Wednesday, November 24, 2010

For YA Publishers: Bundling (or Librarians Love Read Alikes)

Tip of the Day: Want to know what books are already published that may be like your wip? Ask your local librarian! We're happy to provide read alikes and reader's advisory.

*A post inspired by the YALSA Symposium*

Guess what? Many YA librarians LOVE book lists. We make our own, steal from other libraries, compile from listservs, etc., all in the name of giving our teen readers more of what they like, and making readers advisory transactions quick and smooth -- and with more suggestions for their next library visit.

And we're not snobbish in how these book lists are organized or titled. We love to be "clever!" Zombie Books, Vamps Don't Die, Books with HEART (titles with the word "heart" in them), Make a Splash (water themed), Get A Job (MCs who work), Dead Parent Syndrome (MCs with dead parents), Jewish Themed, Asian Inspired, etc.

So what would be cool is if YA publishers "bundled" some books from their lists together for us. Not just in what is coming out by season, but maybe some backlist books that could be pushed with newer big releases ("Here's our BIG BOOK for the season! Fans of this may like THIS BACK TITLE!" (and the back title may be in paperback so it is affordable for us poor libraries)).

This would also be useful at conferences. If a big display of new releases has the BIG BOOK of the season front and center, they could provide a book list of read alikes from previous seasons to help with collection development which leads to readers advisory once the books are on the shelf.

So many times it seems that publishers jump ship from their "not as successful" books in favor of putting ALL their effort into the current BIG BOOK -- when in reality promoting the "smaller" books as read alikes to the BIG BOOK could help sales all around.

Is there a reason this isn't done?

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing


Jennifer Hoffine said...

This is a great idea. I love "If you like this, you might also like" lists.

But publishing seems more now/future focused than libraries...or most readers, for that matter.

DeenaML said...

It's true -- editors and pub houses are focused on the new stuff always. That was reiderated at the Falling Leaves conference I attended last weekend when the editors said as much. Sigh. Why can't everyone think like us? :)

Kate Fall said...

I guess it's all about what bookstores want to stock. I wonder if things will change when ebooks are more popular and we can buy any book we want with ease.

DeenaML said...

Kate -- good point about ebooks! No shelf space needed for the read alikes backlist! Our media librarian at BML just bought a Nook for the lib...our first ereader. We'll see how it goes and how popular it is. I like it already -- though I will always LOVE real book books!