The Book Report Network


Carol Fitzgerald's "Libraries and Librarians Are Endangered Species" piece on The Huffington Post

Friday, June 25, 2010

Libraries and Librarians Are Endangered Species: What You Can Do to Help

In April my mother called to say a cost-cutting move threatened to close my hometown's local library. The town council of Cedar Grove, New Jersey needed to trim the budget by $600,000, and by eliminating library funding council members thought they saw an easy cut. There were no unions to deal with, and the library line item in the budget of $490,000 for the remainder of 2010 was large enough that it could wipe out a huge chunk of the budget deficit. As one councilman noted, the surrounding towns had libraries; people could use those...

Continue reading the article on Releases Annual Hottest Graphic Novels of Summer List

Friday, June 18, 2010

Nearly 120 graphic-novel recommendations for readers of all ages this summer

FOR IMMEDIATE, a leading website for graphic-novel and manga news and reviews, has released its second annual Hottest Graphic Novels of Summer list, a comprehensive collection of titles that will keep comics fans busy throughout the summer. The selections are arranged into five categories for easy reference --- Adult Fiction, Adult Nonfiction, Teens, Tweens, and Kids --- ensuring that readers of all ages can easily find books to suit their tastes on this in-depth list.

The selections include books on sale now as well as those being released through Labor Day. "Noting the vitality of this market, we wanted build a comprehensive list of exciting titles for the summer," said John Hogan, Editorial Director of "We see this as an essential resource not only for readers, but for booksellers and librarians, too."

In all, nearly 120 books are on the list, ranging from thrillers and action titles to memoirs and epic fantasy. These titles will generate a wealth of content on throughout the summer as creator interviews, reviews, and excerpts for these selected books are added in the weeks to come.

The summer list comes on the heels of's recently released Core Graphic Novels list. That list, which helps booksellers navigate the essential graphic-novel titles they should carry in their stores, is divided into four sections: Adults, Teens, and Kids/Tweens. Both the Adults and Teens list have been published on the site, and the Kids/Tweens list will be published later this month. Core manga lists again broken out by age ranges will begin to appear on the site in July and roll out into August.

"This will be a huge summer for the site," said Carol Fitzgerald, President of "Since launching in December 2008 we have been hitting a consistent stride with our biweekly updates. We are targeting readers who want to know about the best new books being released, librarians and booksellers who need to find the right selection for their patrons and customers and teachers who want to stay on top of what their students will be reading. And from the feedback we see, it's clear that our readers are responding to our mission."

In the fall, will release its annual list of Fall books.

Click here to see the Hottest Graphic Novels of Summer list.'s First Core Graphic Novels List

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 Releases Its First Core Graphic Novels List

A guide to help traditional booksellers entering the graphic-novel marketplace to build a basic collection, one step at a time.

FOR IMMEDIATE, a leading website for graphic-novel and manga news and reviews, has released its Core Graphic Novels list for adults --- the first of four lists the website has planned to guide booksellers who would like to stock these titles, but are in need of some reliable information on what to stock to reach this continually growing audience.

"Since we started conceptualizing this site --- and even more frequently since it launched in December 2008 --- traditional booksellers have asked for guidance on what to buy for their stores," said Carol Fitzgerald, President of, which publishes GraphicNovelReporter. "We see a keen interest from retailers in carrying more graphic novels in stores, but they are overwhelmed by the number of titles out there. Given the depth and breadth of our content, we saw an opportunity to provide these honed lists."

These edited choices are divided into separate categories to help accommodate particular bookstores' needs, based on both content and size: beginning with 10 books for those with very small spaces to allot to graphic works,followed by 25 and 100 more selections for those with more room. A nonfiction list is also included.

In the weeks ahead, will debut lists for the Teen and the Kids categories, two of the biggest categories in comics, as well as manga lists again broken out by demographic.

"This is by no means an exhaustive list, nor is it a best-of list. It's a solid, core list for booksellers who want to branch out into comics selling and build a base," added John Hogan, Editorial Director of GraphicNovelReporter. "Once they jump in, whether it's with 10, 25, or 100 or more titles, they'll quickly learn how strong this category can be for them and also will learn what is interesting to their customers."

Carol Fitzgerald
[email protected] Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ten years ago this month, launched with a goal to connect book groups with books and authors that would make for great conversation --- and move, motivate and inspire them. The website now has more than 11,000 newsletter subscribers, 10,000 registered book groups and 3,000 discussion guides listed. It’s become an online community for more than 185,000 unique visitors each month.

"One of the best parts about watching flourish over the last decade has been the opportunity to be a part of book clubs in far-flung places, but that posed a challenge when it came time to create a celebration. We wanted to do something really big that would recognize book clubs for their support," said Carol Fitzgerald, President of, the parent company of

Thus, in keeping with the “10 theme,” will be giving away $10,000 in prizes in the 10th Anniversary Contest. To enter to win, groups will be asked to share their "Top 10 Favorite Discussion Books." The prizes will be 50 $200 gift certificates to treat book clubs to a month’s worth of discussion books. Groups also can opt instead to donate books to a school, library or other organization of their choice. Gift certificates will be purchased by at the bricks and mortar or online store of the winning groups’ choosing.

"As we looked to celebrate this milestone, we wanted to thank readers, contributors, publishers, booksellers, librarians and authors for their support in a big way --- and we wanted readers to decide where they would receive their prize," Fitzgerald said. "This is in keeping with our mantra here at, that we want to see readers able to get books wherever they want to buy them, in whatever format they choose. We want to keep readers reading and grow new readers."

The contest will be open through August 31st. Click here to read more about our 10th Anniversary celebration.

This fall the site will compile and post a list of the Top 10 most popular titles of all contest respondents.

Quick Links for More Information 10th Anniversary Contest

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GalleyCat Interviews's John Hogan

Monday, March 15, 2010

Graphic novels have never been hotter. Novels such as Watchmen and the NY Times bestseller, Stitches by David Small have shown that interest in the genre has expanded beyond the so-called comic book geek audience and into the mainstream.

One one of those leading that movement is's Editorial Director, John Hogan. We had the opportunity to speak with him at length and this is what he had to say:

Who are you John, really? I mean, tell us about your professional background and your current title.

For several years, I was the editor of Pages magazine ("the magazine for people who love books"). Unfortunately, the magazine came to an end in 2007. As sad as I was to see Pages go away, it gave me a chance to make a change, which involved moving from San Diego to New York and becoming a freelance writer and editor. I've been lucky enough in my career to always get to work with books in some form or another—that's about as good as it gets, in my opinion!

