IndieNext Recommendations

Screenshot 2015-12-03 15.10.13When I was preparing to send a reminder for the IndieNext nomination deadline, I asked the ABA’s Mark Nichols if the deadline for submissions is midnight. “Absolutely!” he replied. “And that means midnight Pacific time!”

With the next IndieNext deadline approaching tomorrow, I started thinking… what happens at midnight? So I turned again to Mark.

“There are four of us on staff that have different responsibilities for handling the database,” he says. “We divide the submissions by the various nominating methods.”

  1. The first is the webform. Mark says that this is the second-most used method, because  booksellers can submit up to six books at one time. One person on the ABA staff organizes those submissions.
  2. Another method is the direct mailbox: You can write a nomination and submit it directly through email.
  3. The largest group of nominations comes through Edelweiss. Mark says the volume is so large, the ABA splits the submissions between two staff members, with one processing submissions for even days, and one for odd days. The ABA receives daily reports on nominations and comments. This month they will capture everything that comes through December 4th, and anything submitted after midnight will be tagged as submitted after deadline, and will only be used if needed as a tiebreaker.
  4. The fourth nomination method is a weekly report the ABA receives from NetGalley.
  5. And finally, Mark says there’s a small cadre of booksellers who email him directly.

I asked Mark how the list is tabulated, and he says, it’s “absolutely democratic.”

“The book that receives the most nominations is number one on the list, the book that receives the second most nominations is number two on the list, et cetera,” he says.

Any bookseller at an ABA member store in good standing can submit a nomination to the IndieNext list. Mark says he is pleased with the number of new booksellers and new stores submitting nominations. If the staff receives multiple blurbs for one book, they will try to use nominations from new submitters. But ultimately, the end goal is to get the best description for the book.

“We want to get the most flavor in the fewest words, which will serve as a sales piece for other booksellers,” he says.

The ABA staff reaches out to each of the booksellers whose nominations will be included before the list is made public.

Although the list is compiled a couple of months prior to book release dates, Mark encourages all booksellers to notify the ABA about any book they’re excited about handselling.

“Use any of the nomination methods. It’s not coming out until May? Tell us about it today. We’ll hold it,” he says. “You don’t even have to use full sentences. We can pretty it up. It’s all about the passion for the book that we’re interested in.”

Mark says that the staff loves to hear from new voices–and you have until midnight tomorrow night to make yours heard. (That’s midnight Pacific time.)


The December IndieNext List, Now in Paperback, and Revisit & Rediscover fliers and shelf talkers are available for download here.

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay