Signup Opens for the Summer/Fall Indies Introduce Promotion

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The American Booksellers Association announced today the Summer/Fall 2014 Indies Introduce picks, featuring 10 adult Debut Author and 10 children’s New Voices titles selected by independent booksellers as the brightest debuts of the coming season.

Talking Leaves Books’ Jonathon Welch was chair of the adult debut panel of nine booksellers who were tasked with reading close to 40 manuscripts, galleys, and advance reading copies and whittling that group down to the 10 titles “we could recommend most heartily to you, our cohort in selling, and our demanding customers,” he said. “We are confident in our choices, certain that you will be able to recommend these wonderful books unabashedly to your customers, whether they favor history or mystery, hope or despair, obsession or dispassion, whether they favor the crowded grit and energy of urban settings or the subtler tempo of wide open spaces.”

Krista Gilliam of Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Georgia, served on the children’s book committee and found the process of selecting the top kids’ picks for Indies Introduce eye-opening. “It was a great opportunity because it gave me a chance to read books that otherwise may have flown under the radar,” she said. “I really loved the opportunity to familiarize myself with a wide range of fiction coming out this summer and fall. There were a lot of really great books.”

Gilliam is looking forward to when the books start publishing in the upcoming season, as she will be able to give her staff early recommendations for the best picks. “Brand new books don’t always get the buzz they deserve just because they’re new, so I hope this helps them get picked up,” said Gilliam.

The list of participating stores will be shared with Indies Introduce publishers on May 19, so booksellers should sign up before then to receive the special offers on the Summer/Fall selections. Visit the sign-up page to see bookseller reviews for each title and to learn about special publisher offers. (A BookWeb user name and password are required.) Bookstores that participated in any of the three previous Indies Introduce seasons do not need to sign up, as they have already been included in the program.

The full listing of Indies Introduce titles is also available on Edelweiss.

Stores must select eight of the 20 Indies Introduce titles to promote (children’s bookstores should select five of the 10 New Voices), and, to simplify the process this round, the titles do not need to be selected in advance. Selected titles should be featured by booksellers in a dedicated Indies Introduce in-store display, standing for no less than two weeks, and be promoted through newsletters, staff picks, store websites, and social media. Bookstores are expected to order three copies of each hardcover and children’s book, and five copies of each paperback (display allowance titles may have different order requirements).

Booksellers attending BookExpo America will have the opportunity to meet with some of the Indies Introduce authors and panelists at a special reception in ABA’s Indie Bookseller Lounge on the show floor, Space #214, on Friday, May 30, at 4:30 p.m.

Booksellers should watch for special Indies Introduce stickers and sell sheets in the May Red Box mailing and can access downloadable marketing materials for Indies Introduce titles on BookWeb’s Bookseller DIY. Also, stay tuned to Bookselling This Week for Indies Introduce Q&As, coming soon.

Questions about the Indies Introduce program should be addressed to BSI Senior Program Officer Joy Dallanegra-Sanger.

Summer/Fall 2014 Indies Introduce Debut Authors


Fourth of July Creek, by Smith Henderson
(Ecco, 9780062286444, Publication date 5/27/2014)
“This first novel by Smith Henderson is powerful and disturbing as he narrates the lives of a struggling social worker and the families he tries to help. The Pearl family is characterized by suspicion, paranoia, and fear of the future as they believe they are in the end times. The emotional difficulties expressed are intense and raw and portray a layer of American life that does not mesh with the norm. This story is a literary gem and well worth the read.” —Stephanie Crowe, Page and Palette

The Untold, by Courtney Collins
(Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, 9780399167096, Publication date 5/29/2014)
“The stark, rough Australian landscape provides a haunting backdrop for this desperate tale of survival of Jesse Hickman, a young woman who has murdered her violent, abusive husband and is fleeing from the law and bounty hunters. Powerfully written in the voice of her dead baby, this story comes to life in all its brutality, yet there is a tenderness hidden in the rough edges of the characters themselves. This beautifully written narrative is dark and disturbing but has great emotion and is a must read!” —Stephanie Crowe, Page and Palette