Your site is one of the most popular sources for information and news on graphic novels. Tell us about What is it and how did it begin? is a home for people on the web to find reviews of new and classic graphic books, interviews with creators and publishing professionals, news about the industry, opinions from readers and experts, and resource materials for teachers and librarians who want to incorporate graphic novels into their curricula. We're part of The Book Report Network, which was started by Carol Fitzgerald. Carol and I had known each other for years, and she had written a column for Pages. So when I moved to New York, we stayed in touch and in one conversation, she asked if there were anything in particular that I loved, a field I really wanted to work in, I quickly answered, "graphic novels." Flash-forward a few years, as Carol meanwhile began thinking about adding a graphic-novel website to her stable of sites, she called to see if I was interested in getting on board. So I was very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. I began writing several graphic-novel reviews for and all while Carol and I plotted out the editorial development of the new site we were envisioning. It really helped, because when we officially launched at the end of 2008, we were able to do so with a pretty diverse and well-rounded cache of content. Because Carol had already successfully launched so many sites, it was easier on us in some ways since she knew what to anticipate, but this was something new, so we wanted to get it right as much as possible from the get-go.

You seem passionate about using graphic novels as teaching tools. Why?

When we started, it was really a fan site. And in a way, it still is; we'll always be a home for every type of graphic-novel reader. But we also noticed there was a lot of activity going on with teachers and librarians. They were really at the forefront of bringing a newfound respect to graphic novels. But there weren't many places they could turn to for help, so we wanted to make sure we became that resource. Oftentimes, we were seeing teachers and librarians working with the same graphic novels over and over—they were great graphic novels, but it was obvious they weren't being exposed to the entire wealth of excellent material that's out there. Once we started, it was like we had opened a floodgate. The response we've gotten from teachers and librarians has been phenomenal. And obviously graphic novels are really successful in the classroom. There are so many readers who can be reached through comics. If we can help educators do this, we're really happy.

You've been a fan of comics and graphic novels for years. Do you roll your eyes at the public's newfound interest in graphic novels or does it excite you?

Oh, it definitely excites me. There's never been so much available all at once and all in so many different genres. This is a period of vast exploration in graphic novels. That doesn't mean it's all great, but seeing the range of things being published now is incredible. No matter how hard I try, I just can't keep up with it all. As frustrating as that is, that's just exciting. Plus, it's fun to be able to introduce so many new readers to what's good in the graphic format. It's unbelievable to see the amount of talent out there.

What graphic novels in particular have stood out recently? What should we keep an eye out for that haven't been released?

I could talk about graphic novels I love all day long. I try to cater my recommendations to the genres that people really like the most when I can. For example, if you like science fiction, two ongoing series you should really know about are Rasl by Jeff Smith and Echo by Terry Moore. The biggest literary graphic novel of last year was David Mazzucchelli's Asterios Polyp, which was brilliant. I've handed that to a few people who don't normally read graphic novels, and they loved it. I've done the same with The Photographer, by Didier Lefevre and Emmanuel Guibert. That book is stunning, both in content and design. Some other recent favorites of mine have included The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb, A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge by Josh Neufeld, and Stitches by David Small. George O'Connor just started a new series called Olympians; the first book is on Zeus, and it's a lot of fun. The Wasteland series by Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten is incredible. One of the best books of last year, one that really blew me away, was Bayou by Jeremy Love. It was a webcomic first, and it was just collected in print a few months ago. The memoir genre is big right now too; there were two recently that have similar themes of women trying to understand the lives their fathers led, but both were incredibly different—and both were amazing: You'll Never Know by C. Tyler and The Impostor's Daughter by Laurie Sandell. Coming up, expect the Twilight graphic novel to get a lot of attention. And on the comic-book side, with the new Iron Man movie coming, you'll see a lot of good Iron Man books. I'm really anxious to see Top Shelf's new line of imported Swedish graphic novels; it seems like a brilliant idea to translate them into English and bring them to the States. Also, if you're a fan of noir books, keep an eye on the Vertigo line. They're brought in several talented prose and comics writers to work on edgy new graphic novels; so far, I've loved Jason Starr's The Chill and Kevin Baker's Luna Park. I'm really looking forward to Peter Milligan's Bronx Kill next.

Where do you see the future of graphic novels as an industry going in the next 5-10 years?

In no particular order, I think several things will have a big impact on comics in the coming years. Right now, we're starting to see a lot of overlap between graphic novels and "mainstream" publishing. Major properties and writers (like the aforementioned Twilight and James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, Laurell K. Hamilton, and numerous others) are crossing over, and that will get more plentiful, which will bring in an even wider audience for comics. Webcomics and independently produced works will gain more momentum, which will continue to push the industry in new and exciting directions. So many of the most challenging and rewarding works come out of this environment already. And of course, one of the big questions people are trying to answer currently is how fans will read graphic novels in a few years whether they'll be moving more significantly to electronic devices like the iPad. I think there will be a lot of traction gained there, but I'm a print purist myself. I love the smell of books, comics especially. I think there are enough people who feel similarly to keep comics presses running for a long time to come. And the collector market alone can keep print alive.

Elizabeth Gilbert talks about life after 'Eat, Pray, Love' --- USA TODAY, 1/5/2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

FRENCHTOWN, N.J. — Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the mega-selling travel memoir and bible of female emo known as Eat, Pray, Love, may have moved to this tiny restored mill town on the banks of the Delaware River only three years ago, but she appears to know everybody.

Marching over snow and ice while playing tour guide, Gilbert chats about recipes with a restaurateur, commiserates with a store owner about slow Christmas sales, and asks a little girl if pink is her favorite color — and is suitably impressed when the answer turns out to be orange.

Suddenly, Gilbert's boast in Eat, Pray, Love that "I can make friends with anybody (and) if there isn't anyone else around to talk to, I could probably make friends with a 4-foot-tall pile of Sheetrock" seems less far-fetched.

She's equally uninhibited with a reporter, opening up about everything from why she chose not to have children to being insecure about her wispy hair.

"I'm not a very private person," says Gilbert, 40. "I share stuff with people when I'm standing in a grocery line."

Translate that winning emotional candor into print, and you may have the answer to why Eat, Pray, Love became a publishing phenomenon with its own acronym. Published in 2006, EPL has sold more than 6 million copies in the USA, plus an additional 1 million overseas. It was already a word-of-mouth sensation and book club fave when Oprah Winfrey called and invited Gilbert on to her show twice in 2007.

