Indies Introduce Debut Authors: Jury Picks, Author Videos, Bookseller Quotes & More

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Sign up to participate by June 21

This fall’s Indies Introduce Debut Authors promotion encompasses 22 titles — 12 adult and 10 children’s books — chosen by a panel of 13 booksellers who read more than 50 galleys and manuscripts. From the 22 featured titles, the booksellers bestowed the distinction of Jury Pick on three titles that stood out from the rest. The fall 2013 Indies Introduce Jury Picks, announced at the Celebration of Bookselling & Author Awards Lunch at BookExpo America, are:

  • Fiction: The Lion Seeker, by Kenneth Bonert (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Nonfiction: Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death, by Katy Butler (Scribner)
  • Children’s: Rooftoppers, by Katherine Rundell (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

See below for a bookseller quote for each of the Jury Picks; links to quotes for all 22 fall titles are available below each title on Indies Introduce Debut Authors on

Publishers are supporting all the fall Indies Introduce titles with a variety of special offers, author videos, first editions, and marketing materials. This week, videos of debut authors who participated in an autographing session in ABA’s Indie Bookseller Lounge at BEA have been added to ABA’s YouTube Channel. Those, along with an array of marketing materials, are available to ABA members in BookWeb’s Design & Downloads for use in store promotions.

The deadline to sign up and choose at least six titles in the fall promotion to feature in displays, newsletters, and social media is Friday, June 21.

The booksellers who devoted much time to choosing the Indies Introduce titles and Jury Picks are:

Adult Committee

Children’s Committee


Panelist Reviews of the Fall 2013 Indies Introduce Jury Picks

The Lion Seeker, by Kenneth Bonert (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Kenneth Bonert’s The Lion Seeker tells the story of Isaac Helger, a young Lithuanian Jew growing up in a South African working class neighborhood in the days leading up to and during World War II.  It’s a rich and satisfying novel, exploring issues of race, religion, and class.  Most of all, the accomplishment of The Lion Seeker lies in the strength of the characters that Kenneth Bonert brings to life and the rich world they inhabit. —Mark Laframboise, Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington D.C.

Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death, by Katy Butler (Scribner, Simon & Schuster)
For writer Katy Butler, her father’s path from his first stroke to his ultimate death was painful and protracted — a six-year nightmare during which death was blocked at every turn while life became increasingly fraught. Her father, a once-vibrant man, was fitted with a pacemaker he didn’t really need as a preventative pre-surgery measure.  Once in, the pacemaker could not be turned off despite a series of strokes and a long, sure slide into dementia. The medical establishment is programmed to save lives at whatever the cost — suffering, anguish, or dollars. Two things make this blistering book stand out: the first is a dead-honest personal story that doesn’t attempt to hide the anger, denial, and even cowardice of family members as they cope with the unimaginable — the fact of inevitable but unbearably protracted death. The other is the implacable insistence on life at any cost that drives the medical establishment into creating the worst kind of death possible. As we see the price racked up by unnecessary medical procedures and drugs, the price paid by the family and the patient/victim of all this, the lesson is clear: there is a better way to die. But it’s not likely to occur until doctors come to realize that fact. For those of us entering old age, it can’t happen soon enough. —Betsy Burton, The King’s English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, UT

Rooftoppers, by Katherine Rundell (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
“On the morning of its first birthday, a baby was found floating in a cello case in the middle of the English Channel.” And with that first line, Rooftoppers grabs you and never lets go. Quirky characters, book references, deceit, adventures, and Paris! What’s not to love! This book has “classic” written throughout and will be loved by generations to come. —Becky Quiroga, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

See all Indies Introduce Debut Author reviews here.