Publishers, lend us your ears.
I'm sure you've heard of the exciting, new readers' advisory service sweeping the nation by now, but in case you're still in the dark, let us fill you in on Loan Stars: more than 100 library systems and almost 40 school boards across Canada have signed up to collaboratively select the 10 hottest books being published each month. Using CataList, library staff vote for their favourite forthcoming titles and the 10 most-loved titles make up that month's list. (Check out the latest Loan Stars picks.)
Every month, the top 10 list is widely promoted to library staff and readers through the Loan Stars website and mailing list, social media (Loan Stars is on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Goodreads), media partners (Quill & Quire will be publishing the list every month!), digital and physical promotion in libraries across the country, and other channels currently being explored. Library staff have enthusiastically taken to the project, and are already starting to integrate Loan Stars picks into their collections:
We are getting information about the Loan Stars initiative out to our staff and customers. We are also supporting the program in other ways including purchasing the books from the winning lists in all formats and having dedicated shelves at the branches and on our ebook lending platforms.
— Cindy Poggiaroni, Manager, Collections, Brampton Library
Authors also seem pleasantly delighted to find their books beloved by Canadian libraries:
So how do you get your books in front of the eyes of library staff, who could become invaluable cheerleaders of your books and authors? It's easy!
- Make sure your forthcoming titles are added early to CataList, the online digital catalogue tool used by the Canadian book industry. All adult fiction and non-fiction titles are eligible. Learn more about CataList or sign up for an account.
- Make sure library staff can find your ARCs. Since voting takes place entirely pre-publication, ARCs are essential—otherwise, voters have nothing to base their votes on. NetGalley is CataList’s partner in providing ARCs to voting library staff. Alternatively, many publishers are allowing library staff to make direct requests for reading copies right in CataList. Get in touch and we'll give you details on how to activate this in your CataList account.
- Promote your books. This is a great time to promote titles to your library list. Pick a couple of titles that you think would appeal to the library market and be sure to send out notifications far and wide: tweet, email, and send smoke signals. Get the word out there and tell library staff to vote for your book.
- Get your titles out there early. Whether it's posting in a catalogue or pushing out ARCs to library staff, be sure to do it early so they have time to read and vote.
The voting period for a particular title takes place entirely pre-publication, closing in the month prior to its publication date. So, for example, the last day to vote for a title published anytime in July will be May 31st—the July list will come out in early June. Loan Stars lists are currently are limited to adult titles only, but once young adult BISAC codes are fully populated in the supply chain, we will look at creating young adult and juvenile lists. Stay tuned!
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Also, let us know if there is a particular person at your publishing house who is the best contact for Loan Stars.