore (however cool that one bookstore might be, or however many other single bookstores might post compliant XML) but not provide similar pricing information for sites one is far more likely to purchase from (e.g. Amazon, AbeBooks, etc.)? I'd find that sort of data much more useful than a particular used bookstore (even if it was Powell's or some other major used bookstore).

- Rick (LT: supakoo)

11/30/2006 8:00 PM  
Blogger robert berridge said...

I have a used bookstore in hamburg and have seen the fall in sales over the last years.
Potential customers would like me to find books for them etc on the net, but are not happy about the price. I ask for the usual margin. which means I work for 6 euros an hour.
I am not a Luddite but I feel the days of bookstores as mine are numbered, and naturally feel threatened with the explosion in sites swapping etc; all with the intention of being non-profit making and social.
Apart from closing down, or get another job what do you suggest and what trends do you see
yours robert berridge hamburg

12/09/2006 2:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert, how sad! Can you move to a cheaper location? Our favorite bookstore has notified us they will in one year when the landlord plans to triple their rent. We hope you can hang in there!

12/22/2007 2:06 PM  
Anonymous robertberridge said...

Still hanging in there, but now find it hard finding volunteers to help sort, even with payment in books and at cost British food products.
A dilema.When I mention I will use the books as fuel, there is outrage. When I say will you buy them, then it is Oh No. I dont want or need them. Or get another job. It is the fantasy and status of having books and this is sth consumers are not willing to pay for themselves. But if some sucker is willing to do it great, as long as it costs me nothing.
Too few people are interested in older books as sources of information and too few people are willing to admit it.
More books must be pulped to create a shortage, only when housewives stop their housework do spouses and kids notice the work.

12/31/2007 3:08 AM  
Blogger David Hepworth said...

We are blessed Ketchum, ID, with one of the best bookstores I have encountered outside of New York, London, and Cambridge. The bookstore is Iconoclast books and the owner and managers are passionate readers. The online store can be found at
but you will miss the wonderful cupcake bar in the back. Make sure you scroll through their Hemingway and Western literature sections. This was where Hemingway last lived and he wrote several books here.

5/21/2008 8:12 PM  

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