EPL is the tale of how Gilbert — then a thirtysomething broken-hearted New Yorker — fled a bitter divorce and messy love affair for Italy, where she ate pasta. Then she headed to India, where she prayed in an ashram. She ended up in Indonesia, where she found love on Bali with a Brazilian charmer she calls "Felipe." (To protect his privacy, Gilbert does not use his real name — José Nunes — in her writing.)

If possible, the EPL juggernaut is poised to get even bigger this summer when the film version, which stars Julia Roberts as Gilbert and Spanish smolderer Javier Bardem as Felipe, arrives on Aug. 13.

Bureaucratic odyssey

But first, Gilbert has a new book to promote —Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage (Viking, $26.95), on sale today. A sequel of sorts to EPL, it has an announced first printing of 1 million copies.

After the success of EPL, Committed totes some big sales expectations. Can it meet them? Maybe, says Carol Fitzgerald, president of "There is a built-in audience just waiting for this book. ... For many women, Gilbert has become a character for them and they want to see what happens next in her life."

Early reviews have been mixed. Entertainment Weekly gave Committed a "C" and wondered whether the subject matter — marriage — "perhaps combined with sophomore jitters after such a phenomenal publishing success, has spooked the author." Publishers Weekly was more positive. While disliking the part-history, part-travelogue structure, the reviewer concluded that "Gilbert remains the spirited storyteller she was in EPL."

In Committed, Gilbert explains how she and Felipe, both veterans of divorce, ended up violating their sacred vow never to marry.

The Cupid of this story? Homeland Security. In spring 2006, the couple flew into Dallas/Fort Worth from a trip abroad. Felipe, who is Brazilian by birth, was an Australian citizen who had lived primarily in Bali but traveled frequently to the USA because of his gemstone-import business. He and Gilbert were renting a house in Philadelphia. He had to leave the country every three months, then apply for a new 90-day U.S. visa upon each return, which raised red flags.

Felipe was interrogated for six hours by "Officer Tom" from Homeland Security. Before sending Felipe back to Australia, the officer (who is thanked on the last page of Committed) told the frightened couple that the only way they'd be able to live in the USA was to get married.

Committed is more than just a bureaucratic odyssey that concludes in February 2007 with the pair being married by Frenchtown's mayor. Gilbert examines marriage and divorce around the world through a historical/sociological prism. She also shares her own family's history, focusing on her parents' marriage of 40 years and her grandmother's life as a mother of seven.

"It's a journey of the heart and the mind," Gilbert says. "To be honest, it is not an advice book on how to have a happy marriage."

Committed is Gilbert's second go-round on the topic. She had written nearly 500 pages, but as she was about to send the manuscript to her publisher, "a sickening feeling that it wasn't any good" gripped her.

She was trying for the breezy tone of EPL. But five years had passed. "I'm quite a different person now, and we all know trying for girlish charm into middle age can be a little tragic."

'A giving tree'

Once a devoted New Yorker, Gilbert is no longer EPL's footloose freelance writer but a married woman putting down emotional and financial roots in this New Jersey town. "EPL has turned into a giving tree," she says. "Thanks to EPL, I can help people. It's been a great boon creatively and financially."

She chose Frenchtown to be closer to family.

For Committed, Gilbert spent a lot of time reading and thinking about marriage — "institutionalized intimacy," as she puts it. Her research convinced her that creating an extended community is vital for any marriage, hers included.

Her new husband, for example, needs his privacy. So Frenchtown won't be hosting a literary variation on Jon & Kate starring Liz and Felipe. Not even an invite from The Oprah Winfrey Show could lure him into the spotlight.

Felipe, who is 17 years older than Gilbert, operates Two Buttons, the couple's Asian import shop, in Frenchtown. He has two adult children from his first marriage. Gilbert says her decision not to have children has helped foster an easy relationship with Felipe's kids.

In EPL, her growing doubts about having a baby with her first husband, Michael Cooper, left her sobbing on the bathroom floor in the middle of the night.

Her willingness to detail her ambivalence about marriage, love, career and children is one reason Gilbert connects with readers. "I'm a bridge between Gail Collins' When Everything Changed (a history of feminism) and Sex and the City," she says.

Her biggest fear for Committed: "It will be filed away under chick lit." Gilbert finds it ironic that she sometimes gets that dismissive label, considering she began her career writing for men's magazines.

Before EPL, she had published a collection of short stories, a well-received 2000 novel called Stern Men and a biography of naturalist Eustace Conway. She is working on a new novel.

EPL is not the first piece of writing Gilbert has sold to the movies: Coyote Ugly was based on a GQ article she wrote about bartending in New York City. Gilbert isn't involved in the movie version of EPL (the screenplay is co-written by Glee's Ryan Murphy, who also is directing).

Despite its millions of fans, EPL is not without its detractors. Alynda Wheat, who a couple of years ago wrote a "Loathe It" piece about EPL for Entertainment Weekly, belongs to a not-insubstantial group who find the book's popularity mystifying.

"Not only did (Gilbert) end this marriage to a perfectly lovely man and take a year off — a vacation most people can only dream of — she got paid hugely for it," says Wheat, who calls EPL "self-centered."

"And now she gets to be played by Julia Roberts!"

She has no plans to read Committed; Wheat says she's more interested in the memoir Gilbert's ex-husband is writing.

No looking back

On that topic, Gilbert says, "it will be what it will be." Ask her about the accusation that EPL is self-indulgent, and she shrugs: "If people didn't like it, I'm sorry to hear that."

Underneath Gilbert's charm, there's real New England flint (she grew up on a Connecticut Christmas tree farm). Forget the starving-artist cliché; Gilbert proudly points out that she has been contributing to her retirement fund since she worked as a waitress after graduating from NYU. In Committed, she describes how she and Felipe hammered out their prenup.

"I'm not the type of person to end up like Nicolas Cage or Mike Tyson," she says. "I was raised by parents whose greatest fear is that their daughters would be dependent on anyone or anything."

Standing in the middle of the Two Buttons shop, Gilbert makes it clear that she's not dependent on Committed scaling the heights of EPL.

With a sunny but determined smile, she says, "I have no expectation that any of my future books will succeed like EPL." And she seems just fine with that.

Decade in books: Writers work magic, delivery has transformed --- USA TODAY, 12/30/2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Nearly a decade ago, the book world was jolted — digitally — by one of its scariest and most popular writers.

