BookExpo is coming next week. I will not be there [I will be training library staff in the Tampa area instead]. There will be a lot of content coming out of the conference that is EXTREMELY relevant to RA Service.
Today, I wanted to share ShelfAwareness’ preview of one of the best panels-- Adult Editor’s Book Buzz. I love this panel because unlike much of the conference content, it is not driven by the publishers alone. These titles are picked through a consensus by 3 committees and librarians are included.
Now, one of the frustrating things about these “Buzz” panels is that the books don’t come out for a while, so while these are very helpful in terms of getting orders in early, they are not as useful in our work with patrons right now.
Or are they? With just a little rethinking of how you use these lists, you can easily turn this frustration into an opportunity-- one that will help you to help more reader now and in the future.
- Get excited about the upcoming books lists: Between Book Expo and ALA you will be inundated with titles that aren’t available yet. Find a way to organize the lists and hold them in one place to use now and refer to later. Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed. You will feel overwhelmed, but find an organizational method that helps you control the chaos.
- Look at the lists when you first encounter them and think about readalike authors. As you can see below, often, the blurbs on these buzz include readalikes. But, don’t just rely on those. Use the blurbs to brainstorm [yourself or as a staff] titles that the blurb reminds you of. Think of patrons who may like the books being previewed. What else does that patron like to read? Could those titles also be readalikes? This can be an exercise to help you do step 3, but it is also a great training tool. You are practicing your RA skills, and if you get the entire staff to work together, you are creating a library-wide conversation about books and readers- which benefits all staff and all patrons.
- Build displays or lists to promote these upcoming titles with readalike lists of the backlist titles you already have on your self. “Coming Soon” displays at the library with reading options while you wait not only allows your patrons to share in the buzz excitement, but also showcases the great titles you already do have. You are building buzz for backlist books by association.
- These displays will generate holds on the “coming soon” titles too. Looking at the data of which titles are getting the most holds also helps you see what you patrons are most interested in. This information will help you to make other purchasing decisions going forward.
- Finally, in a few weeks, after you have gathered all of these lists of the big books of Fall and Winter, take a step back and survey the larger picture. What trends do you see? Are there similarities? Are there glaring holes between what you patrons want to read and what the publishers are pushing? Often this step is forgotten. We gather the lists, we order the books, we make the “while you wait” readalike lists, but we don’t look back on the whole picture. There is a lot to learn from comparing the buzziest books as a group. Please remember to do this. I will revisit the issue in a few months to remind you and we can do it together.
See, there are plenty of reasons how lists of books that haven’t come out yet can help you right now! Let’s get started...
Click here or see below for the titles and comments