I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information including RA for All's EDI Statement.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Super Books LIV Pits KC [MO] Public Library v SFPL

So the big game is this weekend and no matter if you are a fan of the game, the commercials, or none of the above, there is no question that people have the game on their minds. This is a great chance to make a display.

But it does NOT have to be a display of football books. That is what your patrons are expecting. We need to get their attention by offering them something they are NOT expecting.

Thankfully, The Kansas City [MO] and San Francisco Public Libraries are on the case and working hard for you.

Over on Twitter they are engaged in a fun competition to alter book titles in a way that playfully pits each library against the other.  Click here to see the bookish fun at #SuperBooksLIV [link will work whether or not you have a Twitter account].

Here are two screen shots to see how they are doing it.

Click through to see all of the bookish fun. I especially love how KC has a Coach "Read" that is going around town to promote the library. [In case you don't know, the KC coach is Andy Reid, pronounced "read".] You can see the Coach Read photos on the same Twitter hashtag.

This makes for a great virtual display, just link to this virtual competition. But you could also do this in your libraries. Grab the books they are referring to and stick the extra words on the covers with some tape or just a post-it note. Ask your patrons to suggest other altered titles [in the library and online.]

Use the inspiration from the KC and SF libraries to start a bookish conversation at your own library. Again, online and in person.

Have fun with it. And if you are feeling creative, come up with some that are local to your town's fans. The cheesier the better. Here are a couple of free ones for Chicago area people-- Clan of the Chicago Bears or The Chicago Bears and the Nightingale.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

New Panorama Picks Data Ready to Use

I first alerted you all to Panorama Picks in this post back in July.

Excerpts from that post:
Panorama Picks is a curated list, by region, of the books people are most waiting to borrow from our public libraries. The point of the lists is to pull out the obviously huge titles so that booksellers can see what mid-list titles are trending with public library patrons.
There is an opportunity here for local book sellers to add copies of titles that they might not know are in high demand in their area.
But, for us, the library workers who help leisure readers, there is also an opportunity to find out about titles that are gaining in popularity in our areas, titles we might not be aware of right now.
Getting a heads up on these popular mid-list titles allows us to better develop our collections, make readalike lists that anticipate our patrons' interests, and just understand what is being read in our wider regions.
I could even see a display opportunity here by putting out the titles from a different region. Like a "See what is trending in the Pacific Northwest," as a great change of pace display. Or for more title options, use all of the lists but your own: "Popular Books in Other Regions Across America" or "See What's Trending In Other Parts of the Country."
There is much we can do with these lists. So click here for more information. You can also sign up to get notified when a new lists comes out [they are quarterly].
You can access all lists, new and backlist, anytime at this link any time, any where. 4th Quarter 2019 lists were just added this week. Data will be updated regularly and lists produced, so this will be something I will alert you to as they come out. Revisit the lists, old and new each time the data is updated and you will have dynamic lists to use in a variety of ways with patrons.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Diversity in Publishing Report 2.0 via Lee and Low

Click here for the full
Lee and Low report

Lee and Low recently updated their 2015 study on the problem and why diversity in publishing matters. Click here to read the full report. It is NOT good news. There has really not been much movement.
We need to keep pushing. I have also reposted the introduction to the report below. This is a must read no matter your job title. You work in a library, you need to know. But also, you need to act. Use my tags on diversity, equity and inclusion to read about ways you can act.
Here is the report:

Lee & Low Books released the first Diversity Baseline Survey (DBS 1.0) in 2015. Before the DBS, people suspected publishing had a diversity problem, but without hard numbers, the extent of that problem was anyone’s guess. Our goal was to survey publishing houses and review journals regarding the racial, gender, sexual orientation, and ability makeup of their employees; establish concrete statistics about the diversity of the publishing workforce; and then build on this information by reissuing the survey every four years. Through these long-term efforts, we would be able to track what progress our industry shows over time in improving representation and inclusion.
Why does diversity in publishing matter? The book industry has the power to shape culture in big and small ways. The people behind the books serve as gatekeepers, who can make a huge difference in determining which stories are amplified and which are shut out. If the people who work in publishing are not a diverse group, how can diverse voices truly be represented in its books?
The results of DBS 1.0 were stark. 79 percent of respondents identified as White. 78 percent were women. 88 percent were straight. 92 percent were non-disabled. At a time when readers of all backgrounds were demanding to see themselves in books, the publishing industry came nowhere near to reflecting the rich diversity of the United States.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Updates to Becky's Favorite Free Genre Resources

I have been working behind the scenes on a lot of new and updated material. While I am always making small tweaks to my presentations, this time of year most everything I do gets a full overhaul.

I will be debuting some of this next week as I begin, in earnest, 2020's roadshow appearances, but today I wanted to remind you that I just updated my aptly titled, "Becky's Favorite Free Genre Resources" sheet.

I made many changes, but here is one example. I added this link to the wonderful free genre training webinars via LibraryReads and NoveList from last year.

Click here to access my handy genre resource sheet for more, but also know it is always available on my 10 Rules of Basic RA Service page [at the bottom].

Oh, and one final word of warning. I purposely chose resources that link to more resources. In other words, prepared to go down a genre rabbit hole.

My advice, use this list one genre at a time. Decide which genre you want to delve into to get yourself up to speed first and only focus on that one for now. Trying to dig into all the genres at once will overwhelm you.