On his website, Stephen King launched a serial novel, The Plant, the first experiment in digital self-publishing by a brand-name author. Readers were asked for $1 for downloading each 5,000-word installment about a vampire vine that takes over a publishing firm.

His experiment ended midplot; fewer than half the readers had paid.

King now says it wasn't "the delivery system" but a problem as old as writing itself. He ran out of inspiration, which "happens quite often with writers, but the world usually doesn't know."

Still, it raised staggering questions in 2000: Who needs publishers, bookstores or even books when a writer has a website?

In 2009, King's best sellers still are published the traditional way, although Under the Dome, released in November, is out as an e-book today. The sky hasn't fallen, but for books, it has been a transformative decade roiled by anxiety and possibilities. New powers emerged: Google, which plans to digitize 20 million books, and Amazon, which continued to change bookselling.

The word reader took on new meaning in devices such as the iPhone, Sony E-Reader, Kindle and Nook, not to be confused with the Vook, a one-screen blend of book and video.

Human readers made it a big decade for novels about wizards, vampires and a Harvard symbologist. Two series for kids with "crossover" appeal to grown-ups —J.K. Rowling 's Harry Potter and Stephenie Meyer 's Twilight— swept nine of the top 10 spots on USA TODAY's best-selling books of the decade. Dan Brown 's The Da Vinci Code is No. 2.

Rowling was a best seller before 2000, when third book Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban sold a record 3 million copies its first weekend.

By 2007's release of the finale, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, speculation about Harry's death (unfounded) rose to levels not seen since Charles Dickens ' 19th-century serials. A record 8.3 million copies sold in a day.

In 2007, Meyer, a Mormon stay-at-home mom, began an unprecedented dominance of the best-seller list with her Twilight series about a chaste teen romance starring a vampire. Last year, she sold 22 million books.

Brown hit it big in 2003 with Da Vinci, a thriller mixing fact and fiction. It made best sellers out of Brown's three earlier novels. His latest, The Lost Symbol, has sold 4 million copies since September.

Rowling, Meyer and Brown had help from Hollywood, but their books were blockbusters in their own right: "They opened as big or bigger than the most anticipated movies, with pre-orders and opening-night parties, which spilled over to other books," says Michael Cader, founder of Publishers Lunch, a digital newsletter. Each sold "quantities of hardcovers once unimaginable."

But publishers complain of flat sales overall — even before the recession. E-books, the fastest-growing segment, are in their infancy, 3% of sales. Prices, rights and delaying e-books to protect hardcover sales are in dispute.

"Hard bargains will have to be struck," says Sara Nelson, books editor of O magazine, "but in the end, readers will win. Over time, the more readers you can create and nurture, the better ... no matter what the format."

It was a decade for memoirs, including Elizabeth Gilbert 's Eat, Pray, Love (No. 25). But after James Frey 's A Million Little Pieces (No. 45) turned out to be part fiction, he was publicly scolded by Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah's Book Club turned 34 titles into best sellers, but waned, making only one selection this year. Her show ends in 2011. But authors found outlets on cable shows hosted by Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Glenn Beck, who wrote their own best sellers.

Metropolitan newspapers reduced book reviews or moved them online. After 76 years, Kirkus Reviews closes next week.

But countless blogs and websites are now devoted to books. "More books are getting attention, but at the same time, enthusiasm for one title is tougher to cultivate," says Carol Fitzgerald, president of the Book Report Network of websites.

The number of bookstores peaked and is in "irreversible decline," Cader says. That troubles publishers such as Grove/Atlantic's Morgan Entrekin, who says, "Bookstores are such wonderful places. We need them. They offer community in a world that is becoming more fragmented."

Fitzgerald worries about the implications of a recent price war between Amazon and Wal-Mart : "Books as loss leaders, priced like bulk paper towels, says something about what we think of culture in this country."

Still, as the National Endowment for the Arts ' David Kipen puts it, "Any decade with two new Thomas Pynchon novels and an uptick in national reading numbers can't be all bad."

A 2004 report warned that literary reading was fading away, but a 2009 update found reading on the rise for the first time in 25 years; the biggest increase was among readers 18 to 24.

Asked about 2019, King sees 40% of fiction and 25% of non-fiction sales as e-books, but their "essentially ephemeral nature will probably keep them from biting any deeper, even when delivery quality improves." Overall book sales "will decline slightly or remain steady." These days, that sounds like good news.

Contributing: Anthony DeBarros Announces Holiday Features for 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New York, NY (November 25, 2009) - is sharing in the spirit of the season with three holiday features for 2009:

* Holiday Basket of Cheer Contests
* "What to Give/What to Get" Gift Suggestions
* Author Holiday Blogs about giving and receiving books

The site kicked off the Holiday Basket of Cheer Contests on November 13th; five prizes will be given away in each contest through January 8th. The featured books will be paired with an assortment of other holiday-themed goodies in a basket for the prizes.

Contest One: Lakeshore Christmas by Susan Wiggs

Contest Two: Snow Angels by Fern Micheals, Marie Bostwick, Janna McMahan, & Rosalind Noonan; Santa in a Stetson by Janet Dailey; Kissing Santa Claus by Donna Kauffman, Jill Salvis & HelenKay Dimon; Yule Be Mine by Lori Foster; A Wee Christmas Homicide by Kaitlyn Dunnett and Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage by Sally Smith O'Rourke

Contest Three: Beginner's Luck, Heart's Desire, The Big Shuffle, Best Bet and Buffalo Gal, all by Laura Pedersen

Contest Four: Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas, Stray Affections by Charlene Ann Baumbich, The Moment Between by Nicole Baart, A Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers, Leah's Choice by Marta Perry and Her Inheritance Forever by Lyn Cote

Contest Five: A collection of the " Bets On: Books We're Betting You'll Love" Books for 2009

To see more about the Holiday Basket of Cheer Contests, visit: knows that readers crave ideas for gift-giving — and getting — around the holidays. With this in mind, the site's annual What to Give/What to Get feature is live with "Reader Perfect" suggestions in 14 categories. In addition to traditional genres, presents some holiday-inspired categories including Holiday Spirit: Perfect Selections for Holiday Reading, Great Tools for Readers & Writers: Accessories for Booklovers and Stocking Stuffers: Books Small Enough to Pack Up in Stockings and Buy in Quantity. Readers will find book ideas for everyone on their holiday lists!

