But, those of us who are back at home, we have time to go through the Galley Guide, taking note of which books the publishers are pushing the hardest. What do they think will take off? What should we be pre-ordering. We actually use it as a resource to help our patrons and craft our collections.
Everyone, whether they are attending BEA or not, should look through the guide and note trends, authors who you already have in your collections who are going to have a new book, etc... For example, in this guide, I have noticed a lot of self help titles and true crime. Obviously this is not a shock that these topics are popular, but it serves as a reminder that now is a great time to put up those displays and then also include a handout or book mark with upcoming titles from this Galley Guide that readers may also like. Remind them of what you already have that would be great to read right now AND alert them to what is around the corner on which they might want to place a hold. Make the buzz of new books work for your backlist collections.
You can also make displays based on what you learn from going through the guide even though not a single one of these books is out yet. I'll help you get started. Make a display titled-- "Coming in 2019 By...." and put out books by some of the big names with books coming out as noted in the guide. Make sure you also offer a handout with their new titles where patrons can check off those they want to place on hold. This is a display that is easy to put up and keep filled and it is interactive for your patrons because they get a book now and get to tell you what they want later.
Or do a "Read While You Wait," version of the display, again having a handout or book mark with upcoming titles from this Galley Guide that fans of those authors may want to put on hold. Also by default this display will be diverse and inclusive because you aren't limiting it by genre, format, fiction vs nonfiction, etc... The display will and should include anything and everything because anything and everything is already in the Galley Guide.
And, another benefit, a display as broad as this one higjights the breath of your collections. For example, have you ever had literary fiction authors, travel books, nonfiction history, romance and sf on the same display? But, I would also bet that more readers than you think have read and enjoyed all fo these types os books. I know I have.
So stop being sad you are not at BEA, and start using the resources being created by the conference to serve your patrons better right now. Your colleagues in NYC will have to catch up to you when they get back.
Becky Spratford [MLIS] is a Readers' Advisor in Illinois specializing in serving patrons ages 13 and up. She trains library staff all over the world on how to match books with readers through the local public library. She runs the critically acclaimed RA training blog RA for All. She is under contract to provide content for EBSCO’s NoveList database and writes reviews for Booklist and a horror review column for Library Journal. Becky is a 20 year locally elected Library Trustee [still serving] and a Board member for the Reaching Across Illinois Library System. Known for her work with horror readers, Becky is the author of The Reader’s Advisory Guide to Horror, Third Edition [ALA Editions, 2021]. She is a proud member of the Horror Writers Association and currently serves as the Association’s Secretary and organizer of their annual Librarians’ Day. You can follow Becky on Twitter @RAforAll.