Do you hate it when your friend says she is reading the latest bestseller from your favorite author, and you didn't even know that the book was coming out? Here at the library, our goal is to have books ordered before you even know that you want them. With about 300,000 books traditionally published every year in the United States (and that many, or more, self published), and the means to buy only a small fraction of them, how does your library decide what to buy, and, more importantly, how can you get on the list early so you're not waiting months for the latest hot title?
The easiest way to keep up with what the library has ordered is to use the New Titles on Order page on our web site. This page has links to on order items, not just books, but DVDs, Blu-rays, Music CDs, Audiobooks, and Graphic Novels, as well as specific sections for Children's and Teen books. The folks at the library's Collection Development Office are placing new orders several times a week for items that have been requested by customers and for titles that we've come across in reading reviews and ones that are promoted in various media sources. We use many of the same sources you do--NPR, The Denver Post, The New York Times, People, Entertainment Weekly, and more to try to see what books will be popular in the upcoming weeks and months.
Many people follow their favorite authors, either through their web sites, Facebook, Twitter, or other social media. This way you may hear about a new book well in advance of publication. How will you know when the library will order it? If it's a popular author, rest assured that DPL will be ordering the book, about 2-3 months in advance of the publication date (for example, books with a September publication date will be ordered in the last half of June). Since your limit for RequestIt purchase/Interlibrary loan requests is 30 titles per year, keep this in mind with prepublication titles--if you request something too early, we will not be able to buy it (and the request still counts towards your limit). Wait until you see other titles with similar publication dates showing up in our catalog before you make a request for something you're not seeing.
Other sources to look in to find about prepublication books include review journals such as Library Journal (circulating copies available) or Publisher's Weekly (available digitally with your library card through Zinio), and web sites such as Goodreads, LibraryThing, or Amazon (which has a new releases search), and newsletters from the library, from publishers, or Early Word.
At the library, we love to talk about books, so don't be afraid to ask your librarian what upcoming books they're excited about or request a Personalized Reading List specifically asking for prepublication titles. Find more ideas for book discovery throughout the Denver Public Library web site.
What are your favorite ways to discover new titles before they are published?