For a second year, is featuring Author Holiday Blogs from November 20th through Christmas Day. The lineup will include guest posts from more than 50 authors, including Sandra Brown, Stephen Coonts, Sandra Dallas, Barbara Delinsky, Jamie Ford, Robert Goolrick, Kristin Hannah, Marcia Muller, Lisa Scottoline and Donna VanLiere. Reading the authors' pieces about gift-giving and getting, bookish tales of the stories that have enhanced their lives and the traditions that they share will provide an opportunity for booklovers to spend some time with their favorite authors — and celebrate the holidays.

"For our readers, books and authors are very special parts of their lives, so the chance to have authors share their words, along with the lists and contests, give us a chance to celebrate the season with them," said Carol Fitzgerald, Co-founder and President of TheBookReportNetworkcom.


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Winfrey on ending show: '25 years feels right' --- USA TODAY, 11/22/2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Holding back tears, Oprah Winfrey told her studio audience Friday that she would end her show in 2011 after a quarter-century on the air, saying "prayer and careful thought" led her to her decision.

"I love this show. This show has been my life," she told viewers. "And I love it enough to know when it's time to say good-bye. Twenty-five years feels right in my bones and it feels right in my spirit. It's the perfect number—the exact right time. So I hope that you will take this 18-month ride with me right through to the final show."

Winfrey, the queen of daytime talk, will refocus her efforts on cable, where a new network, a joint venture with Discovery Networks, is now set to launch in January 2011, after several delays. "After production wraps on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Winfrey plans to appear and participate in new programming for OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, a 24-hour cable network that reflects her vision, values and interests," her company said in a statement Friday.

Winfrey, 55, is not expected to host a talk show for that network, but is developing several lifestyle programs and will appear on a somewhat regular basis. But Winfrey is giving up a major platform on syndicated television and analysts say it's highly unlikely she'll match her current audience of more than 7 million viewers, up slightly this season thanks to high-profile interviews with Sarah Palin, Whitney Houston and others.

Analysts say other talk shows hosted by Ellen DeGeneres or any of Winfrey's protégés — Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil and Rachael Ray— won't come close to filling the void or matching her hold on daytime viewers.

"I don't think any talk show will have the influence that she had," says Bill Carroll, an analyst at Katz TV Group, which advises local stations. "Her talk show happened in a different time, in a different media landscape."

Winfrey has uniquely been able to turn endorsements from her Oprah's Book Club into instant bestsellers, and provide a huge platform for authors to hawk their books.

"What a loss for publishing," says Carol Fitzgerald, president of, a popular website for book discussions. "Oprah brings attention to books and authors with passion and focus. Whether or not readers agreed with her choices for her book club, she always drove sales and got people into stores or online to buy." And while other hosts promote gadgets, when "she does her favorite things, they fly off the shelves," Carol says. "I don't think anyone on broadcast or cable has that kind of appeal."

Added Discovery CEO David Zaslav: "There is no bigger brand in media than Oprah Winfrey. She has changed the broadcast landscape and how people consume television."

On Friday's show, Winfrey talked about being nervous when the program began in 1986, and thanked audiences who had invited her into their homes over the past two decades.

"I certainly never could have imagined the yellow brick road of blessings that would have led me to this moment," she said.

Winfrey said she and her staff were going to brainstorm ideas for the final season of her show and she hoped viewers would take "this 18-month ride with me. We are going to knock your socks off," she said. "The countdown to the end of The Oprah Winfrey Show starts now."

The countdown also starts for CBS, which has made hundreds of millions of dollars distributing her show to more than 200 local stations.

And for ABC, which depends on Winfrey for sturdy ratings that in many markets lead into crucial evening newscasts. In nine of the top 10 cities, ABC-owned or affiliated stations carry Winfrey's show, so its loss could hurt both local newscasts that follow it and ABC's World News, which Diane Sawyer is joining at year's end.

Carroll speculates that ABC may decide to expand its local newscasts to replace Winfrey's show, which airs live in Chicago each morning but is delayed in most other cities.

Winfrey has vowed to end her show twice before. But there's no reason to doubt her now: Last week, she moved co-executive producer Lisa Erspamer to Los Angeles as chief creative officer of OWN, a signal that Winfrey would play a more direct role.

Discovery has been scarce on details of Oprah's involvemement in OWN. But Lawrence Kirschbaum, former CEO of Warner Books, says Winfrey's move to cable "could actually be a boon for books. She won't have just one show but an entire network. Sure, her audience will be smaller, but it will be more intense and passionate about books," Kirschbaum says. "In a way, this could be a blessing for publishing."

After reporting stints in Baltimore and Nashville, Winfrey, hosted AM Chicago starting in 1984, which was rebranded two years later and began airing nationally. Its audience is nearly twice as large as the top competing talk shows. And Winfrey, while producing movies, starting a successful magazine with Hearst and building Harpo Productions, has spread her influence throughout daytime, spinning off shows starring frequent guests Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, Ray and decorator Nate Berkus, who's developing a show planned for fall.

Contributing: Bob Minzesheimer

What Do Teens Want? By Carol Fitzgerald -- Publishers Weekly, 10/26/2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

In an industry without a lot of good news to report, the one consistent bright spot has been publishing for teens. While adult trade sales are expected to fall 4% this year, juvenile and young adult sales are expected to increase 5.1%, according to the PW/IPR Book Sales Index. Although it's impossible to completely break out juvenile from young adult (YA), it is possible to look at expected growth rates for different categories. In the fiction/fantasy/sci-fi segment, where most sales in the YA category fall, we expect nearly 13% growth in 2009, reaching $744 million. By 2013, sales in this segment are anticipated to hit $861 million, a 30.6% increase over 2008.

Sure, lots of the growth in the teen category can be attributed to some phenomenally successful, blood-sucking bestsellers. And there is no doubt that there is a great deal of crossover readership from adult buyers. Nevertheless, this buying bubble is being fueled by a teen demographic about which we know very little., the second site in what is now, provides an opportunity to investigate this teen readership. Back in 1997, when was launched, we had two goals. One was to give teens a place to learn about books and authors—and to discuss these books. To attract this hypercritical audience, we tried to write in a style that was smart, not pandering; we wanted teens to see reading as fun, not as a chore. We found the sweet spot: now has more than 230,000 unique monthly visitors.

Our second goal was to create an environment that could serve as a laboratory to study this demographic, which, after all, is the future of publishing. In 2005, we conducted our first survey to learn what teens react to in the marketplace and what influences their reading choices. By this past summer, so much had changed—the evolution of e-book readers, social networking, the economic recession—we knew it was time to launch another survey. What impact have these had on young readers? What turns today's teens on and off? Are they as digitally focused as we have been led to think they are?

