Monday, January 9, 2012

What Teens Are Reading

The article I wrote a few months back, the one I mentioned in this November 2011 post is now published in this month's issue of School Library Journal! (It's entitled "What Teens are Reading: a librarian's informal survey uncovers the hottest YA fiction" and can be viewed here).

Now that the article is public, I can delve into deeper depths about what it's about and why I wrote it. Here are some reasons:

1. Aspiring authors (myself included) want to know what's popular before we query.

Casey McCormick of Literary Rambles was the one who originially came up with the idea, and she expressed an interest in which YA books were popular in libraries. It's a point-of-view that hasn't often been  discussed: we know what's on an Amazon bestseller list, but what books are libraries purchasing? Since I was in charge of the children and teen's collections at the time, I decided to use my own data as well as survey others. Results revealed that libraries are just as likely to purchase books with staying power along with new releases (especially to account for replacements and repairs)--and this is a marketing demographic that booksellers (and publishers, and agents) may want to explore.

2. Librarians (especially those new to the field) are always looking to beef up their collections in order to best meet the needs of their users.

When I was in charge of selecting teen materials, I always appreciated a list of recommended titles--ones I knew would circulate, and justify the cost the library paid for them. A children's librarian new to her position was particularly interested in my findings, once they became available, so that she could ensure her collection stayed up-to-date.

3. I want to pay it forward to fellow writers. I figured librarians would likely purchase some of the titles I listed, and that might boost the publicity of the authors who wrote them.

Most authors listed already have a significant following, but new releases also had a place on the finalized lists. For example, although Marie Lu's dystopian, Legend, just released, it's still getting significant buzz among librarians, and it made the Top 20 list within the article (linked above).

For more comprehensive data (I received recommendations for hundreds of titles and series) feel free to email me at cloudhime at gmail dot com or leave your email in the comments section.

Phew, I'm exhausted, and my cat is meowing at my door. I've probably neglected her too long. Happy reading, everyone!


Tarah Dunn said...

Congrats on the article! It is really interesting how being a librarian can inform your writing.

The Writer Librarian said...

So true! There are many of us writer/librarians, and we need to stick together.