Interview with the American Booksellers Association

NetGalley is a proud supporter of independent bookstores, and we’re honored to have the American Booksellers Association (ABA) as our official Bookseller Sponsor of the 2016 NetGalley Challenge.

ABA logoToday we’re highlighting the important work of the ABA, which was founded in 1900 as a national not-for-profit trade organization that works to help independently owned bookstores grow and succeed. As a special treat Oren Teicher, ABA CEO, sat down with us to chat about the ABA and how our members can get involved.


The ABA has so many great programs to help bookstores stay competitive and to reinforce the value of shopping indie. One in particular is the American Booksellers for Free Expression – can you give our members a brief description, and how they can get involved?

American Booksellers for Free Expression, a project of the American abfe logoBooksellers Association, is the bookseller’s voice in the fight against censorship. It defends the First Amendment rights of booksellers and their customers in local communities, state legislatures, Congress, and the courts. We invite everyone to sign up for our free newsletter, Free Speech Report. We also encourage them to support Banned Books Week, the only national celebration of the freedom to read. Thousands of bookstores and libraries participate every year during the fourth week of September. This year’s celebration is Sept. 25-Oct. 1.

I’m sure most of our members have heard of IndieBound (or have spotted it in their local indie), the local first-focused marketing program developed by the ABA. Can you describe the different components of IndieBound and how it benefits bookstores and patrons?

IndieBound is a collaborative program among the independent bookstore members of the American Booksellers Association that focuses on the unique attributes of indie stores and the power of “local first” shopping. Independent bookstores have a special place in their communities, a third place — not home, not work — where readers and book buyers can discover their next great read, share great experiences with authors, and establish deeper connections with other passionate readers and their own community. In the monthly Indie Next List and the weekly Indie Bestseller lists, readers can find insightful, curated lists of great titles and newly discovered authors, and authors show their dedication to indies nationwide by linking to their favorite bookstore or to thousands of indie bookstores through IndieBound.org. And consumers can know, too, that by shopping indie their dollars are staying in their communities, which means more money for sound schools, strong first responders, green parks and ball fields — all the things that make for happy and healthy communities.
indiebound logo
Through our partnership, booksellers who sign up for NetGalley can nominate titles to be considered for the Indie Next List—and we see a lot of activity generated from our members! Can you tell us the history of the Indie Next List and how it has evolved?

Indie Next logoAs readers know, one of the most interesting sections of an indie bookstore is the Staff Picks section, and the Indie Next List is, in effect, a monthly national staff picks of upcoming fiction and nonfiction. Each month, hundreds of independent booksellers nationwide send ABA nominations for the titles that they are most looking forward to hand-selling to their customers. These passionate recommendations drive the selection of 20 fiction and nonfiction titles that make up the Indie Next List, with the title getting the most nominations becoming that month’s number-one selection. Customers in bookstores coast to coast pick up the Indie Next List flier and peruse the titles online at IndieBound.org, as well as see the books in stores’ in-store displays. The list is a diverse mix of subject matter, taste, and genre — and is a showcase for both favorite authors and new voices. There is no shortage of great writing right now, and the Indie Next List helps readers discover the best of the best.

Another exciting connection point between NetGalley and the ABA was the creation of the Digital White Box program, to help introduce indie booksellers to more new books from a wide variety of publishers and genres. How can ABA member stores ensure they’re taking advantage of this free member benefit?

Yes, ABA offers digital galleys (for print books) via the Digital White Box with NetGalley. Booksellers on NetGalley can simply click here to tell us you’d like to receive this monthly email, and they should include the email addresses of everyone in your store. (Access to each book is linked by email address, so it’s important to sign up all staff members individually.) ABA member stores can also just make sure your ABA member number is added to their NetGalley Profile, and they will receive the Digital White Box automatically.

digital white box logoThe Digital White Box provides a curated, exclusive selection of books for indie bookstores, and the titles are immediately available to your colleagues in the store. Booksellers tell us that the email often helps them identify unexpected successes, in a wide variety of genres, from a diverse set of publishers.

As an important support system in the bookselling community, the ABA helps organize and host a number of events and promotions throughout the year for booksellers and patrons alike. We’re excited by the newest ABA initiative, the New Localism – can you give us some insight into how this program was developed and what results you’ve seen so far?