Look out next Tuesday for my updated Demystifying Genre program slides for more trends, basic appeal factors, and over 100 titles for Adults and Teens.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Using Awards Lists as a RA Tool: RUSA Book and Media Awards

This is part of my ongoing series on using Awards Lists as a RA tool. Click here for all posts in the series in reverse chronological order. Click here for the first post which outlines the details how to use awards lists as a RA tool.

Last night RUSA, The Reference and Users Services division of the ALA announced their Book and Media Awards.

I will link to each award. All are equally important but here on my blog, where I am here to help you help the average leisure reader, I will post the entire press release of the RUSA CODES Reading List, a list of the best genre reads.

The RUSA website has an excellent page with every award. Each award links to a page that makes access of backlist winners super easy, and those backlist winners are great suggestions anytime. Please note however, those pages are not updated with the 2020 results. For those, I will be linking to the press release. However, if you come upon this post at t a future date, use this link to see winners past and present.

First all of the other[non reference] awards with press release links:

And now, the full 2020 RUSA CODES Reading List Genre winners. This list is the perfect RA tool because it has a winner with a blurb [so you can book talk it ASAP], 3 readalikes for the winning titles, and a list of runners up. Use this list right now for current genre titles and backlist readalikes. Use the archive for past year's winners. And make a big display that honors the best in genre books. 

Genres books are not less worthy than "literary" titles, and this award is proof of that.

Click here for the source. Press release reposted below:

Click here for the press release 
The Reading List Council has announced the 2020 selections of the Reading List, an annual best-of list comprised of eight different fiction genres for adult readers. A shortlist of honor titles, up to 4 per genre was also announced. The list was announced today during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting held in Philadelphia.
The 2020 selections are:
Winner“The Passengers” by John Marrs, Berkley an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
After their driverless cars are hacked, eight passengers have two and a half hours to live. One will be set free based on the votes of a captive jury and the will of the world’s social media population – but each has secrets that could condemn them.
“Speed” the 1994 movie
“Elevator Pitch” by Linwood Barclay
“The Escape Room” by Megan Goldin
Short List“The Chain” by Adrian McKinty, Mulholland Books an imprint of Little, Brown and Company, a Division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
“Cold Storage” by David Koepp, HarperCollins
“Conviction” by Denise Mina, Mulholland Books an imprint of Little, Brown and Company, a Division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
“Lock Every Door” by Riley Sager, Dutton an Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
“Gods of Jade and Shadow” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Del Rey an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC
In Jazz Age Mexico Cassiopeia’s dull life takes an adventurous and life-changing turn when she must help a Mayan death god vanquish his brother and regain his throne in the underworld.
“Spinning Silver” by Naomi Novik
“Trail of Lightning” by Rebecca Roanhorse
“We Hunt the Flame” by Hafsah Faizal
Short List
“Middlegame” by Seanan McGuire, a Tor.com book published by Tom Doherty Associates
“Ninth House” by Leigh Bardugo, Flatiron Books
“The Ruin of Kings” by Jenn Lyons, a Tor book published by Tom Doherty Associates
“Silver in the Wood” by Emily Tesh, a Tor.com book published by Tom Doherty Associates
Historical Fiction
“The Secrets We Kept” by Lara Prescott, a Borzoi Book published by Alfred A. Knopf
During the Cold War, the CIA trains a new generation of female spies in an attempt to smuggle Boris Pasternak’s censored novel, Doctor Zhivago, back into the U.S.S.R. while Pasternak’s mistress deals with the fallout
“A Thread of Grace” by Mary Doria Russell
“Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly
“A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles
“The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book” by Peter Finn
Short List
“City of Flickering Light” by Juliette Fay, Gallery Books an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
“The Confessions of Frannie Langton” by Sara Collins, Harper an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
“The Song of the Jade Lily” by Kirsty Manning, William Morrow An imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
“Where the Light Enters” by Sara Donati, Berkley an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
“The Twisted Ones” by T. Kingfisher, Saga Press an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Brimming with spookiness, paranoia, and a single-minded bloodhound, this devilishly wicked tale of folkloric horror set in the woods of North Carolina is inspired by Arthur Machen’s “The White People.”
“The White People and Other Weird Stories” by Arthur Machen
“The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek” by Rhett McLaughlin
“Meddling Kids” by Edgar Cantero
Short List
“The Devil Aspect” by Craig Russell, Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House LLC
“The Homecoming” by Andrew Pyper, Simon & Schuster Canada a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
“The Toll” by Cherie Priest, a Tor Book, published by Tom Doherty Associates
“Violet” by Scott Thomas, Inkshares, Inc.
“The Right Sort of Man” by Allison Montclair, Minotaur Books
In post-World War II London, Iris Sparks (perhaps a wartime spy) and Gwendolyn Bainbridge (a society widow) have teamed up to matchmake singles with The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. When one client is accused of murdering another, Iris and Gwendolyn decide the police have the wrong man and start investigating
“Dear Mrs. Bird” by A.J. Pearce
“Mr. Churchill’s Secretary” by Susan Elia MacNeal
“Girl Waits with Gun” by Amy Stewart
The Tommy & Tuppence books by Agatha Christie
Short List
“The Chestnut Man” by Soren Sveistrup, Harper an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
“Magic for Liars” by Sarah Gailey, a Tor Book published by Tom Doherty Associates
“Paper Son” by S.J. Rozan, Pegasus Crime an imprint of Pegasus Books, Ltd.
“The Scholar” by Dervla McTiernan, Penguin Books an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
“When You Read This” by Mary Adkins, Harper a division of HarperCollins Publishers
After her death at 33 from an aggressive lung cancer, Iris leaves behind a blog that connects her boss and sister.  Told through blog entries, emails and texts, this tender, uplifting, and at times amusing story shows each working through their grief and discovering an unexpected connection
“The Garden of Small Beginnings” by Abbi Waxman
“Attachments” by Rainbow Rowell
“Meet Me at the Museum” by Anne Youngson
Short List
“Evvie Drake Starts Over” by Linda Holmes, Ballantine Books an imprint of Random House a division of Penguin Random House LLC
“Queenie” by Candice Carty-Williams, Scout Press an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc
“Rules for Visiting” by Jessica Francis Kane, Penguin Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
“The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters” by Balli Kaur Jaswal, William Morrow an imprint HarperCollins Publishers
“The Flatshare” by Beth O’Leary, Flatiron Books
Tiffy needs a place to live and Leon works nights, so they come to an unusual arrangement: sharing an apartment (and a bed!) but never seeing each other. Communicating via post-it note, they begin to rely on each other in ways they never imagined.
“Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating” by Christina Lauren
“Our Stop” by Laura Jane Williams
“We Met in December” by Rosie Curtis
Short List
“The Bride Test” by Helen Hoang, A Jove Book published by Berkley
“Lady Derring Takes a Lover” by Julie Anne Long, Avon Books an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
“The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics” by Olivia Waite, Avon Impulse an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
“Royal Holiday” by Jasmine Guillory, Berkley an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Science Fiction
“A Memory Called Empire” by Arkady Martine, A Tor Book published Tom Doherty Associates
In this conspiracy-filled novel, a determined ambassador desperately tries to survive her new diplomatic assignment while investigating the murder of her predecessor on a planet with rules she doesn’t understand.
“The Goblin Emperor” by Katherine Addison
“The Collapsing Empire” by John Scalzi
“Ancillary Justice” by Ann Leckie
Short List
“Finder” by Suzanne Palmer, DAW Books, Inc.
“The Future of Another Timeline” by Annalee Newitz, A Tor Book published by Tom Doherty Associates
“Gideon the Ninth” by Tamsyn Muir, a Tor.com Book published by Tom Doherty Associates
“To Be Taught, If Fortunate” by Becky Chambers, Harper Voyager an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
The winners were selected by the Reading List Council whose members include twelve expert readers’ advisory and collection development librarians. The eight genres currently included in the Council’s considerations are adrenaline, fantasy, historical fiction, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction, and women’s fiction. However, the Council is adaptable to new genres and changes in contemporary reading interest.
The Council consists of Matthew Galloway, Anythink Libraries, chair;  Craig Clark, Upper Arlington OH; Gloria Drake, Oswego Public Library District; Halle Eisenman, NoveList; Andrea Gough, Seattle Public Library; Marlene Harris, Reading Reality LLC; Sarah Jaffa, Kitsap Regional Library; Jackie Kropp, Western Plains Library System; Teresa May, Durham County Public Libraries; Jo Schofield, Stark County District Library; Karin Suni, Free Library of Philadelphia; Estella Terrazas, Altadena Library District;
The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Learn more at www.rusaupdate.org.