We Are Called to Rise, by Laura McBride
(Simon & Schuster, 9781476738963, Publication date 6/3/2014)
“Bashkim, Avis, Roberta, and Luis introduce us to a Las Vegas not apparent to the casual tourist. Beyond being residents of the same city, it is hard to imagine what could possibly link a third-grade Albanian immigrant, a middle-aged woman on the brink of divorce, a dedicated volunteer in the Child Advocacy System, and a young Mexican war veteran recovering from physical and mental trauma. Through their stories we see tragedy and hardship, and, ultimately, we see what the human heart is capable of and that there is an inseparable link between being human and making humane choices for ourselves and others.” —Andrea Avantaggio, Maria’s Bookshop

Us Conductors, by Sean Michaels
(Tin House Books, dist. by PGW, 9781935639817, Publication date 6/10/2014, paperback)
“Sean Michaels has chosen an engrossing subject in Lev Termen, the Russian scientist and spy most famous for his invention of the unusual instrument the theremin. Michaels details Termen’s rise to fame, his trips around Europe and America to demonstrate his creation (bankrolled by the Russian government and not without its costs), and his new life in the States and subsequent incarceration in a Russian gulag following a shift in relations with his homeland. Us Conductors is engaging throughout. A fascinating look at a fascinating man.” —Liberty Hardy, RiverRun Bookstore

The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even: A Novel, by Chris F. Westbury
(Counterpoint, dist. by PGW, 9781619022904, Publication date 6/10/2014)
“The adjectives kooky, quirky, and unusual can do nothing but enhance any description of this wonderful, original novel about two outpatients of a mental facility who decide they must travel to Philadelphia on a Marcel Duchamp-based mission to retrieve a chocolate grinder. Loaded with art history, biblical knowledge, OCD habits, and laugh-out-loud hijinks (are any of those things redundant?), The Bride Stripped Bare is a delight.” —Liberty Hardy, RiverRun Bookstore

Dry Bones in the Valley, by Tom Bouman
(W.W. Norton & Company, 9780393243024, Publication date 7/7/2014)
“I love Wiley Cash, and I love mysteries, so I certainly couldn’t pass up a chance to read a Wiley Cash-recommended mystery! This debut is wonderful. It’s about a police officer in rural Pennsylvania who has to solve a murder when a thaw in the snow reveals a body in the mountains. Mixed in with the murder are meth dealers and secret family histories. It’s very compelling. But what I love best about this book is the lead character, Henry Farrell. He’s a regular guy. He’s not a superhero—he gets his gun taken away from him by the bad guys more often than not—but he’s still driven to do what he thinks is right. I hope there’s another book with Henry, and if not that, at least another book from Tom Bouman.” —Liberty Hardy, RiverRun Bookstore

Painted Horses, by Malcolm Brooks
(Grove Press, 9780802121646, Publication date 8/5/2014)
“As newly minted archaeologist Catherine Lemay struggles to find her way in 1950s Montana, she confronts both the beauty of the American West and its raw ugliness. Malcolm Brooks’ page-turner of a literary love story, Painted Horses draws readers into a wild landscape full of vivid characters and high drama.” —David Enyeart, Common Good Books

Fives and Twenty-Fives, by Michael Pitre
(Bloomsbury USA, 9781620407547, Publication date 8/26/2014)
“Throughout history, the horror of war has ironically created beautiful literature. Beginning with Homer and continuing to the present day, chroniclers of warfare have given us a unique and perceptive view of society. The latest entry to that canon is Michael Pitre’s Fives and Twenty-Fives, a mesmerizing debut set in the Iraq war and its aftermath. The interlocking stories of the characters not only provide an incisive portrait of the state of current civilization but also a probing examination of individual responsibility and conscience. The author uses exceptional prose and character development to create a stark portrait of a world made by war. This novel will rightfully take its place next to Matterhorn and The Yellow Birds in the realm of modern combat literature.” —Bill Cusumano, Nicola’s Books


