Building on the success of Book Sense Best Books: 125 Favorite Books Recommended by Independent Booksellers, Newmarket Press and Book Sense are teaming up once again -- to publish Book Sense Best Children's Books: Favorites for All Ages Recommended by Independent Booksellers. The new title, to be published in September 2005, will feature more than 200 "favorite book" recommendations from independent booksellers with Book Sense. 2003 Book Sense Book of the Year Children's Literature winner Cornelia Funke is contributing the book's foreword, and brief bookseller essays will introduce each of the book's various sections. Award-winning illustrator Peter Sis, Mark Teague, and David Shannon are among the noted illustrators contributing drawings to be featured throughout the book.
To promote Book Sense Best Children's Books, which will be a paperback, priced at $14.95, Newmarket Press will be featuring a special pamphlet bearing the book's cover art at this year's BookExpo America. Booksellers can pick up the promotional piece at the Newmarket booth (#3738), at the ABA/Book Sense Lounge (Room 1E 07-08), and at the Children's Author Breakfast.
Esther Margolis, founder and president of New York City-based Newmarket Press, talked to BTW about the impetus for the second Book Sense Best Book. "The first book was a great success," she said. "It tied into Book Sense's fifth anniversary and marketing support was strong: We featured it in several regional holiday catalogs; booksellers were interviewed about it on NPR stations; and most stores ordered the book in counter displays. We hoped to do a follow-up, and a volume on children's books seemed a natural."
Margolis also discussed the ways in which the new title differs from the last. "First, [Book Sense Best Children's Books] focuses exclusively on children's titles. It includes even more recommendations, more than 200, and is organized by age and format: picture books, chapter books, middle readers, young adult, etc. Also, it features illustrations, and bookseller comments introduce each section." In addition to Sis, Teague, and Shannon, Newmarket is currently in discussions with several other noted children's book illustrators and hopes to announce more contributors by BEA, noted Margolis.
In addition to the always-popular fiction recommendations, the nonfiction section will be a valuable part of the book, explained Margolis. "We know parents and teachers are always looking for recommendations in that category. The book's appendices -- lists of recommended titles organized by theme -- will be fun, such as 'What to Read While Waiting for the Next Harry Potter,' and 'Favorite Series.'" Other sections are Board Books, Middle Reader (ages 9 - 12), Picture Books, and Young Adult (ages 12 and up), among others.
The September release of Book Sense Best Children's Books will create an opportunity to cross-promote both Book Sense Best Books together. Newmarket is offering a six-copy "solo" display for the new title, but also a 12-copy mixed-title counter display, which houses both Book Sense Best Children's Books and Book Sense Best Books. Booksellers receive a 50 percent discount on counter displays.
Orders for Book Sense Best Books and Book Sense Best Children's Books should be placed through Newmarket's distributor, W.W. Norton, at (800) 233-4830. --Karen Schechner