Friday, January 24, 2020

American Dirt Controversy and EDI [Updated 1/29/20]

I wanted to use this space today to provide links to the discussion around the newest Oprah pick, American Dirt by Jeanie Cummins.

I am going to provide a few links for people to get up to speed on the issues, including links to photos and then I will make some comments on the controversy, what to do, what we can learn from it, and what it illustrates.
The question I want to address immediately, and the one that many library workers have asked me about, "Am I not allowed to like the book now?"

I am addressing this first because while some people out there have asked the question in a racist manner [some even unapologetically], there are a good number of white, library workers who feel bad that they enjoyed the book, felt like it helped them to understand a serious issue a bit better, but now have some uncomfortable and guilty feelings about having enjoyed it.

I think this question and the answers it leads to are a perfect example of why the lack of diversity in publishing is the biggest problem here, not the author or the book.

Look, you can enjoy American Dirt as a read, you can "learn" something from it, but when you finish you must step back and acknowledge that it is cultural appropriation at best, and trauma porn about a victimized people by others at worst. And you need to learn from it. Think about why you liked it and acknowledge that it stems from a white privilege that you can work to fix by asking  questions, listening to others, and being willing to admit mistakes as we grow.

But the bigger problem here, the white privilege in the publishing world, especially at the big 5. No one thought to allow members of the Latinx writing community to comment earlier in the process, and I am not talking about the "Well Latinx authors read it after it was done and blurbed it" excuse. I am talking about before they offered her piles of money for the manuscript. Because once they gave her a huge advance, no one was backing down. Many jobs would be lost over that.

Publishing decisions makers are almost solely white. [See the brand new Lee and Low Report on Diversity in Publishing.] Many of them are well meaning, but with their white privilege [which all white people have, even myself, even when we try not to], they could not identify the problems that many Latinx people in the publishing world spotted immediately. And some were egregious [see the links to the pictures I included above].

When I give my EDI lectures I talk about how important it is for all white people to always listen first and act later. I bounce my ideas about my EDI training, the advice I give, etc... off of members of marginalized communities, always. I never assume I have all the solutions. I only assume that with my status as a white lady in a profession made up of 88% white ladies that I have a face that people listen to, and so, I make sure what I say is as accurate and helpful as possible.

