Publisher’s Perspective: Why Reviews Matter

 

DBG-Logo-2014Dina Sherman is the School and Library Marketing Director at Disney Book Group and joined us during our live-webcast (which you can watch here) to give a few examples of how you help books succeed.

Reviews matter because they. . .

Help convey the content of the book

First, and on a very basic level, you help convey the content of the book to potential consumers (this can inspire an initial interest, or create another impression). Perhaps your interpretation is different from the publishers, and resonates with your followers.

Help build excitement in-house

Your reviews can help build excitement for a book within the publishing house (which may influence more marketing or sales efforts)

Foreign book rights
It can influence rights, like Movie & TV rights and foreign book rights

Influence award nominations
Your enthusiasm can influence award nominations and inclusion on lists

Encourage relationships
They can help foster relationships between reviewers, publishers and authors

Influence book purchases
Which is fairly obvious, but always important

Influence cover designs

Galley covers are rarely the final cover, and publishers do look for what response they are getting.
Does it reflect the book’s content/tone/theme? Does it feel too young or old? If there are consistent comments that come up, they can be brought to meetings with designers and editors.

Inspire sequels and spinoffs
Maybe a lot of reviewers were really drawn to a supporting character, or subplot that that publisher now wants to build off of.

Identify new audiences
You can help identify new audiences for the book – maybe the publisher wasn’t aware that this book resonated with a particular group of people who share the same interest.

Your reviews can also influence what acquiring editors will go on to publish – they can look at key themes or values in reviews of new books to help decide what readers want to see next.

Success Stories

With the sometimes overwhelming amount of information and media available today, you are breaking through the noise by reaching out to publishers directly to tell them what is important to you, as a reader. Your reviews are certainly influential, but perhaps you don’t always see what that influence looks like. Here are some concrete examples of books where NetGalley reviewers’ quotes played a big part in building excitement, buzz, and sales.

Code Name Verity

“Probably my favorite NetGalley review of all time was for Code Name Verity.  It was an in-house favorite (OK, let’s be honest, an in-house obsession) from the first time we read the manuscript. We talked about it all the time, shared it with every person we met, but couldn’t quite sum up our feelings.Then came this wonderful reviewer*, who wrote, “Suck it, Hemingway.”  Exactly! It became our rallying cry and we would say it in meetings whenever we were trying to express our feelings about the book. It certainly helped us keep pushing to get it out into the world.”

* Written and submitted by Katherine Montgomery, educator

 

 

Every Last Word

 

 

Every Last Word was an in-house favorite YA novel. The team decided to put together a preview mailing to help build buzz. They were able to reach out to NetGalley reviewers and take quotes from their NetGalley reviews to put together a sheet of rave reviews. This praise really helped get people excited for the book!

 

 

These Broken Stars

 

These Broken Stars was voted “most likely to be hand sold” on NetGalley. It was a new author team, and some bookstores were unsure about stocking it. Reviewers on NetGalley loved it, which helped a buyer convince an account to carry the book, and the whole series, in their bookstores.

 

 

 

All-in-all, publishers want to know what readers think and respond to, and you’re helping them do that. Your reviews and constructive feedback can help a publisher and/or author make adjustments to the cover or content before on sale (we’ve personally seen this happen as a direct result of reviews from NetGalley members, and it changed the course of the books for the better.)

Publishers know that reviewers on NetGalley do not hold back – you are honest, and constructive and very thoughtful when sharing your opinions with them. You take your book advocacy very seriously, and in turn, publishers are more inclined to take you seriously as early influencers.

You can view Disney Book Group titles on NetGalley here to request and review. Check out the webcast for more tips and sneak peeks of some of Disney Book Group’s upcoming fall titles.

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Cover Love

August 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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News from NetGalley

NetGalley is proud to announce two new initiatives that will benefit librarians in Australia!

 

Members of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) can now validate their ALIA ID numbers within their NetGalley profiles. Once you add your number you will receive an ALIA badge that publishers will see when you request their titles. This will help you access proofs even faster because publishers can rely on the badge to approve requests, auto-approve librarians and even feature your reviews on NetGalley. Learn how to add your number today!ALIA_logo

Librarians can now recommend books to patrons and fellow librarians on a national scale by nominating titles for Librarians’ Choice monthly lists! You can nominate right from the Feedback section for any title published in Australia, and then NetGalley will collect nominations monthly, and submit them to Librarians’ Choice for consideration. Learn more about nominating for Librarians’ Choice!