What They Read

We recognized that we were surveying an exceptional group, what we call über readers. So the results reflect teens who are already drawn to books; we are not studying what keeps nonreaders from picking up a book. Also, while we purposely marketed the survey to attract male readers, females are the vast majority (96%) of responders. This reflects what we see on; perhaps more girls seek book information, and want to share their opinions, through Web sites such as ours. Also, covers more fiction—and girls are reported to read more fiction than boys.

Not surprisingly, the respondents reported that they are avid readers during the summer, with 41% reading more than 20 books during the vacation months, 26% reading 11–20 and 18% reading six to 10 books.

They continue their reading once school begins, with 34% reading more than 10 books a month for pleasure during the school year; 24% read six to 10, and 28% read three to five.

For those who read graphic novels or manga, the top five genres they enjoy in this format are romance (51%), humor (45%), mystery (33%), sci-fi/fantasy (31%) and action/superhero (26%).

When asked what formats they prefer, 79% noted paperback while 74% said hardcovers. Audiobooks were favored by 6%, while e-books were noted only by 6% and 13% had no preference as to format.

While 31% read adult titles without reservation, 58% report that their reading of adult titles depends on the book. Only 11% do not read adult titles. The most popular adult authors include Mitch Albom, Jane Austen, Meg Cabot, Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clark, Suzanne Collins, Michael Crichton, Janet Evanovich, John Grisham, Charlaine Harris, Sophie Kinsella, Dean Koontz, George Orwell, Chuck Palahniuk, James Patterson, Jodi Picoult, David Sedaris, Nicholas Sparks and John Steinbeck.

Since teens read adult titles in significant numbers, it would make sense for adult publishers to reach out to them and for bookseller and librarians to cross promote titles.

Book-Buying Habits

Over the period surveyed (see sidebar for survey methodology), 31% bought three to five new books, 21% bought one to two and 21% bought six to 10; 13% bought more than 10 while 13% didn't buy any new books.

Only 9% said that price does not matter. One third (34%) always consider price while 52% consider price depending upon the book. Fewer than 5% said they always wait for the paperback.

Digging deeper, we asked if their book-buying habits have changed in the previous six months. Many reported that their habits had changed (44%), 38% said they had not, and 18% were not sure. What changed? Many are visiting the library more (52%), 42% are browsing in bookstores more, 31% are buying fewer books, 25% are buying more paperbacks, and 9 % are browsing in bookstores less. Yet 39% said they are buying more books, and 27% said they are shopping online more.

More than two-thirds (68%) share the cost of book purchases with their parents while 19% buy their own books and 12% said their parents always buy their books. Only 1% do not own their books.

Bookstores: Where They Shop, What They Want

One quarter visit their neighborhood bookstore at least once a month, with 44% visiting stores even more frequently.

Chain bookstores are their most popular destinations (78%), with local booksellers (45%) and online retailers (44%) trailing. More than one-third shop library book sales (36%), and 33% shop at big-box stores.

What would enhance their shopping experience in a bookstore? Four suggestions dominated: more books to chose from (63%); book reviews and recommendations from experts and others (48%); events with favorite authors (45%); and comfortable places to sit (40%).

Because better selection is so important to them, stores should have a way for teens to request books that are not available. How often do they not make a purchase just because the book they wanted was not available? This may well be why 27% noted that they are buying more online.

As for libraries, we didn't pose questions about library use per se, but layered queries about libraries into other questions. We do know that 44% visit their local library at least once a week and an additional 37% visit at least once a month.

The Influencers

Not surprisingly, 83% of teens are influenced by their friends' book recommendations. What did surprise us is that 52% were influenced by family members (perhaps their siblings), ahead of teachers (47%) and librarians (36%).

More than one-third (36%) frequently talk about books with friends, while 49% do this sometimes. As for recommendations, 49% always recommend books to their friends and 46% do so sometimes.

What else influences the teen book consumer? Figure 3 lists the top five influences.

We asked teens how they like to interact with their favorite authors. More than eight out of 10 (85%) visit the Web sites of their favorite authors for information about upcoming titles, and 65% would like to interact with an author at an in-store event. Other choices: library events (55%), book festivals (54%), in-school events (44%) and blogs (32%); and book and reader blogs (31%). Social networking sites like Facebook, Good Reads and My Space come in at 19%, lower than we expected.

Figure 4 shows other book review and information Web sites teens visit.

What Motivates Them to Buy

Consistent with our 2005 survey, book copy was the most important factor that would make teens pick up a book. A stunning 91% saw this as the most important influence. The cover was important to 79%. The next most important influence, with 77%, was familiarity with an author's previous work; 74% were looking for the next book in a series. For 73%, the title was important.

While we are not exploring results of those over 18 in this article, it is noteworthy that 89% of those over 18 chose familiarity with the author first, with the description on the back flap (86%) and the next book in the series (79%) all more significant than the cover (76%). There's likely a difference between the way that teens and adults make book choices.

Most reported that parents don't monitor what they read (55%), while 23% said their parents do weigh in some of the time, and 13% said they are monitored by their parents, but still read what they want. Only 9% follow parental monitors.

More on What They Read

Surprisingly, for all the chatter about summer reading, 56% of the survey respondents don't have a summer reading list, while 36% do. Somewhat humorously, 8% are unsure about whether or not they have a list. Of those with summer reading lists, 24% enjoy having one; 66% sometimes enjoy them, depending on the books; and 10% say they did not enjoy them.

When asked how they would like summer reading to be done differently, 70% asked for more current books, 69% would prefer a better selection of titles, and 53% would like to have a requirement of how many books to read as opposed to a list. Only 13% embrace the idea that many colleges and universities have adopted: one book that each grade will read and then discuss once school begins.

Summer reading is clearly a hot button topic, a tremendous opportunity to engage readers. If reading is seen as a chore—which clearly summer reading is for even the über reader—then it can dissuade teens from becoming lifelong readers. Our respondents have a clear message for educators: think about the selections being offered.

Book Clubs

Even in this group, only 17% are in book clubs and 3% are not active. But 45% are interested in either being in a club (38%) or starting one (7%). More than one-third noted they are not interested in this or do not have time. Of those in a club, 42% meet at school, 37% meet at their library, 25% meet online, 12% get together at a bookstore, and 23% meet at members' houses—much less than we see with adult readers. Teens may well need a structured environment for book clubs to succeed.

