It Pays to Pay Attention to New Book Releases
With the number of presses out there and the number of books any given press publishes in a year, keeping up with new releases can be exhausting. I practically eat, sleep, and breathe books and it's something I struggle with. But I've found that it really does pay to pay attention to new releases.
I got really lucky with The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer. It's the big novel of the summer and it seems like everyone is talking about it. It released earlier this month, but I've known it was coming for several months now because I follow the publisher on Instagram. As it happens, Riverhead Books, which published The Female Persuasion, is my favorite Big 5 imprint of all time. And of course, they want to get the word out and build excitement around their new releases, so they've been dropping hints that Meg Wolitzer would have a new book out for some time.
Since I knew the book was coming, I was able to suggest my local library buy it. Sure, they were probably going to buy it anyway since all signs indicate bestseller status. But my recommending it myself, I was able to put myself on the holds list even before they'd officially purchased a copy. Then on the day of the book's release, I got an email saying the library had purchased a copy and that it had been automatically checked out for me.
Translation: I was first in line for a hot off the press novel! It was as good as going to the bookstore on the pub day and buying it full price. The only difference is I saved $28. (And, sure, you save money every time you use the library. However, if it's a brand new release that you're anxious to get and there's a long line at the library some folks might just opt to buy it instead. This way I got the book right out of the gate AND didn't have to buy it myself.)
Things don't always work out this perfectly and it's hard to know if you're the first person to suggest that your library buy a book, but the earlier you can suggest a book, the better.
My go-to tips for finding out new releases are
- following my favorite publishers and imprints on Instagram
- signing up for my favorite publishers' and imprints' email lists
- following power readers and bookstagrammers on social media
- reading Bustle Books and Book Riot
- getting recs from friends who also follow book news and know my taste
This doesn't have to take a lot of effort. You can scale your book news-seeking to your reading habits. For example, if you read a lot of books and gravitate toward new releases then you'll probably want to follow a lot of folks and sign up for a lot of email lists. But if you don't (and there's nothing wrong with that!) a handful will do.
To recommend books to your library, you can do this by physically going to a branch and talking to a librarian, but the easiest thing to do is recommend the book view OverDrive or Libby. (Pro tip: There have been times I've searched for books via the OverDrive and Libby apps and nothing has come up, but I've searched for the same books on the desktop version of OverDrive and they did appear in the search. But most of the time, the app is effective.)
And even though it may not literally pay, it'll save you money which is pretty close! Plus, anything that supports your local library is a good thing (and driving up circulation numbers and letting librarians better anticipate demand counts!).