Publishing does NOT have these people. They need them. If they had Latinx people in house to read the Cummins manuscript, I don't think it would have become the "IT" book of the season in pre-pub publicity. I am not sure she would have even gotten a book deal.

Not only have multiple Latinx writers pointed out the problems with the book, from grossly incorrect use of Spanish to the overall unsettling nature of reading this appropriated story of trauma, but also many have said that they have proposed similar books, books set in Mexico, and have been told straight up by publishers that, "No one wants to read that." But a white author suggests it and publishers listen, get excited, and throw money at it.

Here is but one example, author Gabino Iglesias [whose book Coyote Songs is better than American Dirt in every way, IMO] wrote about how deep the problem is on multiple fronts here on LitReator. Remember this is a man who is an author, a critic for major media outlets, a teacher of current MFA students [and kids], and has a PhD in journalism. He understands what he is talking about in this essay from every front. Please read this essay.

This alone has been extremely upsetting to the Latinx community. And I don't think they are overreacting, especially when some of the defense of Cummins has been, "Well there were no Mexican authors who wanted to write this story." I feel for the Latinx author community who have expressed great hurt over statements like that, and the whole situation in general.

Despite the problems, concerns, and issues, sales are not being effected, stores still have up their giant marketing displays with tons of copies of the title [I just saw one at my local store this morning], and Oprah is not backing down from picking it as her next book club choice.

It feels like a more things change, the more they stay the same, moment. But I am hoping it is not. I hope we look back and see this as the beginning of a larger commitment to making sure there are more people of color in the publishing industry. I am hoping there is a huge call to hire POC editors. I am hoping publishers will not tell #ownvoices authors that "no one" wants to read about their experience because that is simply not true anymore.

So many white readers are talking about how much American Dirt opened their eyes. What if a less problematic book did that? People are hungry for these stories.

We are getting closer. We are still very far. But maybe, just maybe, American Dirt will be the catalyst that forces the publishing industry to finally act.

Let's see.

Additional Info [added 1/29]: There is another issue that is surfacing. Some library workers have indicated that the book was marketed to them as an "Own Voices" title. They are sharing publishing copy that they received that was vague and misleading. I can share my own personal story that this book was aggressively promoted at ALA Annual in DC in June of 2019. I was given 2 copies of an ARC at two separate events. I was told it was going to be the "MUST READ" title of 2020 about the border crisis. Now, I looked into the book a bit more after it was handed it to me, and had concerns about the author being "Own Voices." I put the book aside because of those concerns and decided to focus on other titles I was excited about.

Yes, there is deceptive marketing to take advantage of those of us who want to shine a light on more diverse and inclusive titles, but also, we, the library workers, need to not blindly trust the publishers. Come on, we are known for doing research. Please do your research on upcoming books. I love our library marketing reps. One of them is a actual friend and neighbor. But I never blindly trust any of them. I take their recommendations and make my own decisions. [End addition]

Now on to the service to patrons issue. Some library workers have asked me if they should display the book and/or tell people about the controversy.  This answer is easy. People will be coming in for the book because of the controversy. The holds list will be very long. You will be adding more copies [which again, some people are uncomfortable with because then they are helping the publisher make more money]. However, you have to add more copies because we always work to meet demand. Not ordering more is a form of censorship.

BUT, we can educate. We can provide point - counterpoint bookmarks with links to put in every copy as they go out. We can host programs about Latinx publishing and the refuge crisis. Use this as a chance to have a community conversation, educate people, and give them even more information. If people say this book has helped to "open their eyes," think about how much wider they will open if we supplement the book with even more information.

Take the controversy and turn it into a chance to educate your community. That shouldn't be hard because this is what we do. It is intimately tied up with our overall mission.

I wish this didn't happen, but if we learn and grow from it, as a society, and if publishing makes real change, then it will all be worth it.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Resource Alert: Library Journal's 2020 Midwinter Galley Guide

We are entering a busy conference time with Midwinter beginning and PLA just around the corner. Each time there is a conference, Library Journal puts together a Galley Guide, a list of all of the ARCs you can expect to find at the conference.

Here's the thing though, these guides are actually more useful to those left behind or to access and consult after attendees return. Why?

Click here to read my explanation from the last round of Galley Guides last spring. This post his about how and why Galley Guides are an excellent RA and Collection Development resource.

[Side note: please, if you are going to Midwinter don't be that person who has 6 bags of ARCs that you lug around.]

And click here for the 2020 Midwinter Galley Guide and get a jump on what books everyone is going to be talking about by reading about them today. Your colleagues who are running around and grabbing them frantically may posses the books in hand, but you will actually know what the books are about and why your patrons might enjoy them.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

RA for All Virtual Roadshow Visits Wild Wisconsin for #Own Voices for All Readers

After a 6 week break from presentations, I am back on the road, starting out slowly with a virtual conference. [However then I have 5 in person presentations over the next 4 weeks].

Today I am appearing at Wild Wisconsin, a FREE, 2-day, online conference for any and all library workers. I wrote about the conference in length back in December because it is such an amazing CE opportunity for a wide swath of library workers. And did I mention it is FREE. From anywhere. You do not need to reside in Wisconsin to be a part of it.

I have no idea if you can still join, but I know they are taping it all, so probably.

I am on at 1 central. Here is the link for the live slides. "See" you there or on the road soon.

