Beyond Bestseller Lists—Insights for Local Booksellers, Powered by Public Libraries

Panorama Picks provides local booksellers with quarterly lists of under-the-radar fiction, nonfiction, and young adult backlist titles library patrons are waiting to borrow—optimized for local interest via regional groupings aligned with the American Booksellers Association’s (ABA) regional associations.

This unique program uses aggregated, anonymized hold list data from public libraries across the United States to identify backlist titles beyond the bestsellers that have long wait times for local library patrons—unmet demand that can help activate inventory, and identify opportunities for author events. We hope that these regional insights will help libraries and local booksellers work together more effectively to better serve active readers in their communities, while helping publishers and authors identify regional marketing opportunities for titles that have moved beyond their initial promotional window.

The Panorama Project will compile and publish new lists on a quarterly basis, and is actively promoting the program to local booksellers, as well publishers and authors.

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Popular selections in multiple regions from the Q2 2019 lists.

Panorama Picks: Regional Lists

The regional groupings below generally mirror the American Booksellers Association’s (ABA) groupings and naming conventions. A few adjustments have been made to simplify the reporting and presentation of the recommendations. The lists are provided as Google Sheets and include the publication date, ISBN, and BISAC codes for each title..

CaliforniA

Great Lakes

Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan

Hawaii

Midwest

Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin

Mountains & Plains

Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming

New Atlantic

Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia

New England

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont

Pacific Northwest

Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington

Southeast

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia

Methodology

Our regional Panorama Picks lists are generated using aggregated, anonymized U.S. public library ebook demand data provided by OverDrive and the following process:

  • 3 categories—Adult Fiction, Adult Nonfiction, YA Fiction & Nonfiction

  • 9 regions—8 aligned with ABA regional associations, plus Hawaii

  • 25 titles published in the last 12-24 months that are available in print to libraries and booksellers—trade and self-published

  • Filtered to limit known bestsellers, book club selections, other heavily promoted titles, etc.

The quarterly lists surface a wide range of in-demand titles in their respective regions. Some are familiar titles that are enjoying sustained popularity; others are under-the-radar titles that might not have grabbed national attention but are generating notable local interest well past their initial publication date. In all cases they represent an opportunity for booksellers, publishers, and authors to better leverage public libraries’ power as a primary discovery channel for avid readers.

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