One of the coolest things about being a librarian is getting to read books before they’re published.
Yesterday, Mrs. Abercrombie and I travelled into NYC to attend HarperCollins’ autumn book preview at the OMNI Hotel. This was my first book preview, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. When we got to the hotel, we found tables piled high with advance copy editions of new books that will be published by HarperCollins in the next 6 months or so. We were given a big empty bag and encouraged to take any of the books that we wanted! FREE BOOKS.
As the morning wore on, the room filled with librarians from all over the greater NY area, and we eventually all settled in a big room with five large circular tables. Seated at each of the tables were editors from HarperCollins who came prepared to share some of their new books. I couldn’t help but be reminded of some of the book report projects I asked students to do in the Middle School; the editors each had just a few minutes to describe each book and try to get us interested in reading it. Some were successful and some were not.
After each editor shared their books, we got up and found another table where we listened to more editor book reports. When we’d sat through all of the book talks, we mingled for a bit, ate some muffins or bagels, and then began our trip back to Greenwich with our monstrously heavy bags full of awesome new books to read before they are published!
So why would a publishing company want to give away tons of books every season?
They are hoping that the librarians who take the books will read them and want to order the published edition of them for their libraries. They are hoping that librarians will enthusiastically recommend these books to other people who will, in turn, purchase them and recommend them to others. In short, the publishing companies are hoping that by giving away some free books, they will build support for their new titles before they are even published!
I left the event yesterday with 26 books that will be published sometime in the next 6 months. Some are science-fiction, some are romance. A few are fantasy/adventure, and a couple are picture books. If you are interested in getting the inside track on a book that may become this winter’s blockbuster, bestselling book, then come by the library and check out some of the galleys I got yesterday!