For many years now, we have seen the growth of localism — from farmers’ markets to the increasing awareness of the importance of locally owned Main Street business for vibrant and diverse communities with real job creation. The localism movement has become a major influence in the decisions of consumers regarding where they will make their purchases and spend their dollars. Nationally, literally millions of consumers are deciding to shop in a locally owned business because it is locally owned. But as an increasingly large percentage of consumer purchases are made online, ABA has led the way in examining what the dollars-and-cents effects are on our local communities. A study commissioned by ABA found that what’s good for Amazon is not good for the overwhelming number of communities in the U.S. The study revealed that Amazon’s total nationwide sales tax gap in 2014 is an estimated $625 million, and the displacement of retail from local communities to the Internet exacts a large (and growing) cost of approximately $420 million in property taxes annually. This results in a total of more than $1 billion in revenue lost to state and local governments in just one year, a huge shortfall in the monies needed to support schools, libraries, first responders, and other key services. For the year 2014 alone Amazon sales produced a net national loss of 135,973 retail jobs, with only eight states showing a net gain in jobs. And those numbers take into account all the jobs currently in Amazon distribution centers. In the end, where we spend does shape where we live.

new localism
Did you know…

When you shop at a locally owned independent business, your entire community benefits:
The Economy

  • Spend $100 at a local and $52 of that stays in your community. Spend the same $100 at a national chain, and your community only sees $43.
  • Local businesses create higher-paying jobs for our neighbors.
  • More of your taxes are reinvested in your community–where they belong.

The Environment

  • Buying local means less packaging, less transportation, and a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Shopping in a local business district means less infrastructure, less maintenance, and more money to beautify your community.

The Community

  • Local retailers are your friends and neighbors—support them and they’ll support you.
  • Local businesses donate to charities at more than twice the rate of national chains.
  • More independents mean more choice, more diversity, and a truly unique community.

Now is the time to stand up and join your fellow individuals in the IndieBound mission supporting local businesses and celebrating independents.

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Library Reads

LibraryReads List

September 2016

LibraryReads has announced the top ten books available in September that librarians across the country love. You can request or wish for the featured titles below on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the LibraryReads site.

If you are a librarian, you can nominate titles for the LibraryReads list via NetGalley – learn more here!

Additional LibraryReads Titles:

The Bookshop on the Corner: A Novel by Jenny Colgan
(William Morrow • 9780062467256)

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
(Harper • 9780062491794)

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Scavenger Hunt #2

Being the first to discover a new book is one of the greatest joys of a Book Advocate, so as part of the NetGalley Challenge, we’re hosting another special scavenger hunt. Starting at 10am EDT Tuesday, August 9th 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 awesome prize from a 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.

The scavenger hunt will end on Wednesday, August 10th at noon EDT. (On Friday, August 12th, we will notify 5 random entrants that they have won the sponsored prize!)

Clues:
#1: This author once wanted to be a soap opera star.
#2: This book is the first in a new series that will be launching a new publishing imprint.
#3: This author once interned at Elle magazine.
#4: This book made a cameo on a hit TV show!
#5: Last clue! The best-selling author of Dorothy Must Die said this is “A dark and twisty thriller which might just fill the Pretty Little Liars—shaped hole in my heart!”

And the answer to this week’s Scavenger Hunt is…
Continue reading “Scavenger Hunt 8.9.16”

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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:

Commonwealth: A Novel, by Ann Patchett (Harper • 9780062491794)

The Risen: A Novel, by Ron Rash (Ecco • 9780062436313)

The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood, by Belle Boggs (Graywolf Press • 9781555977498)

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate — Discoveries From a Secret World, by Peter Wohlleben (Greystone Books • 9781771642484)

A House Without Windows: A Novel, by Nadia Hashimi (William Morrow • 9780062449689)

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NetGalley Author Interview

From New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes The Wedding Shop.

Two women separated by decades. Both set out to help others find their dreams when their own have crumbled. As Cora’s and Haley’s stories intertwine through time in the shadow of the beloved wedding shop, they both discover the power of their own dreams and the magic of everyday love.

The Wedding Shop

Request It!

Pub Date: August 16, 2016
Romance
Published by Zondervan Fiction

See More of Their Titles

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The Power of Reviews

During our annual NetGalley Challenge, we’re focusing on our how our members help books succeed by writing and sharing reviews. We thought we’d back up a bit and look at how authors and publishers can first gain the attention of book advocates and then how to earn reviews for their titles.

By now, you’ve heard that book reviews matter. They are one of the linchpins that retail sites use to  create algorithms that can increase a book’s visibility,. “Effective frequency” is the concept that consumers are more likely to complete a purchase after having seen the product a certain number of times. There is no magic answer about what that number might be, but the point is that name -and visual-recognition is powerful. The more your title, book cover, and author name are out in the world, the better, and reviews contribute to that saturation.