Bulletproof Vest, by Maria Venegas
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 9780374117313, Publication date 6/17/2014)
“Maria Venegas tells the story of her complicated relationship with her estranged father with an honesty and tough vulnerability that is compelling and moving. From the poetic prose of the opening prologue describing the late-night ambush that almost takes her father’s life to the description of being awakened as a child by the sound of gunshots, readers know immediately that hers was a childhood far from the norm. Bulletproof Vest is a firsthand account of a life marked by the undercurrents of a violent culture but also filled with intense familial loyalty and love. A remarkable debut by a brilliant young writer!” —Adrian Newell, Warwick’s

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, by Caitlin Doughty
(W.W. Norton & Company, 9780393240238, Publication date 9/15/2014)
“Caitlin Doughty’s memoir, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, takes readers behind the pleasant facade of America’s funeral industry. Alternately engrossing and just plain gross, Doughty’s book is a clear-eyed look at death and a call for us all to think about a difficult topic in healthier ways. Fans of Sarah Vowell and Mary Roach will thank you for introducing them to Doughty’s intelligent and engaging new book.” —David Enyeart, Common Good Books

Summer/Fall 2014 Indies Introduce New Voices
Previously announced at ABA’s Children’s Institute and in Bookselling This Week.


The Secret Hum of a Daisy, by Tracy Holczer
(Putnam Juvenile, 9780399163937, Publication date 5/1/14)
“When 12-year-old Grace’s mother dies, she’s reunited with her estranged grandmother from a rural town she has never even visited. Poignant, endearing, and fresh, this beautifully told middle-grade novel is full of wisdom and heart.” —Krista Gilliam, Little Shop of Stories

The Glass Sentence, by S.E. Grove
(Viking Juvenile, 9780670785025, Publication date 6/12/14)
The Glass Sentence features a highly imaginative and engaging premise that is clearly relatable and accessible while also possessing roots grounded intricately in social and political history and cartography. This tightly knit and compelling world offers deep satisfaction for all readers of interest, who will regale themselves with its dire actions, complex villainy, highly absorbing characters, and sublimely engaging interior and outer landscapes.” —Kenny Brechner, Devaney Doak & Garrett

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher, by Dana Alison Levy
(Delacorte BYR, 9780385376525, Publication date 7/22/14)
The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher is a laugh-out-loud story of a patchwork family that balances zany antics with heartfelt moments. A story of two dads with four adopted sons (ages 6, 10, and 12), these boys are well-rounded: they like sports, reading, science, singing, adventures, and musical theatre. Much like most parents, the dads oscillate between exasperation and unconditional love for their kids. Peppered with a few life lessons about learning to admit you were wrong, trying something new, and standing up for your family, this book will make you feel like the inside of a group hug.” —Sara Hines, Eight Cousins Books


The Truth About Alice, by Jennifer Mathieu
(Roaring Brook Press, 9781596439092, Publication date 6/3/14)
“Told from multiple perspectives, The Truth About Alice details what it means to be bullied and what it takes to stand up against it. At times harshly funny, at times heart-wrenching, this ultimately hopeful novel will appeal to fans of Jay Asher and John Green.” —Emily Ring, Inklings Bookshop

Midnight Thief, by Livia Blackburne
(Disney-Hyperion, 9781423176381, Publication date 7/8/14)
“An engaging balance of character-driven adventure, coming-of-age at dawn, unexpected plot turns, and unusually strong world-building make Midnight Thief just the thing for 12-and-up fantasy readers.” —Kenny Brechner, Devaney Doak & Garrett

Illusive, by Emily Lloyd-Jones
(Little, Brown BYR, 9780316254564, Publication date 7/15/14)
“To save the world from a terrible virus, a miracle vaccination was developed. It saved millions of lives, but there was just one side effect that affected a very small percentage of the population: It gave some people superpowers. Ciere is one of these people. She is an illusionist. Not only can she disappear right in front of you, she can manipulate the environment close to her to be what she wants others to see — or not see. She is also a teenaged thief with a wicked sense of humor. And she’s a very good thief. She works with a crew of others with assorted superpowers and they have been quite successful in their endeavors together. Now the government is out to get them and everyone like them and they’ve got their own team with superpowers. A real page-turner, this will keep you on the edge of your seat from the first page to the last.” —Kris Vreeland, Once Upon A Time

