Growing Collections Part 2

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Don’t you just hate it when you feel like the last person to hear about a popular new title — one that seems to come out of nowhere? Last month, I wrote a bit about more traditional review sources I like to use for collection development. This month, I’d like to share some of the less-conventional resources I always keep in my toolkit.

Twitter may seem like an unlikely source of concrete information, but the buzz that builds there can deeply influence a book’s sales and popularity. Consider following the major publishing houses. Their marketing departments do a good job of tweeting out interviews, books news, movie adaptations, and re-tweeting authors. Speaking of authors, you can follow them, too —it’s great fun to read authors’ opinions, gripes, writing process, watch their conversations with other favorite authors, and see what they are working on — all through Twitter. Some authors are very active, others not at all. Most of your favorite bloggers and review journals will have tweets keeping up with their latest publications and opinions as well. Once you’ve started following authors and bloggers, you’ll see the re-tweets of other influential voices in the literature world and begin to delve deeper into the source of hype and controversy.

The terrific librarian blog EarlyWord ( hosts a valuable monthly Galley Chat on Twitter, where you can see what ARCs other librarians are enjoying (or not!), add forthcoming titles to your own lists, and join in the conversation. You can find past tweets or upcoming times for the Adult books Galley Chat by checking the thread at #ewgc. Young Adult/Middle Grade Galley Chat #ewgcya is the third Tuesday of the month from 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET.

In addition to blogging, the EarlyWord website is also a great spot to find the books being featured on TV, radio, and popular lists. It keeps up with movie and TV book adaptations, publisher contact information, AND a handy imprint locator to keep up with all those small presses at large houses. EarlyWorld is a collection development goldmine.

Speaking of publishers, it can be hard to keep up with who is where and which houses have been acquired by others, but two bloggers keep track of it all for you. Be sure to check out and bookmark this amazing flow chart of the Big Five publishing houses: I also recommend keeping up with Monica Edinger’s ever-growing list of independent publishers:

While you can check Brodart’s Bibz ( for starred reviews from every review journal, it’s also handy to have a quick visual representation, so head over to Jen J’s Booksheets (, where a friendly Chicago librarian is mixing reviews and spreadsheets to keep track of all juvenile/young adult starred reviews in one convenient location.

For adults, Literary Hub’s BookMarks site ( aggregates reviews and buzz into the helpful sections “Most Talked About Books” and “Best Reviewed” in a very slick presentation.

If this is your first time seeking out less-conventional resources for collection development, start with the sites mentioned above. Or you can branch out to Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, and some of the other popular social media platforms, where authors, illustrators, editors, and publishers are constantly trying out all kinds of new ideas to test their creativity and draw in new readers.