Of those in a book group, 48% meet with their group at least once a month while one-third meet more than once a month. For 41%, their discussions vary between reading one book or a number of books, 36% discuss one book, and 23% discuss a variety of books.

Half use discussion guides, while another 64% would like to, which indicates a value in having these available. As far as using discussion guides on the Teenreads site, 42% would like to see more guides, with an additional 35% thinking this might be a good idea.

More than half (54%) have theme-related book group meetings, while another 10% would like to do this. While there is a lot of chatter about children in book clubs with their parents, only 11% are in a book club with a parent.

Books into Movies

In a statistic that will warm the hearts of publishers, librarians, educators and authors, 83% of those surveyed like to read the book before they see the movie version. Only 4% like to see the movie first; 13% do not have a preference.

With so many teens enjoying reading a book before it is released as a movie, it makes sense to promote these titles to them well in advance of movie releases.

Marketing and Social Networks

With time on their hands, teens gravitate to YouTube; 46% of the respondents watch online book trailers, and 45% have purchased books after watching them. Before every marketing department races to create more trailers, though, 55% report that trailers have not influenced them.

Author interviews, either podcast or video, attract 24%, with an additional 21% who like video but not podcast. Yet 53% do not like either podcast or video interviews or are not sure how they feel.

When asked if they enter contests to win free books, more than half (56%) said they do this often or some of the time. A surprising 37% said they do not do this but would like to, and 7% said they are uninterested.

Social Networking

Facebook is used by 71% of the respondents, with 26% checking in more than once a day and 14% clocking time on the site daily. Another 42% are on My Space, but only 8% use it several times a day and 7% every day. Our results match other findings that we have seen: teens are not using Twitter. Only 25.7% have a Twitter account, and only 6% use it several times a day, while 2.8% use it once a day.

They are using Goodreads, Shelfari, Library Thing and, surprisingly, Flickr, although the latter in very negligible numbers. To give a glimpse of what book-related information they would like from social networking, we asked what they would like to see on the Facebook page (see Fig. 6).

Note that 38% were not interested in a Facebook page.


While 58% do not read author blogs, 22% do this now and an additional 21% have done so in the past. In reply to an open-ended question, here are the author blogs they read the most: Libba Bray, Meg Cabot, Ally Carter, P.C. Cast, Cassandra Clark, Zoey Dean, Sarah Dessen, John Green, Richelle Mead, Stephenie Meyer, Christopher Paolini, James Patterson, Tamora Pierce, Sarah Shepard, Melissa Walker and Scott Westerfeld.

To give examples of what they would like to see in a book-related blog, we asked what they would like on the blog. News about book releases led (67%), followed by author contributions (48%), author news (43%), links to book trailers (39%) and links to author interviews (23%).

It's worth noting that 18% have their own blog or blog for someone else while 25% would like to do this.


More than 56% click on online ads about books, and 8% do this regularly. In fact, 6% said they get all the information they need from the ad itself. For nearly three-quarters (72%), recognizing the author/title grabs their attention when they see an online ad. But 52% respond to colors or art, and 35% react to offers of contests/giveaways. Moving/flash ads only influence 11%, while 21% noted that photographs of people on the cover matter.

What About E-books?

While we hear that teens have embraced all things digital and thus have a large interest in reading e-books, our findings didn't support this claim.

When we asked about their affection for a digital reading device for fun reading (not schoolwork) if the price were affordable, 46% said they preferred printed books. Another 38% said they would like one, and 16% indicated they were not sure how they felt about this.

When asked if they'd like to read textbooks as e-books, they were evenly split, with 36% saying yes, 33% saying they were not sure, and 31% saying they would not be interested.

Nearly one-quarter (24%) have read an e-book, while 27% would like to read one. Almost half (49%) said they have no interest in reading e-books.

When asked how they have read an e-book, 26% have done so on a computer while 33% used a dedicated digital reading device and 5% used another method. Seven out of 10 (71%) say they have never read one.

Competition for Their Time

In a number that we thought was low, only one-quarter regularly record programming on DVR, TIVO or Direct TV; 15% record sometimes; while 59% never do this.

When asked how much TV they watch per week between recorded and live programming, one-quarter said four to five hours; 22% said six to eight hours, and 27% said eight hours or more. Another 22% watch three hours or less, and 4% said they do not watch at all.

Less than half (46%) have a Netflix, Redbox, Blockbuster or other movie rental account at their house. As for going to the movies, 6% do not go at all; 41% go less than once a month, 24% go about once a month, and 23% go several times a month. As far as watching movies on television, 29% watch fewer than one a week, 23% watch one, 25% watch two, and 22% watch three or more.

YouTube is more popular than iTunes, with one-third (33%) visiting it at least once a day and another 38% visiting at least once a week. With iTunes, 25% visit at least once a day, and 28% visit at least once a week.

More than three-quarters (77%) play games online, and 56% would like to see interactive online components and extras for books (Web site, YouTube videos, downloads, etc.) if they made sense with the content. Only 23% said this does not matter to them.

Surprisingly, 70% have never been to

Under 18 Over 18
Description copy on the back/flap 91% 86%
Cover 79% 76%
Familiarity with author's previous work 77% 89%
Looking for next book in a series 74% 78%

News about book releases 61%
Information about contests 48%
Contests exclusively for Facebook fans 40%
News about authors 38%
Links to book trailers 36%
Games or quizzes 32%
Links to video interviews with authors 21%
Links to audio interviews with authors 11%

President's reading list a hefty one --- USA TODAY, 8/25/2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

OAK BLUFFS, Mass. — President Obama spent nearly five hours on the golf course here Monday. He'll need a lot more time to get through his reading list.

From the relatively short Plainsong (301 pages) to the heftier John Adams (752 pages), the president has come to Martha's Vineyard with five books destined to challenge his time-management skills.

Taken together, they are a smart collection for "someone who really appreciates the written word," says Susan Mercier, manager of Edgartown Books here.

"I would not classify any of those as light fiction. They're pretty meaty works," Mercier said. "I hope he has time to sit and read them, because he's a busy guy."

Obama worked out and played tennis with his wife, Michelle, on his first morning here. Then it was off to Farm Neck Golf Club for 18 holes with aide Marvin Nicholson, friend Eric Whitaker, a Chicago physician, and Robert Wolf, president of UBS Investment Bank.

