Ever since Algonquin used the American Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute to get booksellers to read and fall in love with Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, which sold more than a million copies before being turned into a film, publishers have been using the winter bookselling confab to generate excitement. While bookseller attendance is capped at 500, the number of authors has grown to more than 60 at next week’s seventh annual gathering, Wi7. Some houses are using the show to build enthusiasm for summer releases like Chris Cleave’s Gold. Others are reminding booksellers about new books that have just shipped to their stores, like Andrea Cremer’s Bloodrose.

With so many talented writers heading to the show, from debut novelists like Brandon Jones, author of All Woman and Springtime, to seasoned writers like Julianna Baggott, author of Pure, PW asked a cross-section of publishers to pick the most buzz-worthy. Below are 14 new and forthcoming adult, children’s, and crossover titles.


Title: All Woman and Springtime
Author: Brandon Jones
Publisher: Algonquin
Pub month: May
Price: $24.95 hardcover

Why so excited: “This [debut] novel is ignited by moral intelligence that’s both fierce and tender. With spring-loaded storytelling, Jones displays literary alchemy by changing innocence into horror and horror into tenderness, all the while making you care deeply about two North Korean women who are lost in an unimaginable underworld of human trafficking,” says marketing director Craig Popelars.

Publicity & marketing plans: 10-city tour; advertising; online marketing; pre-pub appearances.

Opening: “Finally, a whistle blew and the foreman announced, as if it were against his better judgment, that lunch was being served in the cafeteria. Gyong-ho and Il-sun stood up and, in rigid military fashion, filed out the factory door. Gyong-ho wondered if there really would be lunch, or just the sawdust gruel that was served most days.”

Title: The Last Warner Woman
Author: Kei Miller
Publisher: Coffee House
Pub month: April
Price: $16 paperback original
First printing: 10,000 copies

Why so excited: “This represents a big first for Coffee House: it’s the first title we’ve reprinted from a foreign publisher,” says acquiring editor Anitra Budd, who bought the title from Weidenfeld & Nicolson. “We’re thrilled to be publishing a book that explores truly global themes of migration, female empowerment, and religious fervor, while staying true to our mission to publish books that speak to the Pan-American experience.”

Publicity & marketing plans: New York and Midwest tour; interactive blog tour; Skype events.

Opening sentence: “Once upon a time there was a leper colony in Jamaica.”

Title: Pure
Author: Julianna Baggott
Publisher: Grand Central
Pub month: February
Price: $25.99 hardcover
First printing: 75,000 copies

Why so excited: “We are excited about Pure because it was both lyric and thrilling, with characters that rooted in your soul. It’s one of those special books that everyone loves as soon as they pick it up,” says executive editor Jaime Levine, who describes it as “a harrowing novel about love, loss, and memory set against the backdrop of a postapocalyptic future.”

Publicity & marketing plans: Optioned by Fox 2000 with the lead producer of the Twilight Saga; YA blogger outreach, blog tour, pre-pub tour; high schools.

Opening: “There was low droning overhead a week or so after the Detonations: time was hard to track. The skies were buckling with dark banks of blackened cloud, the air thick with ash and dust. If it was a plane or an airship of some sort, we never knew because the sky was so clotted.”

Title: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
Author: Jeanette Winterson
Publisher: Grove
Pub month: March
Price: $25 hardcover

Why so excited: “Jeanette’s remarkable memoir has a superb chance, we believe, to stand alongside This Boy’s Life, The Liar’s Club, and Stop-Time. It is the real life story of a girl being adopted and raised by Pentecostal evangelists, discovering her passion for literature (which she was not allowed to read), sex (which was forbidden), formal education (she wound up putting herself through Oxford), and ultimately romantic love,” says Elisabeth Schmitz, v-p, executive editor and editorial director.

Publicity & marketing plans: 9-city tour.

Opening sentence: “When my mother was angry with me, which was often, she said, ‘the Devil led us to the wrong crib.’ ”

Title: The Uninvited Guests
Author: Sadie Jones
Publisher: Harper
Pub month: May
Price: $24.99 hardcover
First printing: 50,000 copies

Why so excited: “When I first read The Uninvited Guests,” says editor Terry Karten, “I was unprepared for the great leap of imagination Jones had taken with this inventive novel. Working within the grand literary tradition of the English country house party, Jones proceeds to subvert every expectation I had as a reader. I read it in one breathless sitting, and finished wanting to give it to everyone I know.”

Publicity & marketing plans: Advertising; online and social networking campaign; book club outreach.

Opening sentence: “Since her marriage to Edward Swift, three years after the sudden death of her first husband, Horace Torrington, Charlotte had changed her position at the breakfast table in order to accommodate her new husband’s needs: Specifically, aiding him in the spreading of toast and cutting of meat, owing to his having suffered the loss of his left arm at the age of twenty-three in an unfortunate encounter with the narrow wheels of a speeding gig, out of which he had fallen on the driveway of his then home in County Wicklow.”

Title: Father’s Day: A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son
Author: Buzz Bissinger
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Pub month: May
Price: $26 hardcover

Why so excited: “I found in Buzz’s son Zach a kind of perception which felt as revelatory as the one that shines through The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. I also found a father whose son’s condition forced him to ask point-blank the questions that tug at all parents as their kids grow up: when do I step in? when do I step back? how do I hold on? how do I let go?” says Eamon Dolan, v-p, editorial director of Eamon Dolan Books.

Publicity & marketing plans: 11-city tour; advertising; promotional author videos; online outreach.

Opening sentence: “Zach and I are at Brooks Brothers in the sodden, sullen aftermath of Christmas.”

Title: Crossing the Borders of Time: A True Story of War, Exile, and Love Reclaimed
Author: Leslie Maitland
Publisher: Other Press
Pub month: April
Price: $29.95 hardcover
First printing: 35,000 copies

Why so excited: “Crossing the Borders of Time is a splendid account of Leslie’s mother’s story—and a love affair that outlasts war and exile,” says associate publisher Paul Kozlowski. In it, Maitland writes about her then 19-year-old mother’s journey through Jamaica, Mexico, and an internment camp in Cuba to escape Nazi-occupied France. Through it all, she never forgot her first love, the Catholic Frenchman she had left behind.

Publicity & marketing plans: 5-city tour; print and NPR advertising.

Opening sentence: “During the fall that my father was dying, I went back to Europe and found myself seeking my mother’s lost love.”

Title: Gold
Author: Chris Cleave
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pub month: July
Price: $27 hardcover

Why so excited: “The thing that most excites me about working with Chris Cleave is watching a writer in the prime of his career who is just getting better and better with each book. His debut novel, Incendiary, was brilliantly conceived. His second novel, Little Bee, was among the top book club titles for both 2010 and 2011 and has sold well over a million copies. Yet I truly believe Gold will be his biggest and best yet,” says editor Sarah Knight.

Publicity & marketing plans: 10-city tour in July, and another 10-city leg in the fall; print advertising and NPR sponsorships; teaser chapter and q&a in e-book editions of his two earlier novels; book club outreach; book giveaway at BEA.

Opening sentence: “Just on the other side of an unpainted metal door, five thousand men, women and children were chanting her name.”

Title: Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know: Eleven Courageous Canines Tell All
Author: Hy Conrad and Jeff Johnson
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pub month: April
Price: $12.99 paperback original

Why so excited: “This hilarious book has made everyone who reads it laugh within seconds of picking it up. The comic voice, the astute observations that could only come from two obsessed dog lovers, and the adorable four-color visuals all jump off the page. It’s the perfect book to curl up with as Rover lies snoring by your side,” says editorial manager Shana Drehs.

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; radio giveaways; Web promotions.

Opening: “For centuries, dogs have kept their secrets to themselves, refusing to share them even with their best human friends. There are many reasons for this. First, dogs are typically shy. And humans don’t always ask the right questions. Both species have a natural desire to maintain privacy. And last, but not least, dogs can’t talk.”


Title: Same Sun Here
Author: Silas House and Neela Vaswani
Publisher: Candlewick
Pub month: February
Price: $16.99 hardcover

Why so excited: “This is a book you sink into,” says publicist Tracy Miracle. “The story is both compelling and timely, and the writing, which reaches readers on many levels, is simply superb. This is a physical book package that you step away from as a publisher with great pride and say, yes, we think we nailed it.”

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; Spring Okra Pick from SIBA; discussion guide.

Opening sentence: “Dear River, I cannot tell from your name if you are a boy or girl so I will just write to you like you are a human being.”

Title: Chloe and the Lion
Author: Mac Barnett and Adam Rex
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pub month: April
Price: $16.99 hardcover
First printing: 25,000 copies

Why so excited: “Mac Barnett and Adam Rex are a dynamic duo, and two of the strongest voices in picture books today,” says v-p, publisher Suzanne Murphy. “In an accessible and funny way, Chloe and the Lion talks about the creative process and the joys and trials of collaboration.”

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; print, online, and institutional advertising; f&g distribution at school and library conferences; YouTube video.

Opening sentence: “This is my friend Adam. He’s the illustrator of this book. And this is Chloe. She’s the main character of this book.”

Title: The One and Only Ivan
Author: Katherine Applegate
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pub month: January
Price: $16.99 hardcover

Why so excited: “I think Katherine was always going to write this book. It became clear to me that she had a vision for it. It’s the story of Ivan becoming the gorilla he was always meant to be—and Katherine becoming the writer she was always meant to be,” says executive editor Anne Hoppe.

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; online advertising; featured title on woozworld.com; social media outreach to tweens; online discussion guide.

Opening: “Hello. I am Ivan. I am a gorilla. It’s not as easy as it looks.”

Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga
Publisher: Little, Brown
Pub month: April
Price: $17.99 hardcover
First printing: 50,000 copies

Why so excited: “Lyga instantly creates a town and characters that are in a world all their own. He already has a cult following due to Boy Toy and his Goth Girl series, and with I Hunt Killers we expect that he will attract an even broader readership while still thrilling his existing fan base,” says publicity manager Jessica Bromberg.

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour; library and educator outreach; blog tour; promotion at San Diego Comic Con.

Opening sentence: “By the time Jazz got to the field outside town, yellow police tape was everywhere, strung from stake to stake in a sort of drunken, off-kilter hexagon.”

Title: Bloodrose
Author: Andrea Cremer
Publisher: Philomel
Pub month: January
Price: $18.99 hardcover
First printing: 200,000 copies

Why so excited: “This is the stunning conclusion of the Nightshade trilogy that fans have been waiting for. Cremer is that rare breed of author, both commercial and intellectual. She has spent much of her career studying slavery and sexuality in European and early American history and teaches history at Macalester College in St. Paul. She pulls upon her extensive research, resulting in a series that is compelling and action packed, as well as thought provoking,” says associate director of publicity Elyse Marshall.

Opening sentence: “I could hear each heavy beat of my heart.”