Often the problem libraries have in promoting the newest and hottest titles is that we only have a few copies of these books and they all have long holds’ queues. So, we end up focusing on readalikes for the hottest titles, otherwise known as “While You Wait” lists.
But, some readers do not want readalikes for the current “it” books. They want that book. In my experience, I have found that these readers are actually happier reading an older book by the author whose current book they came in for than they are simply getting a readalike for said book [even if the readalike is a better match than a previous book by the author].
In this case, the patron is more interested in reading something by the author everyone is talking about than they are in reading that exact book. We need to remember that as we help people. It is the same reason why some patrons will only read something if it is, or has been, on the bestseller list.
Book stores have the luxury of having scores of copies of these big releases stacked in piles waiting for people. At the library, we want to help readers who have come in because of the buzz around a hot new title, but we cannot ever hope to have enough copies to satisfy demand in those first few weeks. The problem is simply magnified by the heavy Fall release schedule.
But, I have an idea that will help you to promote tall the big fall reads in a new way; a way that will win over these particular [and numerous] patrons.
Second, take those lists and cut and paste the titles you think will be most popular at your library into your own list. If you can make a poster sized list that would be great. Or, if you do 1/2 sheets with the cover of each upcoming title and post those somewhere. Or, make a bookmark with the info. The key is to have a list you can make available for patrons in some eye catching way.
Third, pull the other books by the authors on the list you have created. Try to get a mix of formats too [audio, LP, etc...]
Fourth, sit back and watch those backlist titles fly off the shelf and watch your patrons leave happy.
[I realize that this display idea leaves out the chance to highlight debut authors, but that cannot be helped in this example.]
What you get from this simple display idea is a two sided victory for your RA services. One, you have let your patrons know that you have the hot fall books, even though they are not on the self right now, and two, they leave with a book by one of this Fall’s hottest authors in their hands. It might not be the exact book they wanted, but they are still “in the know,” reading the hot author of the moment.
Plus, you look brilliant.
You have anticipated their requests.
You have made it clear that you know about the book they want, own it, and have an option while they wait for their turn on the holds list.
And, you promoted your awesome backlist, reminding them of all of the great reads available throughout the library beyond those on the new shelf.
I like when that happens at the library.