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The 2015 NetGalley Challenge ended last week – thank you to the 7,400+ members who participated! Your input and enthusiasm directly influence the resources and activities that we create, which hopefully aid you in being Book Advocates.

In case you missed it, the 5-week Challenge was a blitz of activity and curated resources, such as the live webcast with review tips from experts, guest blog posts, Scavenger Hunts, and daily activities on Facebook and Twitter. You can catch up with the weekly recaps and activities here.

It’s been so rewarding and inspiring to see our dedicated community reinforce their love and support of books. THANK YOU and stay tuned for more good things to come!

Tarah Theoret
Community Manager, NetGalley

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We’d like to welcome Alicia Vandenbroek as our featured librarian from Shackelford Library at Shackelford Junior High School. Alicia is a long-time NetGalley member, a tech-savvy librarian, an author, and reviewer who shares how she incorporates technology in her library, which upcoming titles she’s looking forward to, and tips for considering which books to read and review for your audience.  

patriotpride

A nice place to start is with your librarian origin story – how did you become a junior high school librarian?

I’ve had a passion for books for as long as I can remember. Even at a young age, my mom always made sure I had access to books from the library. I found out in high school that being a writer might be harder than I thought, so I began to investigate jobs that would allow me to write and also explore other passions (like working with kids). I soon fell in love with teaching. After six years, I started to look for ways I could still teach, but reach a larger audience. The library was the perfect fit! It is an ideal place for collaboration, the geeky tech stuff I enjoy, books, and kids… lots of kids! Add a makerspace into the mix, and it is literally my dream job. Right now it is such a joy to see students experience things that they never thought possible and challenge themselves to do more.

As a self-proclaimed “tech nerd,” how is technology incorporated into your library, for your students but also for yourself and your staff? Do you have any goals for incorporating further technology into your library?

Yes, I’m a nerd. That used to bother me, but I embraced my inner geek a long time ago. I even rock a Haven and a Firefly shirt from time to time (only nerds will get that). What I love most about tech is that it isIMG_0009 continually evolving. Life is a journey and you can never be complacent. Technology forces us to keep growing and expanding. I started learning code last year. I stink, but I know enough Scratch to stay one step ahead of my makers and we learn together. In the library technology is a huge part of my makerspace and my lessons. Last year we got a grant for a 3D printer and 3D Doodler pens, so I’m very excited to incorporate those into curriculum this year. We’ve added some life skill tech in the form of sewing machines and a button maker too. The plan is to do some cool wearable art this year.  In lessons we use tech to enrich the curriculum through activities like online research, speedbooking, and student lead projects. I try to lead by example and then I also offer classes at both a local and regional level.

In addition to being a librarian, you also run a blog, Poetry of Words – can you describe the focus of your blog and the types of titles you review there? 

Initially, it was going to be a book blog only, but occasionally I also blog about some of the cool things happening at school like our STEAM festival. I mostly review YA books because that is largely what I read, but I review other books also like professional, nonfiction, and some christian fiction. The blog gives a summary of the book, what I thought of the book, and then some other tips like grade level, genre, etc. Continue reading “Librarian Spotlight – Alicia Vandenbroek”

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Indie Next List

October edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the October Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

 

Additional Indie Next titles, not currently available on NetGalley:
Don’t Suck, Don’t Die: Giving Up Vic Chesnutt
by Kristin Hersh
ISBN: 9780292759473

The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr
ISBN: 9780062223067

Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick DeWitt
ISBN: 9780062281203

Pretty Girls: A Novel by Karin Slaughter
ISBN: 9780062429056

A Line of Blood: A Novel by Ben McPherson
ISBN: 9780062406101

Mothers, Tell Your Daughters by Bonnie Jo Campbell
ISBN: 9780393248456

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Scavenger Hunt for Week #5!

For the last week of the NetGalley Challenge, we’re hosting another fun scavenger hunt! Starting at 10am EDT today (Tuesday, Sept. 1st) we will release a new clue right here every hour, on the hour, that will all lead you to a particular title on NetGalley.com. Once you’ve discovered the title, and have filled in the form below, you will be eligible to win an exciting prize from the publisher!

