Margaret the First: A Novel
By Danielle Dutton
$15.95 paperback original with French flaps
First printing: 7,500 copies
Why the buzz: “Margaret the First has it all: a love story between exiles in France; a proto-feminist journey as Margaret Cavendish breaks down barriers, publishing books, poetry, philosophy, and plays while scandalizing genteel London; a Royalist girl made handmaiden to the queen only to see her ancestral home sacked and the king executed by Cromwell’s Parliamentarians. And throughout, the narrative is vividly rendered in author Danielle Dutton’s spare, poetic, elegant prose.”—Andy Hunter, publisher.
Publicity & marketing plans: Six-city author tour with visits to M.F.A. programs; co-op available; major national print, broadcast, and digital media confirmed.
Opening: “The woman had eight children. The first, called Tom, in 1603, the final year of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.”
The Veins of the Ocean
By Patricia Engel
Grove Atlantic, May
First printing: 20,000
Why the buzz: “Patricia Engel’s newest novel goes where few have gone before: inside the life of a family roiled by a legacy of incarcerated and death row men. Through the truly authentic voice of the alluring young Reina Castillo, Engel captures with intimacy, clarity, and heartbreak the life of a woman first chained to her brother in jail and then tentatively making her way to freedom in the Florida Keys. This book grabbed me by the throat in the opening chapter and never let go.”—Elisabeth Schmitz, Grove Atlantic, v-p, editorial director.
Publicity & marketing plans: Seven-city author tour and an appearance at ALA; prepublication campaign with galley giveaways; library marketing with promotions at Midwinter ALA and PLA.
Opening: “When he found out his wife was unfaithful, Hector Castillo told his son to get in the car because they were going fishing.”
By Gayle Forman
First printing: 75,000
Why the buzz: “The in-house excitement for Gayle’s novel has been completely infectious. Everyone who has read the manuscript is awestruck by her storytelling talents, her honesty, intelligence, and wit. It’s an immensely satisfying and emotionally perceptive meditation on marriage, motherhood, and career—the courage to run away from it all, and the courage to come back home. I imagine that book clubs are going to fall hard for Leave Me.”—Craig Popelars, director of marketing and sales.
Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour, including appearances at BEA and ALA; national print and online advertising; extensive online and social media campaign; book club outreach, including online reading group guide.
Opening: “Maribeth Klein was working late, waiting to sign off on the final page proofs of the December issue when she had a heart attack.”
A Well-Made Bed
By Abby Frucht and Laurie Alberts
Red Hen, March
Why the buzz: “This extraordinary novel written by two women hundreds of miles apart features the escapades and friendship of Jaycee and Noor—the Thelma and Louise of the 21st century. What begins as desperate acts of survival evolves as the two characters’ craftiness turns them into badasses in a world of intrigue, murder, and the underground cocaine market. As the lines between right and wrong become increasingly blurred, Jaycee and Noor find themselves in a morally ambiguous life.”—Kate Gale, managing editor.
Publicity & marketing plans: Eight-state author tour, including book launch at KGB Bar and after-party in the Red Room in New York City; media appearances, including podcast interviews on “Women of an Uncertain Age” and “Words on a Wire.”
Opening: “Pauline stopped to adjust her sweatpants as the other kids made their way out of dress rehearsal, Noor stalled in the cloakroom and frowned at the prospect of walking home.”
Imagine Me Gone
By Adam Haslett
Little, Brown, May
First printing: 50,000
Why the buzz: “This is a deeply moving, often hilarious story of one family trying to love and care for one another across the span of 40 years, a novel that poses the question: how far will you go to save the people you love the most? You have in your hands the best novel I’ve ever had the pleasure to publicize. The best. Bar none.”—Nicole Dewey, v-p, publicity.
Publicity & marketing plans: 10-city author tour; ARC giveaways at fall trade shows and appearance at ALA Midwinter; presell bookseller dinner; national print and online advertising prepub and on-sale; social media campaign; Goodreads giveaways.
Opening: “As I stepped out of the cabin, whiteness blinded me—full sun on the snowy yard.”
Before the Fall
By Noah Hawley
Grand Central, May
First printing: 100,000
Why the buzz: “From the moment Before the Fall was submitted, I knew, absolutely knew, that the blend of intrigue and depth of character was so beyond the scope of most novels that it would become a contagious, obsessive read. And that’s exactly what happened as the manuscript traveled through GCP. For anyone who watches the TV show Fargo (which won every top media award), it is clear that Noah is a master of dialogue and story.”—Deb Futter, v-p and editor-in-chief and the book’s editor.
Publicity & marketing plans: Multicity author tour; prepublication media lunch and bookseller dinners; online/digital campaign; extensive ARC distribution and big-mouth mailings; national print and online advertising campaign; ABA White Box promotion; social media campaign; reading group guide and book club outreach.
Opening: “A private plane sits on a runway in Martha’s Vineyard, forward stairs deployed.”
The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial
By Maggie Nelson
First printing: 10,000
Why the buzz: “Maggie Nelson is one of the most exciting and invigorating figures on the literary scene today, and when we learned that The Red Parts had fallen out of print and had never appeared in paperback, we quickly jumped on the opportunity to relaunch it. Nelson’s first gripping foray into personal, essayistic nonfiction uses the reopening of her aunt’s 1969 murder case as a jumping off point for a meditation on the strange American preoccupation with sexualized violence.”—Ethan Nosowsky, editorial director.
Publicity & marketing plans: Repackage and reintroduce; advertising campaign; academic marketing/outreach; author events.
Opening: “We have every reason to believe this case is moving swiftly toward a successful conclusion.”
By Andromeda Romano-Lax
First printing: 40,000
Why the buzz: “Behave has gut-wrenching resonance, perhaps especially for parents. The questions the novel raises about who really knows what’s best for our children are so important, so uncomfortable, and so viscerally rendered here (through the lens of ‘science’) that I found my own point of view emphatically changed. We have had unprecedented response to our ARC from booksellers and librarians, who have reacted to the narrative with the same intensity that I did.”—Juliet Grames, associate publisher.
Publicity & marketing plans: Distributed close to 4,000 ARCs.
Opening: “ ‘Why are you doing this?’ John asks, coming home to the farm from Manhattan, finding me out of bed, at the corner desk, typing in my nightgown at 8 p.m., the boys already asleep and my dinner, a bowl of chicken soup, ignored at my elbow.”
By Richard Russo
First printing: 250,000
Why the buzz: “Everybody’s Fool is filled with humor, heart, hard times, and people you can’t help but love, possibly because their various faults make them so stridently human. This is classic Russo (winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls)—and a crowning achievement from one of the greatest storytellers of our time.”—Gary L. Fisketjon, v-p, editor-at-large.
Publicity & marketing plans: 10–12-city author tour; prepub advertising and promotion; national print advertising in the New York Times Book Review and the New Yorker; extensive online advertising campaign; major Facebook preorder and on-sale campaign; major Goodreads campaign; repromotion of Empire Falls and Nobody’s Fool; reading group guide; major library promotion; Father’s Day promotion.
Opening: “Hilldale Cemetery in North Bath was cleaved right down the middle, its Hill and Dale sections divided by a two-lane macadam road, originally a Colonial cart path.”
The Mirror Thief
By Martin Seay
Melville House, May
First printing: 50,000
Why the buzz: “Reading The Mirror Thief, I was completely transported in the way only an old-fashioned, sweeping novel can transport you. The descriptions are so precise, the settings so brilliantly rendered, that you will find it impossible not to picture yourself roaming through the dark alleys of 16th-century Venice, or the seedy waterfront of late-1950s Venice Beach, or the deceptively pristine gambling floor of Las Vegas’s Venetian casino. Seay has written an ambitious, wildly entertaining page-turner that’s also a genuine work of literature.”—Dennis Johnson, cofounder and publisher.
Publicity & marketing plans: An Indies Introduce Spring 2016 title; extensive early bookseller marketing campaign; social media campaign, including MobyLives, Goodreads giveaway, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook; Facebook advertising campaign; outreach to reading groups; book trailer; jacket blowups.
Opening: “A little farther up the Strip the pirates are at it again: their last cannon boom as the taxi drops him at the curb, and he crosses the Rialto Bridge to the sound of distant applause.”
The Honeymoon: A Novel
By Dinitia Smith
Other Press, May
First printing: 40,000
Why the buzz: “The Honeymoon offers an intimate look into a phase of George Eliot’s life never before explored with such attentive and vibrant treatment: the late-life marriage to John Walter Cross. Grounded in Eliot’s life and letters and employing Smith’s absorbing talent for storytelling, this accessible portrait deepens our understanding of Eliot’s motivations and evolution as a woman and intellectual. Pregnant with atmosphere, this enchanting journey takes us alongside Eliot to her honeymoon in Venice.”—Jessica Greer, publicity director.
Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances.
Opening: “One late afternoon in June of 1880, a rather famous woman sat in a railroad carriage traveling toward Venice with her new husband, a handsome young man 20 years her junior.”
Girl Walks Out of a Bar
By Lisa Smith
$17.95 paperback original
First printing: 10,000
Why the buzz: “After a nice girl from New Jersey lands her dream job at a leading law firm in Manhattan, she and her close-knit group of high-achieving young lawyer friends celebrate the end of their notoriously grueling workdays with alcohol-fueled nights at the city’s glamorous clubs. But for Lisa, something goes terribly wrong. Girl Walks Out of a Bar is the true and darkly comic story of Lisa Smith’s 10 chaotic years as a secret alcoholic and drug addict.”—Nancy Sugihara, editor.
Publicity & marketing plans: Aggressive marketing targeting both social media and traditional trade channels.
Opening: “Shit. It was 7:00 Monday morning and I needed wine. In two hours I’d have to be at work, which meant that I was going to have to steady my shaking hands. I inched out of bed and walked naked toward the kitchen.”
By Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
First printing: 150,000
Why the buzz: “This is a funny, bighearted, sophisticated read about how our relationships and ambitions change over the course of our lives and how money brings us together and drives us apart. I fell in love with it immediately and was moved to pre-empt, and the response from readers in-house has been nothing short of astounding.”—Megan Lynch, editorial director.
Publicity & marketing plans: Six-city author tour; prepub media lunch; national print advertising and online advertising campaigns; excerpts shared online; e-card campaign; video trailer campaign; Amazon Vine; book club outreach; extensive social media campaign.
Opening: “Because the three Plumbs had agreed on the phone the previous evening that they should not drink in front of their brother Leo, they were all—unbeknownst to one another—sitting in separate bars in and around Grand Central, savoring a furtive cocktail before lunch.”
By Aaron Thier
Bloomsbury USA, Aug.
First printing: 40,000
Why the buzz: “It’s a merry Cloud Atlas.... Five rotating time periods drawn from the past, present, and future; a protagonist for the ages (literally so); sparkling language; inventive storytelling; and enough themes underpinning this ambitious work to keep a book club busy for a year. What’s not to like? Though, for me, it was love.”—Ken Holland, v-p, director of field sales at Macmillan, which distributes Bloomsbury.
Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour with events in Florida and Massachusetts; prepub outreach to lit bloggers and consumer review campaign; major indie bookseller buzz campaign; social media campaign.
Opening: “2016. The ancient mariner got up at dawn in order to drink the dew from the hibiscus flowers that grew in what he called the lee of his house.”
The Problem with Forever
By Jennifer L. Armentrout
Harlequin Teen, May
First printing: 150,000
Why the buzz: “Teens will devour this riveting tale of a girl slowly learning to reclaim her voice after a traumatic past robbed her of it. Deeply moving, intensely romantic, and flavored with bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s celebrated wit and universally compelling voice, The Problem with Forever belongs on every reader’s keeper shelf.”—Margo Lipschultz, senior editor.
Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour, including appearances at regional festivals and conventions; extensive trade advertising and promotion at trade shows, conventions, and library shows; exclusive preorder campaign; multilayered online advertising and partnership campaign; extensive consumer advertising.
Opening: “Dusty, empty shoeboxes stacked taller and wider than her slim body wobbled as she pressed her back against them, tucking her bony knees against her chest. Breathe. Just Breathe. Breathe.”
The Pharos Gate: Griffin & Sabine’s Lost Correspondence
By Nick Bantock
Chronicle Books, Mar.
First printing: 50,000
Why the buzz: “Griffin & Sabine—the series that enchanted millions of readers, occupied the New York Times bestsellers list for over 100 weeks, and put Chronicle Books on the map—is back. With a 25th-anniversary edition of the first book and a fourth and final installment in the series, The Pharos Gate, these books will reignite the passion of Griffin & Sabine’s loyal fans and introduce the series to a new generation of readers.”—April Whitney, senior publicist.
Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour; video trailer; trade and institutional advertising; social media campaign; series Web destination; indie bookstore outreach campaign.
Opening: “Sabine—I remember so much that has not happened.”
