Authors and Books to Watch for at WI14

Adult Fiction

The Age of Light

Whitney Scharer

Little, Brown, Feb.

$28 hardcover

Announced first printing: 150,000

Why the buzz:The Age of Light is the rare novel that hits all the notes exquisitely. A love story, a historical novel, a story about food, sex, and art. And at its center is Lee Miller—a woman almost modern in her sensibility, who transforms herself from muse to artist, who has to make a devastating choice. This is a novel which is the best of literary and commercial fiction. The blurbs, the early reviews, and dazzling author have everyone at LB hoping this will be the debut of 2019.”

—Judy Clain, v-p, editor-in-chief, Little, Brown

Publicity & marketing plans: 10-plus-city author tour; presell events; major print and digital advertising campaign; reading group guide, cast of characters carousel, cocktail recipe cards, and other extras; giveaways on Goodreads; book trailer; featured in Little, Brown ambassador email blasts; sweepstakes with Moon Guide travel; extensive book club outreach; Little, Brown Book Club Hub pick for February.

Opening: “Hot July. The downs have greened up from the past week’s rain and rise into the sky like mossy breasts.”

Bowlaway

Elizabeth McCracken

Ecco, Feb.

$27.99 hardcover

Announced first printing: 100,000

Why the buzz: “As longtime fans of Elizabeth McCracken, we were just overjoyed to get the opportunity to read Bowlaway on submission. It absolutely blew us away—we were charmed by the characters, wowed by the writing, and couldn’t stop turning the pages. It’s a true honor to publish Elizabeth McCracken’s first novel in almost two decades.”

—Miriam Parker, associate publisher, Ecco

Publicity & marketing plans: Seven-city author tour; online and print advertising; social media campaign; library marketing; ABA white box mailing; big mouth mailing; reading group campaign.

Opening: “They found a body in the Salford Cemetery, but aboveground and alive.”

Lot: Stories

Bryan Washington

Riverhead, Mar.

$25 hardcover

Announced first printing: 25,000

Why the buzz: “When I first read Bryan’s manuscript, I felt his electric voice and experienced a look into a world of a diverse Houston that I hadn’t read about before. In the end, it’s the people, the sexiness, the hard-fought battles, the sense of personal discovery and identity, and the family that draw you into Lot.” —Laura Perciasepe, editor, Riverhead

Publicity & marketing plans: Regional author tour; online advertising; social media and online promotion; academic marketing and library promotions.

Opening: “Roberto was brown and his people lived next door so of course I went over on weekends.”

Queenie

Candice Carty-Williams

Scout, Mar.

$26 hardcover

Announced first printing: 100,000

Why the buzz: “When I read Candice’s novel on submission, I was floored and preempted it overnight. I had never in my career read a voice like hers—so powerful, so self-effacing, so honest, so absolutely… of the moment. I could relate to nearly everything that Queenie goes through, and yet we seemingly come from two different worlds. Word of mouth in the building spread so quickly that it soon became a favorite book of the Simon & Schuster sales force for spring 2019.”

—Alison Callahan, v-p, executive editor, Scout Press

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; advertising; Goodreads promotional campaign and giveaways; extensive ARC distribution to accounts and big mouths; reading group guide; mailing to book club coordinators; extensive Bookstagrammer outreach.

Opening: “[Text message from Queenie] ‘In the stirrups now. Wish you were here….’ [End text] I locked my phone and carried on looking at the ceiling before unlocking it and sending a follow-up ‘xx.’ That would prove to Tom that I wasn’t as emotionally detached as he accuses me of being.”

Run Away

Harlan Coben

GCP, Mar.

$29 hardcover

Announced first printing: 750,000

Why the buzz:Run Away is among the most powerful, gripping, and surprising books of Harlan’s career. I dare you to figure out the ending, or to close the book without sprinting to find someone else who has read it to discuss the shocking final pages. I think Run Away is Harlan’s best ever.”