To be eligible for the prize, you must: The Scavenger Hunt has concluded – thanks for everyone who participated!
1) Share the NetGalley Challenge badge (available in your NetGalley account).
2) Watch our blog for clues, and as soon as you’ve discovered the title, fill out this form with the answer.
3) Keep the answer to yourself! We ask that the title remain a mystery to those who have not successfully deciphered the clues – this will help increase your chances of winning the prize!
*If you do reveal the answer on your blog, social media, etc. you will be disqualified from this and all other Challenge prize opportunities.

On Friday, September 4th, we will notify 5 random entrants (who have correctly filled in the form, and have shared the Challenge badge) that they have won the sponsored prize!

Clues:
#1: The plot of this book is very similar to this scavenger hunt.
#2: The main character of this book is looking for something omniscient.
#3: In an early review, the book was called “Just the ticket for fans of Unfortunate Events…”
#4: The book is designed like a Victorian storybook with lavish illustrations.
#5: For the final clue: The author worked for Archie Comics as the writer and artist of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.

And the answer to this week’s Scavenger Hunt is…
Continue reading “Scavenger Hunt – Week #5”

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IndieNext

Indie Next List

September edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the September Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!


Additional Indie Next titles, not currently available on NetGalley:

The Race for Paris
by Meg Waite Clayton
ISBN 9780062354631

In the Dark Places by Peter Robinson
ISBN 9780062240545

The Hummingbird by Stephen P. Kiernan
ISBN 9780062369543

The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny
ISBN 9781250022080

The Girl From the Garden by Parnaz Foroutan
ISBN 9780062388384

Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse by Faith Sullivan
ISBN 9781571311115

Best Boy by Eli Gottlieb
ISBN 9781631490477

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News from NetGalley

NetGalley is looking for a QA Analyst / Assistant Product Manager to join our team!

No longer accepting applications

NetGalley is looking to add a QA Analyst / Assistant Product Manager. Our ideal candidate is passionate about both books and technology.

The NetGalley team is virtual, but we work on an east coast schedule and many of us are based around NYC. This employee will need a home office and to be able to work effectively at home. There will be occasional travel to team meetings.

Each day of this job is likely to be different, and there is a lot of potential to contribute your ideas and make your mark, but this position is 100% hands-on.
Continue reading “NetGalley is looking for a QA Analyst / Assistant Product Manager”

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Activities and Resources for #BookAdvocates

WATCH: Last week’s webcast (if you haven’t already) for tips and insights when writing reviews.

MEET: A Bookseller Book Advocate (Lexi Beach from the Astoria Bookshop) in our first-ever Bookseller Spotlight! Discover how Lexi became a bookseller, what upcoming books she’s excited
about, and her tips for writing in-store recommendations.

DISCOVER: The Scavenger Hunt answer, and request it! If you missed the fun, watch for the next Scavenger Hunt (starting around 10am EDT on Tuesday) on our blog and Twitter. Plus, the winner’s of this week’s prize are listed!

READ: Tips from guest experts on our blog–updated throughout the Challenge.

Keep up the great work and happy reading!

Tarah Theoret
Community Manager, NetGalley

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Feedback, Beyond the Review

Did you know that as a NetGalley Member, you can submit other forms of Feedback, besides a review? Essentially any information that is relevant to the title and author can be submitted to the publisher, particularly in the Notes portion of the Feedback section. Submitting extra information will help you stay relevant and engaged with that publisher, and for some member types, where your primary objective isn’t to write a review (like making purchasing decisions, for example) this is where you will focus your time when communicating with the publisher.

Librarian
Did you purchase the title for your collection?
Are you including it as a book club or advisory board pick?
Are you holding an event where the title/author will be featured?
Did you nominate the title for LibraryReads?

Bookseller

Did you purchase the title for your inventory?
Are you including the title as a staff pick?
Did you nominate the title for this month’s Indie Next List?
Did you create any in-store display materials, such as a shelftalker or local author display?
Are you holding an event where the title/author will be featured?
Do you plan on hand-selling it?

Educator

Will you be incorporating the title in your lesson plans?
Are you going to adopt the title for your classroom library?
Are you interested in classroom materials created for the title?

