Thursday, April 12, 2012

BEA Help: Resources for Bloggers

One of the biggest draws for Bloggers (or readers now that a day will be open to the public) is gleaning knowledge about upcoming industry trends, hot titles and new authors.

As bloggers we tend to find this stuff out somehow--obsessively checking Good Reads (or Library Thing), poring over twitter messages from authors, author blogs, author newsletters, publisher newsletters, publisher blogs--you name and the average blogger is hooked into it.

There's a few resources however to check out to find out about upcoming titles that the publishers WANT to promote--the ones they want reviewers to talk about and discuss before the drop date before you ever step into the bustle of BEA.

Here's a brief overview of a few sources I check out from time to time and how I use them when I go to BEA.

This is a relatively new resource for bloggers.  Before it was mainly a way for publishers to have their catalogs for upcoming seasons avail to booksellers and such.  Now with the addition of the Review Request opportunities its a great way for bloggers to connect as well.

Pros: Navigating the publisher catalogs or by genre is far easier than with NetGalley, and the categories are better broken down and diversified next to the genre-rich options NetGalley (see below). You can also search a specific 'season' catalog instead of flipping through the entire thing.  Weekly updates to the preview catalogs and review database are emailed.

Cons: The homepage isn't as easy to move around as in NetGalley--there's less options and far as I could tell you can't 'archive' older things.  The only format I've seen delivered thus far has been Kindle, so I'm not sure if PDF and EPUB are also avail like on NetGalley.

Books@BEA goes live to the public in May, but its a one-stop resource to see what Publishers will definitely be talking about and promoting.

How I Use It: To find new and upcoming titles mainly, its more specific and detail oriented then Good Reads.  Also the 'Publicity' tab is a good way to see which books are being talked about in the industry and media, the 'Buzz' tab gives a good accounting of what books are being shortlisted for various awards and such.


NetGalley has been gaining a following in the last couple of years as a great resource for bloggers who are either more niche then mainstream genre and for publishers to offer up their new and upcoming titles with less cost then shipping out a print copy.  Since its the user who chooses which books to 'request' and the publisher has the choice to reject the request, its a much better way of reaching their target audience. 

Pros: Many big name publishers use NG--Hachette, Harlequin, Random House--as well as smaller press publishers like Night Shade Books and Barbour.  Christian romance, self-help and paranormal are in large supply.  The review process is easy, as is archiving your reviews once done.  International imprints (mainly Australia, Canada and the UK) are becoming a larger presence so international bloggers have a way to review upcoming titles.  Fairly decent LGBT selection and e-book publishers like Carina use NG.

Cons: Navigation can feel cumbersome and difficult, plus because this is primarily for reviewing, titles they're not offering won't show up.  I've had issues loading the page and slow turn around time.  Rejection of requests are not usually given a reason, just a form response.  

How I Use It: Last year at BEA a few publishers handed out cards with instructions to download upcoming titles through NetGalley from them.  I used NG to gauge which books to ask about when visiting the booths.

Publisher Webpage Specific Resources:

Orbit Books Publishing Schedule - The page lists what is publishing when in both the UK and US territories, which is often a good way to gauge what they'll promote at various conferences and conventions.  Separated by season.

Macmillan Coming Soon - Macmillan and all their imprints (like TOR) listing of upcoming releases.

Simon and Schuster Coming Soon - pretty much the same as Macmillan, though somewhat easier to get around as each week is divided up.

Random House - choose a category and then have it list the books by 'date' and it will give you a listing of books from the latest publishing date (right now November 2012) to the oldest.

Other Useful Links:

Twitter Publisher List - this is a list I put together that's got about 70 publishers I follow.  The list includes the PR people, the 'publisher' twitter, blogger coordinators for publishers and such.  During BEA a lot of publishers will tweet giveaways and such.

Twitter Authors@BEA List - I'll be adding to this as we find out more information on who will be there, but this is a list with as many authors as I can find on Twitter who are confirmed for BEA.