So, how do publishers and authors break through the noise of the crowded space that is book publishing today? Not every author has a major budget to promote their book, so it becomes important to strategically focus on the most effective outreach possible. By soliciting reviews in a targeted way, an author will begin to see buzz increase—the more reviews out there, the more likely it is that the book will continue to be reviewed as new readers discover the title. As with any product, when readers are looking for a new book or author to discover they will crowd-source their decision by talking with friends and family, and by reading reviews.

Before you start, it is essential to determine your goals and temper your expectations.

Where would you like your book reviewed, and why?

Where is your target audience going for book recommendations?

What is your budget for offering review copies (whether print or digital)?

There are a few different types of reviews you may look for, all of which offer a different type of visibility:

Continue reading “The Power of Reviews”

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Scavenger Hunt

Being the first to discover a new book is one of the greatest joys of a Book Advocate, so as part of the NetGalley Challenge, we’re hosting a special scavenger hunt…Starting at 10am EDT today (Tuesday, August 2nd) we will release a new clue right here every hour, on the hour, that will 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 awesome prize from a 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 new clues (revealed hourly).
3) Fill out this form with your answer.
4) 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 Wednesday, August 3rd, we will notify 1 grand prize winner, and 10 runners-up (who have correctly filled in the form, and have shared the Challenge badge) that they have won the sponsored prizes!

Clues:

#1: It all starts with the author, and this one is used to escaping into fantastic worlds, having worked as a freelance writer for tabletop games before turning to novels.
#2: Inspired by Journey to the West and traditional Chinese and Japanese lore, this book features fearsome dragons with amazing elemental powers.
#3: Talk about making a huge splash! This author and this book were a hit across the pond before wowing readers in the U.S.
#4: This series has drawn comparisons to Doctor Who and Harry Potter with its adventurous, timey-wimey plot.
#5: This story takes us to the heart of one of Italy’s most vibrant cities, known not only for its colorful masks but its stunning canals.
#6: Last clue! This is the second book in a series featuring librarians, spies, fae, and more.

And the answer to this week’s Scavenger Hunt is…
Continue reading “Scavenger Hunt 8.2.16”

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challenge_banner_v2 Book Advocates Unite!

Do you love being the first to read new books? Do you take pride in recommending books to others?

Shout it from the rooftops and join us as we launch our 4th annual NetGalley Challenge!

2016challenge_badge_130_p This year’s Challenge focuses on your book recommendations, whether it be on your blog, retail sites, to your patrons or colleagues. To participate, just submit a new review (or share an existing review) before August 12. If you do, you will earn the official Challenge badge as a permanent addition to your NetGalley account.

That individual goal will be easy for many of you dedicated book advocates! But books are not just a solitary passion, and we love the magic that happens when our members collectively embrace a new author or a surprise breakout book.

That’s why we’re also challenging the entire NetGalley community to submit a total of 25,000 reviews in just two weeks. And because we’re just as devoted to providing meaningful input on new books, we’ve redesigned the Feedback section on the NetGalley site! Take a look, and together let’s demonstrate to publishers and authors how vital and powerful we are when it comes to helping books succeed.

Take the Challenge:

1) Sign in to submit or share a review to earn the badge (and see the new Feedback section!)

2) Watch our webcast (for review tips, insights into how your reviews helps books succeed, and some great book recommendations!)

3) Keep an eye on your dashboard, the NetGalley blog, Twitter & Facebook
for fun activities, resources, and chances to win prizes!

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Good luck & happy reviewing!
Tarah Theoret
Community Manager

blog icon facebook twitter #BookAdvocatesUnite
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Book

Cover Love

July edition

We’ve rounded up covers we love, and we hope you will too. We’ve also gathered all of your cover votes from this month, and your most loved cover is. . .The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco!

Click on each cover to read the full description, request (or wish for) the title, and “Like” the cover if you haven’t already. If you’ve read these titles, don’t forget to share feedback with the publisher and with your friends and followers.

Tell us in the comments below, which covers you’re loving right now, and they could be included in next month’s Cover Love!

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UK Books of the Month – September 2016

September heralds the start of the big autumn titles, which include more non-fiction and crime than we usually see during the rest of the year. The Book of the Month is one that we’re very excited about – Thomas Mullen’s Darktown – it is certainly shaping up to be one of our favourites of the year. We’ve also been really enjoying the return of Tana French, probably the finest crime novelists not to have yet hit the stratospheric heights she so richly deserves.

You may well also recognise A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart. We think this will be massive later in the year, so do request it if you haven’t already!