Media

Are you including your review in a printed publication?
Are you interested or have already scheduled an interview with vthe author or editor?
Do you want to include the title in a themed or seasonal roundup?
Would you like more information, a final cover, or verify a quote?

Reviewer
(Including Bloggers!)

Are you interested or have already scheduled an interview with vthe author?
Are you interested in joining or perhaps you already joined the blog tour?
Are you using the title or author in any way that the vpublisher would be interested in?
Would you like to verify a quote and/or the final cover?

For more Feedback tips and suggestions for writing reviews, watch our recent webcast, and read our Recipes for Success articles!

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Review Tips and Preferences, From the Publisher’s Perspective

Jessica Brock is an Associate Publicist at Berkley/NAL and has provided us with some great tips to keep in mind when writing reviews & for your NetGalley profile. Jessica also joined us during our live-webcast (which you can watch here) to speak directly to our members, expand on her suggestions below, & give us a sneak peek at Berkley/NAL’s top Fall titles! Berkley_logo1

Keep your profile current with links to your blog and social media accounts:
We really prefer reviewers with multiple platforms, so that the reviews are reaching a wider audience.

The most relevant information should be at the top of your profile:
What is most relevant is your blog stats (hits, followers, page views per month etc.) followed by genre preferences/favorite authors, which is all great information to have upfront. If you keep all of the relevant information towards the top of your bio, then your request may be approved more quickly. All things to keep in mind when building and updating your profile.

Reviews on NetGalley:
Constructive and thoughtful:
Comments like “omg this was so good!” are fine, but tell me why you liked the book and what you enjoyed about it. If it wasn’t your cup of tea, then thoughtfully explain why. This is very relevant information to have, and we want to know what our readers are thinking and what is being said about the book – good or bad, that is thoughtful, and covers multiple points.

Try and have an “overall thoughts” part or pull quote at the top:
Try to give us an overall idea of your review and your general takeaway of the book. It could be something like “This is my new favorite hero – he so loyal and I will follow him for the rest of the series.” Then, when we pin your review to the page on NetGalley (super helpful!) readers will see this first and think “oh, this person really liked the main character” “or this sounds like something I would be interested in.”

Link to the review on your blog:
It is very helpful for publishers to include the link to where the review will appear publicly when you submit your review. It’s good to get a sense of where else the review is posted elsewhere.

Click here to watch the full webcast, where Jessica is joined by other review experts & read our other informational Recipes for Success articles!

To connect with Jessica and Berkley/NAL visit their Publisher page on NetGalley, and their Twitter: @BerkleyRomance (romance titles), @BerkleyNAL (general fiction/women’s fiction/thrillers/non-fiction), @AceRocBooks (sci-fi/fantasy/urban fantasy)

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The UK’s Top Ten Books… Coming in October 2015

With Summer now rather behind us, and the rain settling in, the books for October take on a rather autumnal, even wintry aspect — and there are chills a-plenty to be found in our books of the month roundup.

Our Book of the Month comes from the legendary Edna O’Brien, probably one of the world’s truly great writers. Peter James returns to his horror roots in The House on Cold Hill, David Young’s impressive debut Stasi Child takes us back to the Cold War years, while These Shadow Graves is set to be one of the best YA novels of the year.

Also, do look out for When the Professor Got Stuck in the Snow, a book that was almost never published. Dan Rhodes – the most unusual and irrepressible writer of his generation – takes on religion, and its lack, in one of the funniest books you’ll read for many years.

Finally, do have a look out for the NetGalley Challenge. You can find a lot more information here, as well as watching a really useful video about improving your NetGalley experience here. I do hope you find it useful!

The Little Red Chairs
Edna O'Brien
Faber & Faber
UK Edition

Since publishing The Country Girls in 1960 Edna O’Brien has been one of the most acute, acclaimed and venerated novelists – and in The Little Red Chairs, her first novel for almost ten years, her mastery of the form is once again shown to be thrillingly alive.

When a wanted war criminal from the Balkans, masquerading as a faith healer, settles in a small west coast Irish village, the community – especially Fidelma McBride – falls under his spell. From this premise, O’Brien captures the internal and external worlds of men and women corrupted by the world, and how we cope with the aftermath of evil. It is a stunning, lyrical and deeply felt novel of rare grace and intelligence.

