Edelweiss to the blog. Joe, who's been sharing with us their Books @ BEA site has now secured us some advanced news and exciting insight into the future of publishing! So please give a warm welcome to Joe from Edelweiss!
As a buyer at a bookstore, I often said that the hardest part about my job was simply knowing that a book existed. I weep to think of the number of titles that never crossed my radar, titles I’ve probably still not discovered. Sometimes, I may have missed a great title because it was buried in the back of a 200 page catalog and my cynical fatigue had set in by the time I saw it, or maybe I never actually received a catalog, maybe because the publisher had never heard of my store or didn’t think their titles were regionally relevant. It happens, though, too often, that a perfect match, that one book that a store or a blogger or a reader has been looking for all their lives, maybe without even knowing it, is never found.
This is where Edelweiss can help. A repository for upcoming titles, we currently house catalogs for 45 publishers, representing 784 imprints. These numbers are constantly growing, and are even now outdated after a week of speaking to new publishers at BEA. This, for bloggers every bit as much as for booksellers and librarians, is significant. It’s incredibly hard to know about upcoming titles, when they’re released, and where you can hope to grab a copy. It seems relevant, too, that you’ll see all the titles a publisher is offering, we use no algorithms designed to keep you contained safely within your comfort zone. It can be overwhelming, really, to see the great gangly mass of titles available, but you can set your own filters and guide your own discovery.
Paper catalogs are outdated as soon as they’re printed, and however you feel about physical versus digital books, one must admit to the advantage of having a single interactive repository for such information. (For more information on how bloggers can quickly get the most out of Edelweiss, check out this guest blog post I did for The Booklady’s Blog. (http://www.thebookladysblog.com/2011/01/18/the-only-book-search-tool-youll-ever-need/)
There was a point I kind of glossed over a few sentences ago: "…where you can hope to grab a copy.” Maybe you’ve heard it, maybe you haven’t, but very soon you’ll see an area for ARCs in Edelweiss, both digital and physical. We’re already working with Random House and soon with WW Norton and University of California Press and have very high interest from lots of other great publishers. It’s a perfect fit, isn’t it? Pairing discovery with accessibility just makes sense.
Not much happens quickly in the book biz (until it does, then good luck keeping up), but relatively soon you’ll start seeing this while browsing titles:
You’ll also be able to browse available ARCs within a designated area:
As usual, your request will need to be approved by the relevant people at the publisher, of course.
While browsing around, if you notice one of your favorite publishers isn’t listed the best thing you can do is simply ask them to consider it. The more they hear it, the more likely they’ll be to consider listing their titles, which really serves you, the reader and title-seeker, in your discovery of that next great book.
I’m happy to show you around Edelweiss, too, if the blog link above doesn’t make sense to you. Simply send me an email at joe at abovethetreeline dot com.