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NetGalley Author Interview with Ryan Aldred

Ben Cooper was supposed to be on his Pacific honeymoon. Not waking up in a Costa Rican prison cell with no memory of the night before. But surely his friend and lawyer Victoria didn’t need to fly down from Toronto overnight. After all, the police would let him go once he sobered up and paid his fine. Right?

Except for the little matter of a murder. And Ben’s buying a beachside bar from the victim, hours before the man’s death. With foreclosure looming and death threats piling up on the rum-soaked bar, they must turn to the wild idea that got them into this mess. But to survive, they’ll need every skill at their disposal – including those they’d rather forget they have.

Rum Luck

Request It!

Pub Date: June 22, 2016
Mystery & Thrillers, Humor
Published by Five Star Publishing

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Top Ten UK Books – October 2016

It seems as the nights draw in, books themselves reflect the time of year: either they embrace the darkness or yearn for the light. You’ll find both kinds in this month’s roundup of the best new titles – perfect for the end of another all-too-short summer.

Our top pick this month is the latest from one of the true stars of Young Adult fiction, Jennifer Niven – ideal if you’re looking for the next The Fault in Our Stars. Other favourites include the return of everyone’s new favourite spy writer Mick Herron with Real Lions, Maria Semple’s hilarious Today Will Be Different and The Power by Naomi Alderman – an original and astonishingly brilliant novel that marks her as the true heir to Margaret Atwood.

Book of the Month

Holding Up the Universe
Jennifer Niven
Penguin
UK Edition

The author of the bestselling All the Bright Places, Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are.

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed ‘America’s Fattest Teen’. But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to see who she really is. Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. But what no one knows is that Jack has a secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. But all that changes when he meets Libby.

This is YA at its transcendent best, and sure to become a favourite for anyone who’s ever felt like they don’t quite belong.

The Power
Naomi Alderman
Viking
UK Edition

Naomi Alderman is one of the finest British writers currently at work, her signature blend of fantasy and reality, of myth and truth, recalling such masters as Margaret Atwood and Angela Carter, but with a style all her own. The Power, her fourth novel, imagines a world in which girls discover that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. It’s an evolution that transforms the four lives at the heart of this superb and timely novel.

Today Will be Different
Maria Semple
W&N
UK Edition

Eleanor Flood is going to clean up her act, only change into yoga clothes for yoga, and be a better version of herself. But then, as always, life happens. Her husband goes missing, her son is wearing makeup, and a graphic novel reveals long-buried and unwelcome secrets. With all the artistic madness, genius plotting and bold social observation that made Where’d You Go, Bernadette? a hit, Today Will Be Different is a hilarious and heart-filled day-in-the-life romp filtered through Maria Semple’s brilliant eye.

Real Tigers
Mick Herron
John Murray Press
UK Edition

Mick Herron is the new face of British spy thrillers, his novels a potent mix of convincing characterisation, effortless plotting and cunning twists. This latest instalment of the Jackson Lamb series is a classic example, bearing all of Herron’s hallmarks. When Catherine Standish – a recovering alcoholic and Intelligence Service operative – is taken hostage, she knows that there’s something bigger at stake than just her. Her only hope is that Jackson Lamb can work out what that is. Pure delight.

Holding
Graham Norton
Hodder & Stoughton
UK Edition

There’s a vogue for comedians and actors trying their hand at fiction. The results have been, shall we say, mixed and you’d be forgiven for sighing at the thought of Graham Norton’s debut novel. But Holding is a wonderful novel: funny, sad, wise and offbeat, with a cast of characters that live right on the page. Set in the fictional Irish town of Duneen, Holding is a story of secrets and lies, small town lives and big moral questions. Leave any preconceptions behind and revel in this compelling debut.

Medea's Curse
Anne Buist
Legend Press
UK Edition

Praised by Emma Healey, author of Elizabeth is Missing, as plot-twisting and gripping, Medea’s Curse is a crime novel of distinction. Forensic psychiatrist Natalie King works with victims and perpetrators of violent crime. She rides a Ducati a size too big and wears a tank top a size too small. Likes men but doesn’t want to keep one. But now she’s being stalked. Could it be a former patient? Natalie doesn’t know. And with another missing child case on her desk, the time for answers is running out.