Six Feet Over It, by Jennifer Longo
(Random House BYR, 9780449818718, Publication date 8/26/14)
“Sad, sweet, and funny, this is the coming-of-age story of Leigh, a teenage girl who lives and works in a cemetery, selling grave sites to those who are planning ahead for their own deaths (‘Pre-Needs’) and those grieving their deceased loved ones (‘At-Needs’). Leigh’s life is steeped in death, grief, and abandonment, and she is convinced that anyone she loves will be doomed by association. However, with the efforts of an immigrant groundskeeper and a persistent, home-schooled Tolkien fan, Leigh gradually learns that she can embrace joy, friendship, and love, even while understanding the inevitability of death. I devoured this book in one ecstatic gulp, and it left me breathless. Count me as a Jennifer Longo fan for life.” —Emily Ring, Inklings Bookshop

Falling Into Place, by Amy Zhang
(Greenwillow Books, 9780062295040, Publication date 9/9/14)
Falling into Place is much like a pendulum swinging with force and purpose towards a terrible and necessary understanding. Its rare conceptual elegance and deftly unfurling mysteries make for an exceptionally evocative and thought-provoking reading experience.” —Kenny Brechner, Devaney Doak & Garrett

Salt & Storm, by Kendall Kulper
(Little, Brown BYR, 9780316404518, Publication date 9/23/14)
“Avery Roe knows her destiny. She has known it her whole life. It is what she was born to do. She is the next Roe Witch of Prince Island. The Roe Witches have cared for and protected the sailors and inhabitants of Prince Island for generations. It is what Avery wants to do with her life. Then Avery’s mother steals her away from her birthright and Avery turns for help to Tane, a mysterious, intriguing sailor from far away with a magic of his own. What happens when magic from two very different worlds collides? A wonderful read of dreams and friendship and hope and magic and love.” —Kris Vreeland, Once Upon A Time

Lies We Tell Ourselves, by Robin Talley
(Harlequin Teen, 9780373211333, Publication date 9/30/14)
“Sarah Dunbar is part of a group of high-schoolers who are asked to be the first black students at Jefferson High in the fictional town of Davisburg, Virginia, in 1959. Talley opens this brutally honest, painful portrayal of a particularly ugly time in our nation’s history with a gut-wrenching punch. These students are mistreated on so many levels. Sarah is forced to work on a project with Linda, the ‘popular’ white girl. They struggle with this in a variety of ways. It’s a good story and a necessary one. Highly recommended.” —Valerie Koehler, Blue Willow Bookshop

The Summer/Fall 2014 Indies Introduce Debut Authors Committee:

Jonathon Welch, Talking Leaves Books, Buffalo, NY (Chair)
Bill Cusumano, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI
Liberty Hardy, RiverRun Bookstore, Portsmouth, NH
Kenny Coble, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA
David Enyeart, Common Good Books, St. Paul, MN
Stephanie Crowe, Page and Palette, Fairhope, AL
Andrea Avantagio, Maria’s Bookshop, Durango, CO
Adrian Newell, Warwick’s, La Jolla, CA
Kathleen Caldwell, A Great Good Place for Books, Oakland, CA

The Summer/Fall 2014 Indies Introduce New Voices Committee:

Valerie Koehler, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX (Chair)
Kenny Brechner, Devaney Doak & Garrett, Farmington, ME
Krista Gilliam, Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, GA
Sara Hines, Eight Cousins Books, Falmouth, MA
Ellen Klein, Hooray For Books!, Alexandria, VA
Judith Lafitte, Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA
Summer Laurie, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA
Tess Riesmeyer, Penguin Bookshop, Sewickley, PA
Emily Ring, Inklings Bookshop, Yakima, WA
Kris Vreeland, Once Upon A Time, Montrose, CA

To see more bookseller reviews of the Indies Introduce titles or to register for the promotion, visit the Indies Introduce sign-up page now.