By Alexandra Bracken
Disney-Hyperion, on sale
First printing: 125,000
Why the buzz: “It’s the hotly anticipated follow up to Bracken’s bestselling and much loved The Darkest Minds series.”—Seale Ballenger, publicity director, Disney Publishing Worldwide.
Publicity & marketing plans: 11-city tour.
Opening: “As they ascended, retreating farther from the winding trails that marked the way to nearby villages, the world open to him in its purest form: silent, ancient, mysterious.”
Hour of the Bees
By Lindsay Eagar
Why the buzz: “This story is pure magic and casts its spell on all who read it—including the Indies Introduce panelists, who selected Bees as one of their winter/spring titles. It also received a starred review from PW and is an in-house favorite at Candlewick and Walker Books U.K. Lindsay Eagar is a once-in-a-lifetime find, and we are delighted and honored to be launching her into the world with this hauntingly beautiful debut.”—Kaylan Adair, editor.
Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; consumer advertising campaign; trade, school, and library advertising; regional advertising; discussion guide; extensive ARC distribution; major prepub promotion at school and library conferences and trade shows; prerelease author tour.
Opening: “Something flies too close to my ear. For a moment, its buzz is the only noise in my world.”
Soldier Sister, Fly Home
by Nancy Bo Flood
First printing: 30,000
Why the buzz: “Tess’s relationship with her sister’s horse, Blue, instantly hooked me. The author describes the book as ‘a celebration of life and family—especially sisters and grandmothers—and of riding horses pell-mell in the dark.’ The book is also about war and what happens when a family member is deployed. I’m thrilled to offer a contemporary novel set on the Navajo Nation that asks questions about biracial identity and what it means to be a warrior.”—Yolanda Scott, editorial director.
Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; national advertising campaign; chapter excerpt and downloadable reading group guide online.
Opening: “The last time I shot a rifle, I was 10.”
Just My Luck
By Cammie McGovern
First printing: 75,000
Why the buzz: “It was love at first read with fourth-grader Benny Barrows in Just My Luck. He wants everything at home and at school to be the way it used to be, but he’s starting to realize that might not be possible—a universal truth that all of us have had to experience. McGovern has a knack for being able to write stories that represent characters with disabilities in their everyday lives, and she doesn’t disappoint in this relatable and moving middle-grade debut.”—Tara Weikum, v-p, editorial director.
Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour, including festival appearances; online trade and consumer advertising campaign; social media campaign; major librarian and educator outreach, including downloadable classroom activities.
Opening: “My mom has a theory that when bad things happen, you should think about someone else’s problems and try to help them.”
Shrunken Treasures: Literary Classics, Short, Sweet, and Silly
By Scott Nash
Why the buzz: “The irrepressible Scott Nash, illustrator of The Bugliest Bug and author-illustrator of The High-Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate, uses the ‘Versizer’ to condense such weighty tomes as Moby-Dick and Remembrance of Things Past into ‘delightful nuggets of nonsense.’ Nash’s vivid illustrations and rollicking rhymes will engage kids, while their parents will enjoy thumbnail sketches of everything from Don Quixote to The Metamorphoses. It’s the perfect read-aloud.”—Jennifer Roberts, v-p of publicity and executive director of marketing campaigns.
Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; materials for school distribution; poster.
Opening: “No wussie was Ulysses:/He journeyed ’cross the sea/And risked his life/To find his wife,/The sweet Penelope.”
The Secret Language of Sisters
By Luanne Rice
Why the buzz: “The Secret Language of Sisters is generating tons of buzz because it’s megabestselling author Luanne Rice’s YA debut. Luanne’s previous novels have been globally beloved, with over 22 million copies in print and several TV movie adaptations. Now, Luanne brings her trademark lyricism, sparkle, and insight to this poignant page-turner about two sisters struggling to heal after a shocking accident.” —Aimee Friedman, executive editor.
Publicity & marketing plans: Preorder advertising; online radio advertising; social media outreach through the author and Scholastic’s This Is Teen online community; “read it together” campaign for mothers, daughters, and sisters.
Opening: “I’m late. And I’m hardly ever late, that’s the thing.”
The Hero Two Doors Down
By Sharon Robinson
Scholastic Press, Jan.
Why the buzz: “Jackie Robinson is one of the most important and influential figures in American history. The Hero Two Doors Down, written by his daughter, Sharon Robinson, is a moving story of friendship between a boy and a baseball legend. [It is] based on the real life story of a Jewish boy in 1948 Brooklyn whose favorite baseball player, Jackie Robinson, moves into his neighborhood. This is a poignant story about taking responsibility, bridging cultural differences, and overcoming obstacles.”—Matt Ringler, senior editor.
