We were very sad to announce, a couple of weeks ago now, that as of May 16, we will no longer be publishing the Readers' Advisor Online blog.
In light of this news, someone asked in the comments for tips on how we compile the weekly New, Noteworthy, and No-Brainer forthcoming fiction and nonfiction title lists. This was an excellent question, and we're glad to let you behind the curtain to see how we do that. (And please note: most of this information comes from the true mastermind behind these lists: Cindy Orr.)
First: Get your magic wand. Second: Wave it over the computer. Third: Shout, "Bibbidy Bobbidy Boo, new titles, list yourself out, do!"
I know. How great would that be? Unfortunately there is no magical secret to compiling these lists. It's not really hard work, but it is time-consuming. There's a bit more to it than this, but the general idea is that we check these sources for lists of forthcoming titles:
Publishers' Weekly On-Sale Calendar - This site has both an adult and children's version, and lists books that have at least a 50,000 copy print run. Keep checking back, as they tend to update several months at a time.
LJ PrePub Alert - Definitely worth subscribing to. The great Barbara Hoffert updates her column every week with noteworthy and hot books that will be published in about six months. She also annotates each title to tell you why she's including it. Sample column here.
Barnes and Noble "Coming Soon" Books page - Barnes and Noble's Coming Soon is very handy because they list the books of each week and those sorted first are the top sellers.
Amazon Advanced Search - Choose the following - Condition: New; Format: Hardcover; Language: English; Pub Date: During, then choose your month and year; Sort Books By: Bestselling. This won't get you everything because they only allow one format choice at a time, but Hardcover is probably the best bet. When you search Paperback it doesn't discern between reprints and originals.
Bookreporter's "Coming Soon" - A monthly list from a bookseller's point of view.
IndieNext - Handpicked titles from independent booksellers. They also have free shelftalkers that you can print out and use.
Edelweiss - A site all librarians should know about. Here you can request free digital Advanced Reading Copies and vote for the Library Reads Picks, but it also serves as a place where publishers' catalogs are posted. Join (it's free), (be sure to pick Library as your organization type). Log in. Then use Advanced Search. Choose Publication Date: Frontlist; Publisher: Use the CTRL key to select the publishers you want to search. (Do at minimum the Big Five: Penguin Random House, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and HarperCollins, but you'll see many more that you'll want to include.) Press Advanced Search, and when the titles come up, choose Filter and then Publication Date and choose the month you're interested in.
These are all free sources, so if you want to keep a comprehensive list going of forthcoming titles, it's largely a matter of checking those sources and dumping the titles into a blog, Word document, spreadsheet, or any other way you may want to keep track. And if this is all too much for you, you might subscribe to Early Word's less comprehensive, but still useful feature Titles to Know and Recommend.
Questions? Do you have any favorite sources for learning about forthcoming titles? Let us know in the comments!
(Originally posted at the Readers' Advisor Online blog, May 10, 2016. http://www.readersadvisoronline.com/blog/index.php/2016/05/10/how-we-compile-the-new-noteworthy-and-no-brainer-lists/)