Click here for slide access

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Using Best Lists: Another Perspective

I write a lot on this blog about how best lists are an excellent resource. Today, I wanted to pass on another perspective on the same topic by Michael Santangelo via Booklist's Corner Shelf Newsletter [which every single one of you should subscribe to here]:
Michael Santangelo is the Deputy Director of Collection Management at BookOps, the technical services collaboration between the New York Public Library and the Brooklyn Public Library. Since starting as a children’s materials selector in 2005 for Brooklyn, he has had various positions working with collection development and technical services. He is currently the co-chair of ALA’s Public Libraries Technical Services Interest Group and is on the LibraryReads Board of Directors. 
See below for his advice and ideas. I have reposted the beginning of his article with a link at the end to the full piece on the Booklist site.

RA Showcase
Michael Santangelo on How Best to Use the Best

Michael Santangelo 
The collection-building tools that are most useful and most needed can be the tools that most overwhelm. This is often the case with those end-of-the-year “best of” lists.
So Many Lists 
There are the usual library focused lists: BooklistLibrary Journal; Publisher’s WeeklyKirkusForeword Reviews; and LibraryReads. There are the newspaper lists: The New York TimesWashington PostLos Angeles TimesWall Street Journal. The magazine lists: Entertainment WeeklyO, the Oprah MagazineEsquireThe New YorkerVogue; EssenceThe Advocate; Ms. Popular online publications have lists: Jezebel; The Root; The Daily Beast; NPR; Shelf Awareness. My own institution, the New York Public Library, has a much respected set of lists. 
Lastly, there are the lists from RUSA: Notables, the Reading List, the CODES List, the Carnegies, and more, which are released after the Midwinter Meeting.
Popular lists tend to cross genres, but there are genre-specific lists, too. Most people read these for personal reasons—what should I read next, what should I give for the holidays, etc. We take them in as professional tools, to some extent using these lists to evaluate our job performance: did we miss anything this year? Did we buy enough?
Click here to read the full piece.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Announcing the Bram Stoker Awards Preliminary Ballot

Today I am proud to present the Bram Stoker Awards Preliminary Ballot. This is the long list from which the active members of the Horror Writers Association will choose a final ballot. And I am excited to be one of those members with a vote.

I present this preliminary ballot here on the blog for a few reasons. I realize for other awards I don't do this, only presenting the final ballot for collection development and RA reason, but in this case I am intimately involved so I thought it would be a good chance to share some of the behind the scenes information and a few extra tips:
  1. I made a New Year's Resolution to stop apologizing for promoting horror on the main blog. Getting this diverse and inclusive list of excellent horror across a variety of formats and publishers on this blog in a manner where these titles can be found though a simple text search is important to me. You need to be able to find these authors and titles to help patrons.
  2. There are quite a few books and authors which I have reviewed and/or written about on the horror blog that are appearing here. These are names you need to pay attention to, and they don't include a man named "King" anywhere on the list. 
  3. I was the chair of one of these juries. I understand how the entire process works. In light of all of the RWA problems and issues, I am proud of the work all of the Stoker Award juries did here and I wanted to give you insight into the process.
    • We work independently throughout the year obtaining works and reading them. As the chair, I did work to solicit titles to add to our private digital reading area but my jury also sent me titles there were interested in seeing. In the case of my jury, one title I did not know about but another jury member did, made this preliminary list. This especially makes me proud of the system we, as an organization, put in place.
    • Every member of each jury has an equal say in the titles that are pooled together to make the preliminary ballot. A group of at least 5 vote independently. Those votes are tallied and then the entire jury's list is presented in vote order to the overall Stoker Chairs. In the case of my jury I was pleased to see that every single individual member's top choice made the Prelimary Ballot and all, within our top 5 overall.
    • However, the HWA does not stop with allowing each jury having the only say here. The membership of the HWA, at every level, has a chance to recommend works. The preliminary list that a jury sends in is then cross referenced with the member recommendations. If a title received a significant number of recommendations but is NOT on the jury's prelimary ballot, that title can still be added to the ballot. This is why each jury submits their titles in order of the "points" they received to the Stoker Chairs. This process allows for members to have a say. And I believe it works. It is also key to this process that the HWA has removed how many "recs" a title has received. No one except the Stoker Jury Chairs knows that number. Again, in my jury, our lowest vote getting title was dropped from our list and replaced by another title from the rec list. I am also happy to report, this replaced title did also receive votes from our jury.
  4. Look at this list. We have diversity, lots of women, and big and small presses. We have horror that is "in your face" and quiet horror. We have voices new and old. You can serve a wide readership of speculative fiction fans with this preliminary ballot. And in a genre with very few library based resources at our disposal, giving you a longer list of options is imperative.
  5. I tout the work of The Seers' Table everywhere I go. But it is an initiative of the HWA where diverse and own voices authors are given a spotlight every single month. When Linda Addison [incidentally on the ballot below in poetry] helped to start the Diverse Works Committee, she hoped that it would translate into more inclusive ballots over time, and as we see now, it is. EDI values need to be at the forefront of everything we do. We need to give diverse authors a chance in the spotlight so people know about them, seek out their work, and give it a try. People will not even know they exist without this spotlight. Without the Seers' Table and it's years of work, wonderful works of horror would go unread because no one knew they were eve out there. Even myself, I work hard to identify diverse authors, but without the Seers' Table, there is at least one author on my jury's ballot that I would not have known about and sought out a copy from the publisher for us to consider without this resource. 
  6. Look at the publishers represented here. These are the publishers you need to be considering when ordering horror, especially those smaller presses. Use this list as a resource to give you okay you may need to add these titles to your collection. Many libraries have told me that my blog counts as resource in their collection development policies, so by placing the titles here, some of you now have what you need to go out and order them.
And now on to the list:


The 2019 Bram Stoker Awards® Preliminary Ballot
The Horror Writers Association (HWA) is pleased to release the Preliminary Ballot for the 2019 Bram Stoker Awards®. The HWA (see http://www.horror.org/) is the premier writersorganization in the horror and dark fiction genre, with over 1,600 members. We have presented the Bram Stoker Awards®in various categories since 1987 (see http://www.thebramstokerawards.com/).
Works on this ballot are not referred to as “nominees” or “finalists”. Only works appearing on the Final Ballot may be referred to as “nominated works” and their authors as “finalists”.  
The HWA Board of Trustees and the Bram Stoker Awards®Committee congratulate all those appearing on the Preliminary Ballot. Notes about the voting process will appear after the ballot listing.
2019 Bram Stoker Awards® Preliminary Ballot
Superior Achievement in a Novel
Goingback, Owl – Coyote Rage (Independent Legions Publishing)
Goodfellow, Cody – Unamerica (King Shot Press)
Lawson, Curtis M. – Black Heart Boys’ Choir (Wyrd Horror)
Little, John R. – The Murder of Jesus Christ (Bad Moon Books)
Malerman, Josh – Inspection (Del Rey)
Miskowski, S.P. – The Worst is Yet to Come (TrepidatioPublishing)
Moore, Michael J –  Highway Twenty (Hellbound BooksPublishing LLC)
Murray, Lee – Into the Ashes (Severed Press)
Nevill, Adam L.G. – The Reddening (Ritual Limited)
Taff, John F.D. – The Fearing (Grey Matter Press)
Wendig, Chuck – Wanderers (Del Rey)
Superior Achievement in a First Novel
Amor, Gemma – Dear Laura (Independently Published)
Cull, Andrew – Remains (IFWG Publishing International)
Day, Nicholas – Grind Your Bones to Dust (Excession Press)
Guignard, Eric J. – Doorways to the Deadeye (JournalStone)
Hopstaken, Steven and Prusi, Melissa – Stoker’s Wilde (Flame Tree Press)
Lane, Michelle Renee – Invisible Chains (Haverhill HousePublishing)
Luff, Cody T – Ration (Apex Book Company)
Moulton, Rachel Eve – Tinfoil Butterfly (MCD x FSG Originals)
Read, Sarah – The Bone Weaver’s Orchard (TrepidatioPublishing)
Starling, Caitlin – The Luminous Dead (Harper Voyager)
Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel
Bérubé, Amelinda – Here There Are Monsters (Sourcebooks Fire)
Dávila Cardinal, Ann – Five Midnights (Tor Teen)
Ernshaw, Shea – Winterwood (Simon Pulse)
Faring, Sara – The Tenth Girl (Imprint)
Gardner, Liana – Speak No Evil (Vesuvian Books)
Kurtagich, Dawn – Teeth in the Mist (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Marshall, Kate Alice – Rules for Vanishing (Viking Books for Young Readers)
Nzondi – Oware Mosaic (Omnium Gatherum)
Salomon, Peter Adam – Eight Minutes, Thirty-Two Seconds(PseudoPsalms Press)
West, Jacqueline – Last Things (Greenwillow Books)
Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel
Bunn, Cullen – Bone Parish Vol. 2 (BOOM! Studios)
Bunn, Cullen – Bone Parish Vol. 3 (BOOM! Studios)
Cates, Donny – Redneck Volume 3Longhorns (Image Comics)
Gaiman, Neil – Neil Gaiman’s Snow, Glass, Apples (Dark Horse Books)
Guillory, Rob – Rob Guillory’s Farmhand Volume 1: Reap What Was Sown (Image Comics)
Lemire, Jeff – Gideon Falls Book 2: Original Sins (Image Comics)
Lemire, Jeff – Gideon Falls Volume 3Stations of the Cross(Image Comics)
Liu, Marjorie – Monstress Volume 4: The Chosen (Image Comics)
Manzetti, Alessandro – Calcutta Horror (Independent Legions Publishing)
Tanabe, Gou – H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness Volume 1 (Dark Horse Manga)
Superior Achievement in Long Fiction
Breukelaar, J.S. – Like Ripples on a Blank Shore (Collision: Stories) (Meerkat Press, LLC)
Cluley, Ray – Adrenaline Junkies (The Porcupine Boy and Other Anthological Oddities) (Crossroad Press)
Jones, Pam – Ivy Day (Spaceboy Books LLC)
LaValle, Victor – Up from Slavery (Weird Tales Magazine #363)(Weird Tales Inc.)
Manzetti, Alessandro – The Keeper of Chernobyl (Omnium Gatherum)
Serafini, Matt – Rites of Extinction (Grindhouse Press)
Smith, Farah Rose – Anonyma (Ulthar Press)
Taborska, Anna – The Cat Sitter (Shadowcats) (Black Shuck Books)
Tantlinger, Sara – To Be Devoured (Unnerving)
Thomas, Richard – Ring of Fire (The Seven Deadliest) (Cutting Block Books)
Warren, Kaaron – Into Bones Like Oil (Meerkat Shorts)
Superior Achievement in Short Fiction
Chapman, Greg – “The Book of Last Words” (This Sublime Darkness and Other Dark Stories) (Things in the Well Publishing)
Kiste, Gwendolyn – “The Eight People Who Murdered Me (Excerpt from Lucy Westenra’s Diary)” (Nightmare MagazineNov. 2019, Issue 86) 
Landry, Jess – “Bury Me in Tar and Twine” (Tales of the LostVolume 1: We All Lose Something!) (Things in the Well Publishing)
Little, John R. – “Anniversary” (Dark Tides: A Charity Horror Anthology) (Gestalt Media)
MacKenzie, Brooke – “The Elevator Game” (Who Knocks? Magazine Issue #2)
O’Quinn, Cindy – “Lydia” (The Twisted Book of Shadows) (Twisted Publishing)
Serna-Grey, Ben – “Where Gods Dance” (Apex Magazine Issue #118)