Add the time Obama has said he wants to spend with daughters, Malia, 11, and Sasha, 8, and Obama "isn't going to have a lot of time for golf," said Linda Fairstein, an author based in Chilmark, where the president is staying this week on a 28-acre farm. "They're all smart books for somebody very intelligent."

They're mostly older books, showing Obama to be someone "catching up on books he has heard about but not had time to get to," says Carol Fitzgerald, president of The Book Report Network, which publishes several websites on books. She called Obama's list "a mixed bag of high-end beach reading."

Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said the list shows that Obama "has exquisite taste. All five of his picks are classics."

The complete list, according to White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton:

Hot, Flat, and Crowded, by Thomas Friedman, which urges a "green revolution."

John Adams, by David McCullough, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2002.

Lush Life, by Richard Price, a murder novel set in New York City.

Plainsong, by Kent Haruf, a novel set in Colorado that became a TV special.

The Way Home, a crime thriller set in Washington by George Pelecanos.

Sara Nelson, former editor in chief of Publisher's Weekly, described the crime books as "upscale thrillers — they're not shoot-em-ups." Getting through all five, she said, could be all but impossible.

"If he's like the rest of us, he will read some of all of them and will finish one or, at most, two of them," she said. Announces the Launch of the 2009 Reader Survey

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New York, NY (July 8, 2009) - --- the premiere destination on the Internet for teen readers, as well as those who enjoy Young Adult novels or work with teens --- is conducting a survey about teen reading. The goal of the survey is to identify trends and topics that are of interest to the teen market today. Results will be shared with the media, publishers, authors, booksellers, librarians and educators in September 2009.

"The last time we conducted a survey was in 2005, and a lot has changed since then," said Carol Fitzgerald, co-founder and president of The Book Report Network. "The young adult market is growing quickly and we hope to identify what influences these readers. Also, we want to see what is competing for their time and whether they are as committed to eBooks and digital reading devices as we have been encouraged to believe."

In addition to questions about, the survey addresses the following topics:

-How often they buy books and where they shop

-How often they visit the library and/or take out books

-What kinds of books they are interested in reading

-Who and what influence their reading selections

-How they feel about required summer reading

-What they think about eBooks and digital reading devices

-What their other media habits are

It is estimated that the 77-question survey will take about 15 minutes to complete. It is open until Monday, August 31, 2009. Respondents from the U.S. and Canada will be eligible to enter a random drawing to receive a copy of one of 27 titles, which are being provided by publishers. There will be 775 winners selected.

-Participants can access the survey here:

-Read the Blog here:

-Join the Facebook Page here:

-Sign up for the newsletter here:

-Subscribe to the RSS Feed here:

Press Contact:
Carol Fitzgerald
[email protected]

Podcast of Carol Fitzgerald Moderates "Book Club Facilitators Sound Off" Panel at BEA

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

At the BookExpo America (BEA) trade show on May 30th, Carol Fitzgerald moderated panel with four book club facilitators: Jill Campbell, Katherine Schulz, Marsha Toy Engstrom and Esther Bushell. To listen to a podcast of the panel, click here. Announces Results of 2009 Book Club Survey

For Immediate Release, the leading place on the web for book club resources, recently conducted a survey of book club members. More than 7,700 respondents completed the 62-question survey, weighing in on topics like where they get information, if they use online social and book networking websites, and whether their book-buying habits have changed in the last year.

"The last time we conducted a survey was in 2001, and a lot has changed since then," said Carol Fitzgerald, co-founder and president of The Book Report Network. "Through this survey we've been able to identify trends and topics of interest to reading groups and find out what resources they're seeking." The information is being shared with publishers, booksellers, librarians and authors to aid in their efforts to reach out to book club members.

Survey highlights include:

- 83% of groups read both hardcovers and paperbacks, while 15% read only paperbacks.

- 65.6% are interested in having authors join their book club discussions.

- 72% would like a place online where they can find out what other groups are reading.

- The top book selection categories are bestsellers, general fiction, classics, award winners, historical fiction, mystery & thriller, biography, memoir, books into movies and Oprah selections.

- Leading sources for information about books are local newspapers, followed by The New York Times; the Oprah Winfrey Show ranked third, followed by morning talk shows and NPR.

- 71% rely on recommendations from friends as their primary source of information for selecting books.

- Nearly half of book clubs make reading selections annually, quarterly or every six months; of those groups most do their planning in January, followed by June and September.

- 54% are on Goodreads and 53% are on Facebook.

To read the full results of the survey, go to:

Media Contact:
Ann Binkley
[email protected]

Announcing's Hottest Graphic Novels of Summer 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

For Immediate Release Selects the Hottest Graphic Novels of Summer 2009: Fifty Titles for Kids, Tweens, Teens, and Adults

(New York, NY) has announced the Hottest Graphic Novels of 2009 --- its picks for the top graphic novels and manga for summer. The books are divided into age-appropriate categories for readers of all levels: adult fiction, nonfiction, teens, tweens, and kids.

“Some of the best creative talent in the industry are releasing books this summer,” said John Hogan, Editorial Director of “These graphic novels are not only highly anticipated, but they also represent high-quality stories and art. Our list of graphic novels and manga shows the breadth this format is capable of, from bold works of fiction to riveting nonfiction to great books for young readers.”

The list includes Stitches, a frank and powerful memoir about David Small’s life as a child enduring horrible medical abuses. Stitches was one of the most buzzed about titles at the recent BookExpo America show in New York. Another book already generating great publicity is The Photographer, an intense memoir about one man’s journey through 1986 Afghanistan while photographing the work of Doctors Without Borders.

Other books on the list include superhero comics featuring Batman, Batgirl, and Captain America; suspenseful vampire fiction for tweens in Cirque du Freak; all-ages kids’ fare like Bone: Rose, Amelia Rules!, Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom, and Ninja Baseball Kyuma; and groundbreaking new works of art from David Mazzucchelli (Asterios Polyp), Jeff Lemire (The Nobody), and Josh Neufeld (A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge).

“Developing this list just six months after the launch of symbolizes our commitment to delivering the same editorial integrity with this website that we have with the other sites in,” said Carol Fitzgerald, President of The Book Report Network. “Graphic novels and manga have earned a place at our online literary table alongside traditional prose with equally robust content and community features.”

For the complete list of the Hottest Graphic Novels of Summer 2009, visit

Press Contact:
Ann Binkley
[email protected]

Book Your Holiday

Monday, November 17, 2008

Read the article by Sara Nelson on Publishers Weekly.


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