The House on Cold Hill
Peter James
Macmillan
UK Edition

The author of the incredibly successful Roy Grace mysteries actually began his writing career with supernatural chillers – a genre that he has now returned to for this terrifying haunted house tale. Born townies, Ollie Harcourt, his wife, Caro, and their twelve-year-old daughter, Jade move out to the wilds of Sussex and into the dilapidated grandeur of Cold Hill House. It is a dream come true for Ollie, but as the family move in, it slowly becomes more like a nightmare. Scary and very well told.

Stasi Child
David Young
Twenty7 Books
World Edition

David Young’s debut novel introduces Oberleutnant Karin Müller, a character we’re sure to hear a lot about in the future. The backdrop is East Germany in the mid-1970s, and Young diligently brings the paranoia and fear of the times to life, while also weaving an exceptionally fluid mystery that holds the reader gripped. Reminiscent of Fatherland and AD Miller’s Snowdrops, Stasi Child heralds a bold new voice – and character – in historical crime.

These Shallow Graves
Jennifer Donnelly
Hot Key
UK Edition
US Edition

From Jennifer Donnelly, the critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of A Northern Light and Revolution, comes a mystery about dark secrets, dirty truths, and the lengths to which people will go for love and revenge. When rich girl Jo Montfort’s father dies in a gun-related accident, her perfect life is shattered. But she cannot help but search out the truth – no matter how dreadful the outcome. Atmospheric and brilliantly achieved.

A Mile Down
David Vann
Cornerstone
UK Edition

David Vann’s Legend of a Suicide was one the most feted American debuts of recent years. The stories it contained were autobiographical, but twisted and shaped in such a way that readers were consistently shocked. A Mile Down is pure memoir, but is written with the same poetic urgency of his fiction. In it, David recounts the inspirational tale of building his own boat, and the voyage that almost destroyed it.

When the Professor Got Stuck in the Snow
Dan Rhodes
Aardvark Bureau
World Edition

Dan Rhodes is unique in British fiction; a humourist with a heart, a comedian with a brain, and a writer with a keen eye for the absolute stupidity and beauty in life. His latest novel centres on world famous evolutionary biologist Professor Richard Dawkins being stuck a place called Upper Bottom. It’s an idea that made many publishers wary of putting it out, but they shouldn’t have worried: it is utterly charming, slightly nasty and brilliantly inventive. Not to be missed.

High Dive
Jonathan Lee
Cornerstone
UK Edition

Jonathan Lee is regularly touted as one of the finest young novelists in Britain today, and in High Dive he has written the best book of his career thus far. The narrative hinges on the assassination attempt on Margaret Thatcher and her Cabinet in Brighton in 1984. In sinewy, always interesting prose, Lee takes us through the spider’s-web of conspiracy and danger, bringing an urgency and suspense to historical events. Mesmerising.

The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine
Alex Brunkhorst
Mira
UK Edition
US/CA Edition

When young journalist Thomas Cleary is sent to dig up quotes for the obituary of a legendary film producer, the man’s eccentric daughter – Matilda Duplaine – offers him entry into the exclusive upper echelons of Hollywood society. What begins as a romance, however, becomes darker. Much darker. Timeless, romantic and utterly absorbing, it is a mesmerizing tale of privilege, identity and the difficult choices we make in the pursuit of power.

Forty One
Lesia Daria
Cameron Publicity & Marketing
World Edition

Forty One is laced with good writing, searing insights into modern life, and the concessions we make for happiness. Eva Holden is middle-aged and stuck at home with the children, while her husband works for a year abroad. Just one year and they will be financially secure. But the time drags. As the boredom and frustrations mount, she find herself tempted by a past lover. Can she hold out? Should she wait? Lesia Daria’s tense and always believable narrative brings Eva’s fears in close relief. Powerful.

The Night in Question
Laurie Graham
Quercus
UK Edition

Those who enjoyed Ripper Street will find much to admire in this tale of love and friendship set against the frightened streets of Whitechapel. It didn’t look like Dot Allbones would make much of her life, but now she is the darling of the music hall stage. Her best friend, Kate, was the beautiful one – but she has fallen on hard times, just at the worst time possible. Witty, convincing and compelling.

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