Waggoner, Tim – “A Touch of Madness” (The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias) (LVP Publications)
Westlake, Jack – “Glass Eyes in Porcelain Faces” (Black Static Issue #70) (TTS Press)
White, Gordon B. – “Birds of Passage” (Twice-Told: A Collection of Doubles) (Chthonic Matter)
Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection
Chambers, James – On the Night Border (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
Chiang, Ted – Exhalation: Stories (Knopf)
Evenson, Brian – Song for the Unraveling of the World (Coffee House Press)
Hodson, Brad C. – Where Carrion Gods Dance (Washington Park Press)
Howard, Kat – A Cathedral of Myth and Bone: Stories(Gallery/Saga Press)
Johnson, L.S. – Rare Birds: Stories (Traversing Z Press)
Jonez, Kate – Lady Bits (Trepidatio Publishing)
Langan, John – Sefira and Other Betrayals (Hippocampus Press)
Read, Sarah – Out of Water (Trepidatio Publishing)
Tremblay, Paul – Growing Things and Other Stories (William Morrow)
Superior Achievement in a Screenplay
Aster, Ari – Midsommar (B-Reel Films, Square Peg)
Busick, Guy and Murphy, Ryan – Ready or Not (Mythology Entertainment)
Duffer Brothers, The – Stranger Things (Season 3, Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt) (Netflix)
Eggers, Robert and Eggers, Max – The Lighthouse (A24, New Regency Pictures, RT Features)
Flanagan, Mike – Doctor Sleep (Warner Bros., Intrepid Pictures/Vertigo Entertainment)
Gilroy, Dan – Velvet Buzzsaw (Netflix)
Hageman, Dan and Hageman, Kevin – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (1212 Entertainment, CBS Films, DDY, Entertainment One, Rolling Hills Productions, Sean Daniel Company, Starlight International Media)
López, Issa – Tigers Are Not Afraid (Filmadora Nacional, Peligrosa)
Peele, Jordan – Us (Monkeypaw Productions, Perfect World Pictures, Dentsu, Fuji Television Network, Universal Pictures) 
Sutherland, Teresa – The Wind (Soapbox Films, Divide/Conquer, Mind Hive Films)
Superior Achievement in an Anthology
Beltran, Patrick and Ward, D. Alexander – The Seven Deadliest(Cutting Block Books)
Brhel, John and Sullivan, Joe – Other Voices, Other Tombs (Independently Published) 
Brozek, Jennifer – Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods (Pulse Publishing)
Cade, Octavia – Sharp & Sugar Tooth: Women Up to No Good(Upper Rubber Boot Books)
Datlow, Ellen – Echoes (Gallery/Saga Press)
Golden, Christopher and Moore, James A. – The Twisted Book of Shadows (Twisted Publishing)
Guignard, Eric J. – Pop the Clutch: Thrilling Tales of Rockabilly, Monsters, and Hot Rod Horror (Dark Moon Books)
Johnson, Eugene and Dillon, Steve – Tales of the Lost Volume 1: We All Lose Something! (Things in the Well Publishing)
Schweitzer, Darrell – Mountains of Madness Revealed (PS Publishing)
Wilson, Robert S. – Nox Pareidolia (Nightscape Press)
Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction
Beal, Eleanor and Greenaway, Jonathan – Horror and Religion: New Literary Approaches to Theology, Race, and Sexuality(University of Wales Press)
Earle, Harriet E.H. – Gender, Sexuality, and Queerness in American Horror Story: Critical Essays (McFarland)
Eighteen-Bisang, Robert and Miller, Elizabeth – Drafts of Dracula (Tellwell Talent)
Grafius, Brandon R. – Reading the Bible with Horror(Lexington Books/Fortress Academic)
Heller-Nicholas, Alexandra – Masks in Horror Cinema: Eyes Without Faces (University of Wales Press)
Kachuba, John B. – Shapeshifters: A History (Reaktion Books)
Kröger, Lisa and Anderson, Melanie R. – Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction(Quirk Books)
Stobbart, Dawn – Videogames and Horror: From Amnesia to Zombies, Run! (University of Wales Press)
Tibbetts, John C. – The Furies of Marjorie Bowen (McFarland)
Volk, Stephen – Coffinmaker’s Blues: Collected Writings on Terror (PS Publishing)
Superior Achievement in Short Non-Fiction
Clasen, Mathias – Evolution, Cognition, and Horror: A Précis of Why Horror Seduces (Journal of Cognitive Historiography Vol 4, No 2)
Hurley, Gavin F. – Between Hell and Earth: Rhetorical Appropriation of Religious Space within Hellraiser (The Spaces and Places of Horror, Vernon Press)
Kiste, Gwendolyn – Magic, Madness, and Women Who Creep: The Power of Individuality in the Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Vastarien: A Literary Journal Vol. 2, Issue 1)
Liaguno, Vince A. – Slasher Films Made Me Gay: The Queer Appeal and Subtext of the Genre (LGBTQ+ Horror Month: 9/1/2019, Ginger Nuts of Horror)
Mann, Craig Ian – The Beast Without: The Cinematic Werewolf as a (Counter)Cultural Metaphor (Horror Studies Journal Volume 10.1)
Renner, Karen J. – The Evil Aging Women of American Horror Story (Elder Horror: Essays on Film’s Frightening Images of Aging, McFarland) 
Robinson, Kelly – Film’s First Lycanthrope: 1913’s The Werewolf (Scary Monsters Magazine #114)
Waggoner, Tim – Riding Out the Storms (Writing in the Dark)
