PW has been publishing seasonal announcement issues—one for fall books, another for spring—for more than 80 years. Every year we get questions and comments from publishers wondering why certain books were not included. This year, one omission drew the attention of the author himself, Bill O’Reilly.
Before we touch on O'Reilly's complaint, the way in which these issues are created should be explained. While the style and format of these issues has changed, their intent remains the same: to provide booksellers, librarians and other book buyers with a curated list by PW editors of important new titles across a range of genres and categories.
In the last few years we have provided a semi-annual listing of about 50 new books, along with a top 10 list in a variety of categories. This fall it was 15 categories of 50 books, which means 750 titles were included. While that may seem like an impressive number, it is only a fraction of the 11,753 titles that were submitted to us for inclusion. Given that reality, PW editors assemble the listing to reflect the diversity of titles we receive from publishers large and small. The listing is not merely a rundown of the books coming from the largest houses with the biggest print runs.
The best way for publishers to give themselves a chance to be included in the listing is to follow our submission guidelines. Chief among those guidelines is the inclusion of a book's title. In the case of the O’Reilly book in question, Killing Reagan, the only information submitted to us was that an untitled book by O’Reilly and co-author Martin Dugard was being published in September.
Mr. O’Reilly has accused PW of not including Killing Reagan based on ideological reasons but, at the time we were putting the announcement issue together, we did not even know the content of the book.
We're always looking to improve the presentation of our announcement issues, and a survey we conducted two years ago found that about three-quarters of booksellers and librarians still find these issues key buying tools. So we understand why publishers and authors want to be included in the issues, and we will continue to accommodate as many books as we can in a fair and balanced way.