Publicity & marketing plans: Author video with current N.Y. Mets and L.A. Dodgers players; author events timed to Jackie Robinson Day (April 15); events and media timed to Ken Burns’s PBS documentary on Jackie Robinson (April 11–12); baseball card giveaway; consumer advertising.
Opening: “December 5, 1959, turned out to be the worst day of my life.”
Salt to the Sea
By Ruta Sepetys
First printing: 300,000
Why the buzz: “[This] is Ruta Sepetys’s most powerful novel to date. Once again, she delves into a little-known corner of history, the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, in a narrative meticulously researched and strikingly told. The major catastrophic event at the book’s center is all the more impactful when set against a refugee crisis that mirrors the current headlines of today. As she did in the award-winning and bestselling Between Shades of Gray , Sepetys makes history come alive.”—Shanta Newlin, executive director of publicity.
Publicity & marketing plans: Prepub appearances; three-week tour at on-sale and key spring book festivals; multitiered publicity and marketing campaign aimed at adults and teens; distributed a limited quantity of early manuscripts at BEA 2015; extensive galley distribution and a deluxe top account mailing; major national online and print advertising, a national media campaign, a trailer, and robust social media campaign; chapter samplers; deluxe floor display.
Opening: “Guilt is a hunter.”
Firstlife (Everlife Series #1)
By Gena Showalter
Harlequin Teen, Feb.
First printing: 150,000
Why the buzz: “Firstlife is Book 1 of a riveting and unique contemporary fantasy series from New York Times–bestselling author Gena Showalter. With multiple endorsements from bestselling YA authors, not to mention a kick-ass unforgettable heroine and breathless pace, this book delivers a nonstop thrill ride of a read that will appeal to teen girls and myriad crossover YA readers.”—Natashya Wilson, executive editor.
Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances at regional festivals and conventions; extensive trade advertising and promotion at trade shows, conventions, and library shows; large-scale preorder campaign; multilayered online advertising and partnership campaign; extensive consumer advertising.
Opening: “I’ve been locked inside the Prynne Asylum—where happiness comes to die—for 378 days.”
Into the Dim
by Janet Taylor
First printing: 50,000
Why the buzz: “Taylor’s addictive time travel fantasy is the perfect read for fans eagerly anticipating season two of the Starz hit Outlander and teens not quite ready for Diana Gabaldon’s books. It’s rich with romance and historical detail, and readers will love living vicariously alongside Hope Walton as she joins forces with a secret society of time travelers to rescue her mother from 12th-century England. A social media–savvy author and a companion book in 2017 make Into the Dim one to watch.”—Rachel Wasdyke, associate director of publicity.
Publicity & marketing plans: Author events, including teen festivals; prepub buzz campaign; national print and online advertising campaign; dedicated website with excerpt and author q&a; IndieBound outreach; Goodreads giveaway; social media promotions and giveaways.
Opening: “Everyone in town knew the coffin was empty.”
The Pirate Jamboree
By Mark Teague
Why the buzz: “Pirate picture books are favorites among girl and boy maties everywhere. Mark Teague’s comical illustrations, paired with his catchy seafaring rhymes, are a perfect combination for a swashbuckling pirate adventure—that is until the SS Clean Your Room comes to town.”—Ken Geist, v-p and publisher of Orchard Books.
Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour; consumer advertising; mommy blogger campaign featuring book and promotional giveaways to readers; promotional placement on the Story Starts Here website; retail floor display.
Opening: “Morning comes. The ships appear surging o’er the summer sea.”
By Len Vlahos
Lerner/Carolrhoda Lab, Mar.
Why the buzz: “From the opening words of this uplifting, depressing, and nail-biting novel, I was immediately captivated. Len Vlahos tells the story of a punk rock band zooming to heights of musical success even as it’s falling apart emotionally. I was frustrated by the choices the kids made, but cared deeply about them. A sequel to the William C. Morris YA Debut Award finalist The Scar Boys, this story stands on its own as it explores the personal costs of fame.”—Alix Reid, associate trade publisher of Carolrhoda Books and Carolrhoda Lab.
Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour, including the official launch at
WI 11; playlist contest on social media; ABA Digital White Box.
Opening: “What defines you?”