Weich, Valerie E. – Lord Byron’s Whipping Boy: Dr. John William Polidori and the 200th Anniversary of The Vampyre(Famous Monsters of Filmland, Issue #291)
Worth, Aaron – From the Books of Wandering: Fin-De-Siècle Poetics of a Supernatural Figure (The Times Literary Supplement)
Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection
Addison, Linda D. and Manzetti, Alessandro – The Place of Broken Things (Crystal Lake Publishing)
Cade, Octavia – Mary Shelley Makes a Monster (Aqueduct Press)
Coffman, Frank – The Coven’s Hornbook & Other Poems (Bold Venture Press)
Crum, Amanda – Tall Grass (Independently Published) 
Davitt, Deborah L. – The Gates of Never (Finishing Line Press)
Lynch, Donna – Choking Back the Devil (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
Mitchell, Zoe – Hag (Indigo Dreams Publishing)
Scalise, Michelle – Dragonfly and Other Songs of Mourning(LVP Publications)
Simon, Marge and Dietrich, Bryan D. – The Demeter Diaries(Independent Legions Publishing)
Ward, Kyla Lee – The Macabre Modern and Other Morbidities(P’rea Press)
Wytovich, Stephanie M. – The Apocalyptic Mannequin (Raw Dog Screaming Press) 
Please note these works must NOT be referred to as “Bram Stoker Award® Nominees” until the Final Ballot is formally announced on February 23, 2020. 
Our voting members will vote on these Preliminary Ballots, beginning February 1, 2020 with voting closing on February 15, 2020. (Only Active and Lifetime Members are eligible to vote.) Active members must have paid their 2020 dues and be in good standing as of 1/31/2020 to be eligible to vote. Renewals after that date will NOT be eligible. Log into your Wild Apricot account and pay your dues. If you’re a voting member and haven’t renewed your dues, please do so now or before January 31, 2020 if you wish to receive a ballot and vote for the 2019 awards. 
Works appearing on the Preliminary Ballot are NOT “Bram Stoker Award® Nominees” and authors, editors, publishers, and others should not refer to any of these works as such – doing so is a severe breach of etiquette. Do NOT spam Voting Members, this is also a severe breach of etiquette and voting members tend to notice such breaches and may consider them when determining which works to vote for on the Ballot.
The Preliminary Ballot will be sent to Lifetime and Active Members on February 1, 2020. If you are an Active or Lifetime Member and do NOT receive your electronic Ballot link by February 3rd, please first check your spam/junk mail filter, make sure your email address is updated in Wild Apricot, and then email Brad C. Hodson at admin@horror.org with a brief message about the issue. Note that Ballots are sent to the same email address as the Newsletter and the Internet Mailer. It is the responsibility of Members to keep their email address up to date in Wild Apricot or by advising the administrator of any issues with your membership account at admin@horror.org. Late Ballots cannot be accepted under any circumstances.
If your work (you are the author, agent, editor, publisher, or publicist) appears on the ballot and you wish to provide a link allowing Voting Members only to read the work, there will be a SPECIAL PRELIMINARY BALLOT INTERNET MAILER issued on or around January 25. Please email the Internet Mailer editor at imailer@horror.org with the details as soon as possible but no later than January 25 (links will not be accepted for this Special IM after January 25). You may offer contact information to send electronic copies, provide reading copies on a website,or list a link for download. Anyone validly representing a work appearing on the Preliminary Ballot may submit via this method whether they are HWA members or not (this includes the author, agent, editor, publisher or publicist of the work). 
You may also post the fact that your work is available to be read for Bram Stoker Award® consideration ONCE, and only once, here: http://www.horrorwritersassociation.org/login-forum/(Bram Stoker Eligible Work). If you had already posted your work here prior to the announcement of the Preliminary Ballot you ARE entitled to post it again. Note: Only members may post at this Forum but members are encouraged to post on behalf of non-members who may appear on the Ballot. You may also offer your work for Bram Stoker Award® consideration ONCE, and only once, here: http://hwa46.wildapricot.org/page-1683782 Listed in the Wild Apricot menu as “Works for Consideration”. 
The Final Ballot (Bram Stoker Award® Nominees for the 2019calendar year) will be announced on February 23, 2020. With that announcement, there will be dates and instructions listed for the Nominees and Voting Membership. 
Please direct any questions regarding the Preliminary Ballot to stokerchair@horror.org
Any questions regarding your membership/account information to admin@horror.org
If your work appears on the Preliminary Ballot and you have any questions or want to provide information for the Special Preliminary Ballot Internet Mailer write to imailer@horror.org