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September 29, 2011



I think the rule about US and Canadian publishing actually makes things a lot simpler, so I'm in favor of it! It's been frustrating seeing the UK books on the list, and wondering about buying them oneself, and it will make determining if books are eligible a lot easier too!

Els Kushner

I agree with Charlotte. Just to clarify, though: That "*only*" in the bullet point about country publication doesn't mean a nominated title can't also be available in other countries, does it? That is, if a book is first published in the past year in the US/Canada *and* simultaneously in the U.K. or elsewhere, it's still eligible, yes?

Sheila Ruth

Yes, it's fine if books are also available elsewhere, but they have to be published in the US and/or Canada during the eligibility period to be eligible.

Also, I had a question from a UK publisher whose books are also published and distributed in the U.S., and that's fine. We don't really care where the publisher is based, as long as the books are published in the U.S. or Canada during the eligibility period.

Claire Hennessy

Definitely worth clarifying that 'published in US or Canada only' rule! Looked at it and thought of a number of books that have been released in the UK very close to their US publication dates and from the phrasing there it made it sound as though they were ineligible! :)

Sheila Ruth

So sorry about the confusion!


Hi! Can I nominate a series of six books instead of choosing just one from the series?


No, Ann, sorry, it's only one book per genre. It's unlikely the entire series came out this year, so pick the one that's eligible. If all six did indeed come out at once, perhaps you'd like to nominate the first one. Thanks.

Becky B.

How do you take back a nomination? I nominated one and then realized it doesn't come out until November.

Janet Wong

I was so happy to learn that my fellow poet and friend April Halprin Wayland had nominated my poetry eBook ONCE UPON A TIGER...and so sad to learn that ("born digital") poetry eBooks are not eligible for consideration!

It would be great if this rule were changed next year. Poetry is one of the easiest genres to read in eBook format, and especially great for reading on a cell phone while waiting in line at the post office or supermarket (no special e-reader required). Another terrific thing about poetry eBooks is their affordability--which encourages tentative new poetry readers to make an impulse buy and become poetry fans. Poetry "tree-books" usually cost more than $17 because there isn't enough demand to make paperback versions of most titles, but many poetry eBooks can be bought for less than $5.

A final reason to reconsider the eligibility rule: new (and even experienced) poets have a much harder time selling a manuscript to a publisher than, say, authors who can write sexy teen novels. Encouraging the growth of indie publishing in this genre is a good cause because it will lead to a greater diversity of voices and subject matter in the 811 section of the library.

Sheila Ruth

Hi Janet,
Thank you for your suggestions and your impassioned defense of poetry eBooks. This is the first year that we've accepted born digital eBooks for nomination at all, and we limited it to the two teen categories as a test. Based on this year's results and lessons learned, we'll decide whether to continue to accept nominations of born digital eBooks, and whether to expand it to other categories.

Janet Wong

Thanks, Sheila, for your thoughtful reply. Let's hope that things go smoothly in those two teen categories that are considering born digital eBooks! (Another possibility to consider for next year is to have a category that mixes genres but is limited to born digital eBooks.)

Sheila Ruth

Hi Janet. We talked about having such a category this year, but decided it would be very difficult to compare such different books within the same category.

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