Book of the Month

Darktown
Thomas Mullen
Little, Brown
UK Edition
US Edition

Soon to be a major television series starring Jamie Foxx, Darktown is the story of post-war Atlanta, a city riven by an obvious racial divide. Emblematic of this is the 8-strong black police force who are disallowed from not only arresting white people, but also from driving a squad car. The inevitable tensions boil over when a black woman is found murdered having last been seen in the company of a white man – and two black cops, Boggs and Smith, risk everything to expose the truth. This is an absolutely essential thriller, one of the best we’ve read in some time.

Undertow
Elizabeth Heathcote
Quercus
UK Edition

In the crowded field of psychological thrillers, Undertow stands out as a clever and unusual take on the genre. Carmen is happily married to Tom, a successful London lawyer and divorcé with three children. She gets on perfectly well with Tom’s first wife Laura, who is resolutely polite and determinedly respectable, but there remains someone from Tom’s past that casts a shadow: Zena. Zena who was shockingly beautiful. Zena who drowned swimming late one night …

A Boy Made of Blocks
Keith Stuart
Sphere
UK Edition

Alex loves his son, Sam, but doesn’t understand him. Eight-year-old Sam is beautiful, surprising, and autistic. To him the world is a puzzle he can’t solve on his own. But when Sam starts to play Minecraft, Alex and Sam begin to rediscover both themselves and each other. Inspired by the author’s experiences with his own son, A Boy Made of Blocks is a unique, funny and moving debut that will make you laugh, cry and smile.

The Trespasser
Tana French
Hodder & Stoughton
UK Edition
US Edition

Tana French is one of the very best crime writers around, and her character Antoinette Conway – tough, abrasive, doesn’t play well with others – is one that you really need to meet. Unpopular with her colleagues, Conway has a new partner and what looks like a slam-dunk case of a lovers’ tiff gone wrong. But gradually she realises there’s more going on: someone on her own squad is trying to push them towards the obvious solution, just as Conway is beginning to think otherwise …

The Eskimo Solution
Pascal Garnier
Gallic Books
World Edition

Evoking a very French world of mystery and secrets, Pascal Garnier has long been considered the true heir to Patricia Highsmith – and The Eskimo Solution is one of his finest works. A crime writer rents a house on the Normandy coast. There should be little to distract him from his work besides walks on the windswept beach, but as he begins to write, events in his own life begin to overlap with the work of his imagination.

As Weekends Go
Jan Brigden
Choc Lit
World Edition

Praised by Lisa Jewell as a ‘gorgeous love story, written with a sure touch and a big heart’, As Weekends Go asks the question: What if your entire life changed in the space of a weekend? When her friend Abi convinces her to get away from it all at the fabulous Hawksley Manor, Rebecca could never have predicted she’d meet famous footballer, Alex Heath, or that he would be the one to show her that she deserves so much more …

Born Scared
Kevin Brooks
Electric Monkey
UK Edition

Elliot is terrified of almost everything. The only thing that keeps his terrors in check are his pills. But there’s a snowstorm and Elliot’s medication is almost gone. His mum nips out to collect his prescription, but does not come back. And so Elliot must face his fears and find her. She should only be 400 metres away. It might as well be 400 miles. The much anticipated new novel from the award-winning author of The Bunker Diary, recipient of the 2014 Carnegie Medal.

The Heartfix
Stella Grey
4th Estate
UK Edition

From the writer of the hugely popular Guardian column Midlife Exwife, comes the full, warts-and-all story of how Stella Grey tried to find a heartfix for a heartbreak. When her husband falls in love with someone else, Stella Grey embarks on a mission: to find love. Her journey is never dull, featuring marriage proposals, invitations to Tangier, badly timed food poisoning and much younger men – but will it be ultimately successful?

Timekeepers
Simon Garfield
Canongate Books
UK Edition

Not so long ago we timed our lives by the movement of the sun. These days our time arrives atomically and insistently, and our lives are propelled by the notion that we will never have enough of the one thing we crave the most. This entertaining and authoritative exploration of how and why time has come to rule our lives from the bestselling author of Just My Type is the perfect way to while away your hours.

Workstorming
Rob Kendall
Watkins
World Edition

This practical and insightful guide to the modern workplace is ideal for everyone hoping to be successful. Rob explains how and why your career path can depend so much on good communication at work. Each chapter focuses on a specific topic with clear steps for action and a key lesson. Using five simple ‘warning signs’ to watch out for, Rob explains how you can change the way you speak and listen in order to achieve a positive outcome.

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