Nicotine
Nell Zink
4th Estate
UK Edition

Nell Zink has been lauded as one of the most original American writers for decades, and her inventive novels Mislaid and Wallcreeper have developed a huge cult following. Nicotine will delight fans old and new. When her father dies, Penny inherits his childhood home, but finds his property occupied by a group of squatters, united in defence of smokers’ rights – and herself unexpectedly besotted, particularly with Rob, the hot bicycle-and-tobacco activist.

Stealing Snow
Danielle Paige
Bloomsbury
UK Edition
US Edition

This is a novel that will inevitably bear comparisons to a more grown-up version of Frozen – but its premise is so well executed and so compelling it really doesn’t matter. Seventeen-year-old Snow wakes one day in icy Algid, her true home, with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai. Snow soon discovers she is on the run from a royal lineage she’s destined to inherit. Heroine or villain, queen or broken girl, frozen heart or true love, Snow must choose her fate …

The Illuminati
Robert Howells
Watkins
World Edition

Surely one of the most fascinating – and important books – we’ve read in a while, The Illumanti traces the story of secret societies down the ages: from the titular Illuminati to Wikileaks and Anonymous today. Such marginalized groups have always rebelled against the establishment; some by spreading progressive ideas through art and literature, others by driving revolution and exposing government secrets. Robert Howells creates a dizzying narrative that will change the way you think about the world.

Our Chemical Hearts
Krystal Sutherland
Hot Key Books
UK Edition

It’s something that people say often: why isn’t life like the movies? But Henry Page says this more than most. A film buff and a hopeless romantic, he’s waiting for that slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love you only see on the silver screen. And when it finally arrives, it’s with the least cinematic person on earth. Grace Town dresses in oversized men’s clothing, smells like she hasn’t washed in weeks and walks with a cane. Henry knows she’s the one for him; but can Grace ever leave the scars of the past behind? Exquisite.

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NetGalley Author Interview

Riley Callahan’s plans to reveal his secret feelings for his best friend Paige are derailed when his life is drastically altered in Afghanistan.

After an IED leaves Riley an amputee, he plans to put some distance between himself and Paige. But when he returns home, he finds his family has arranged for him to stay with her. As the weeks wear on, Paige’s feelings for Riley begin to shift into uncharted territory. Will she be able to deny her feelings for another Callahan brother? And will Riley let his heart heal so he can let Paige in?

Just a Kiss

Request It!

Pub Date: September 06, 2016
Romance
Published by Thomas Nelson

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For this year’s NetGalley Book Club week, Something to Read About: The S&S Book Club has pulled together some of their favorite book club picks for the Fall 2016 season. From historical fiction to mystery and suspense to narrative nonfiction, they have a recommendation for any book club.

Request to read these fantastic titles before they go on sale!

The German GirlThe German Girl: A Novel
by Armando Lucas Correa

“It’s rare to find a book that, after just one sentence, grabs you so completely that you cannot put it down, but that’s exactly what happened when I read The German Girl. This stunning novel tells the story of Hannah Rosenthal and her journey from Berlin as the Nazis rise to power to the decks of the St. Louis on its ill-fated voyage to secure asylum for Jewish refugees to Hannah’s uncertain future in Havana. Interspersed with Hannah’s story is that of Anna, Hannah’s great-niece, who years to learn more about her dead father. As the two of them connect and discover their shared histories, they manage to find peace. The German Girl is a brilliant mediation on how the tragedies of our past impact generations to come.”
—Hillary Tisman, Associate Marketing Director, Atria Books

 

Irena's ChildrenIrena’s Children: The Extraordinary Story of the Woman Who Saved 2,500 Children from Warsaw Ghetto
by Tilar J. Mazzeo

Irena’s Children is the powerful account of Irena Sendler, remembered in history as the “female Oskar Schindler” who saved the lives of 2500 children in Nazi-occupied Poland. Irena was a woman who risked her life and the lives of her loved ones simply to do what she thought was right, even though the world she lived in at the time may not have viewed it that way. It’s a powerful story of what it really means to be a woman empowering herself to make a difference.”
—Melanie Mitzman, Imprint Marketing Manager, Gallery Books

 

 

 

FaithfulFaithful: A Novel
by Alice Hoffman

“You may know Alice Hoffman from her beautiful historical fiction like The Marriage of Opposites and The Dovekeepers, but in her new novel, Faithful, she’s turning to present day to tell the story of Shelby Richmond. Once an ordinary teenage girl, Shelby’s life is turned on its axis when a terrible car accident destroys her best friend’s bright future. As for Shelby, she walks away with little more than a hairline fracture, but enough guilt to plummet her into a deep depression that lasts for years. Faithful is her emotional journey back towards happiness, love, and hope—with the help of an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful night. Book clubs are sure to fall in love with Shelby’s endearing sense of humor as she finds her way back toward happiness.”
—Erica Nelson, Associate Marketing Manager

 

Twilight WifeThe Twilight Wife
by A.J. Banner

“Three years after a diving accident stole her memories, marine biologist Kyra is rebuilding her life on an idyllic island off the coast of Washington. Kyra’s adoring husband Jacob tends to her every need and gently tries to help her remember the happy times they’ve shared—from their wedding to their plans for a family—but when flashes from her life before the accident begin to surface in her dreams, Kyra starts to wonder if her perfect life with Jacob is all that it seems. The Twilight Wife is a suspenseful and atmospheric novel of memory and love, filled with psychological tension and twists that will keep you reading (and rereading) late into the night.”
—Meredith Vilarello, Associate Marketing Director, Touchstone

 

 

The Girl From VeniceThe Girl From Venice: A Novel
by Martin Cruz Smith

“I have long been a fan and constant reader of Martin Cruz Smith’s Arkady Renko series for years, so I was more than curious about the standalone The Girl From Venice. I wasn’t too surprised, but pleasantly reassured that Smith’s gifts extend well beyond the deft Renko books. The Girl From Venice is both a race through Mussolini-occupied Italy and a sweet love story that complements fellow World War II favorites All the Light We Cannot See and The Nightingale, all underscored by the delicate prose of one of our modern masters.”
—Stephen Bedford, Senior Marketing Manager, Simon & Schuster

 

 

 

River at NightThe River at Night: A Novel
by Erica Ferencik

“A thriller by a stunning new voice in fiction, The River at Night will make your heart race as fast as the rapids themselves. What begins as a simple wilderness excursion with four friends looking to escape the challenges of their daily lives quickly becomes a nightmare that leaves them fighting for survival. As readers never really know who the friends can trust, you’ll be left gasping until the last page.”
—Melanie Mitzman, Imprint Marketing Manager, Gallery Books

 

 

 

DarktownDarktown: A Novel
by Thomas Mullen

“In 1948 Atlanta integrated its police force. The newly hired black officers were tasked with upholding the city’s laws–among them, Jim Crow laws. What must it have been like for those officers? This question haunts Thomas Mullen’s riveting novel. When a black woman who was last seen in a car driven by a white man turns up dead, black officers Boggs and Smith suspect white cops are behind it and risk their jobs—and their lives—to solve the crime. Darktown explores important questions about justice, which isn’t always black and white.”
—Hillary Tisman, Associate Marketing Director, Atria Books

 

 

 

SiriusSirius: A Novel About the Little Dog Who Almost Changed History
by Jonathan Crown

Sirius is a delightful novel about one special fox terrier whose extraordinary life leads him into very important circles during World War II. After Sirius aids his Jewish owners, the Liliencrons in fleeing Germany in 1938, they end up in California—where Sirius, being the charismatic and highly intelligent pup that he is, begins a career as a canine movie star. There, he comes into contact with everyone who’s anyone in Tinseltown—from Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant to Rita Hayworth and Jack Warner. But after a series of exceptional events as World War II unfolds, he winds up at the right hand of Hitler himself and is challenged to aid the German resistance and derail the Führer.”
—Erica Nelson, Associate Marketing Manager

 

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Challenge Wrap-up

Wow! Because of you, this was our best Challenge yet: over 7,800 members from 90 countries took the Challenge and officially earned the badge. And even more amazing: as a community, you submitted 20,000 reviews in just 12 days. We think that’s worth celebrating!

challenge_badge_130_pTogether, you all demonstrated to publishers and authors how vital and powerful the NetGalley community is when it comes to helping books succeed!

Let’s keep up the momentum! Learn how your book reviews and recommendations can influence a book’s success by watching our webcast. Plus, hear directly from a publisher how reviews have helped their books excel. #BookAdvocatesUnite

Watch the Webcast button

And if you haven’t already, please tell us which new category you’d like to see added to NetGalley by taking this quick survey.

Visit the NetGalley blog often for interviews, tips, and to catch up on all the Challenge activities.

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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.
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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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