—Ben Sevier, senior v-p and publisher, Grand Central Publishing

Publicity & marketing plan: Seven-city tour; national TV launch at publication; national account visits; $500,000 advertising, marketing, and publicity campaign; national television and print advertising; extensive digital and social media advertising; massive social media prepub buzz and awareness campaign; early reader campaign through social reading networks; major e-newsletter campaign; book trailer; tiered ARC mailings and giveaways to booksellers, librarians, and industry influencers; cross-promotion through Novel Suspects.

Opening: “Simon sat on a bench in Central Park—in Strawberry Fields, to be more precise—and felt his heart shatter.”

Cape May

Chip Cheek

Celadon, Apr.

$26.99 hardcover

Announced first printing:100,000

Why the buzz: “I fell in love with Cape May the second I started reading. Chip’s stunning writing grabbed me and didn’t let go. This novel stays with you long after you turn the final page. It’s perfect for book club debates—as soon as you finish, all you’ll want to do is talk about it.”—Deb Futter, senior v-p and copublisher, Celadon

Publicity & marketing plans: Three-city prepub tour; advertising; GoodReads ARC giveaway; extensive early reader review campaign leveraging influencers across social media; preorder campaign; book club giveaways via Macmillan and Celadon channels; reading guide online for book clubs.

Opening: “The beaches were empty, the stores were closed, and after sunset, all the houses on New Hampshire Avenue stood dark.”

Trust Exercise

Susan Choi

Holt, Apr.

$27 hardcover

Announced first printing: 75,000

Why the buzz: “How could I not be overjoyed by Susan Choi’s Trust Exercise? It’s the latest from an unfailingly interesting novelist—and it’s her breakout, a book that sweeps us up in a story of love and artistic striving, then shocks with a plot twist that upends and, ultimately, expands our understandings of trust, of memory, and of consequences. Trust Exercise is fun and it matters. I’m impatient to get it into readers’ hands.”

—Barbara Jones, executive editor, Henry Holt

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour; influencer campaign; Goodreads promotion and advertising; print and digital advertising campaign; influencer campaign; reading group guide; library marketing.

Opening: “Neither can drive. David turns sixteen the following March, Sarah the following April.”

Lanny

Max Porter

Graywolf, May

$24 hardcover

Announced first printing: 50,000

Why the buzz: “Max Porter manages a rare trifecta with Lanny: he’s written a novel that is at once wildly innovative, definitively heartbreaking, and hugely relevant to the age we’re living in. He’s a literary writer who dares to write with sentiment without ever crossing the line into sentimentality. That’s not an easy thing to pull off, but he did that in his much-beloved debut, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, and he does it again here.”

—Ethan Nosowsky, editorial director, Graywolf

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour; targeted advertising; social media campaign.

Opening: “Dead Papa Toothwort wakes from his standing nap an acre wide and scrapes off dream dregs of bitumen glistening thick with liquid globs of litter.”

The Electric Hotel

Dominic Smith

FSG/Crichton, June

$27 hardcover

Announced first printing: 100,000

Why the buzz: “The wonderful Andrea Barrett recently called Dominic Smith ‘a wizard,’ and I love that, because that’s how I think of him too. He sinks into a forgotten or misremembered corner of history, learns everything about it, and then lets his considerable imagination loose. The result is captivating and utterly original storytelling—historical fiction at its soaring best.”

—Sarah Crichton, publisher, Sarah Crichton Books

Publicity & marketing plans: Advertising; social media promotion; blogger, online community, and social media influencer outreach campaign; Goodreads promotion and giveaways; author video; reading group guide; academic and library conferences.

Opening: “Each morning, for more than 30 years, Claude Ballard returned to the hotel lobby with two cameras strapped across his chest and a tote bag full of foraged mushrooms and herbs.”

In West Mills

De’Shawn Charles Winslow

Bloomsbury, June

$26 hardcover

Announced first printing: 75,000

Why the buzz:In West Mills tackles many subjects: the evolution of the African-American South over the last century, the vital story of a woman who chooses to live by her own rules, a contemplation of how queer life has intersected with traditional black communities. And yet, for all these big themes, this novel is all about people and the strange, surprising, heartbreaking, and moving ways they lose and find one another.”

—Liese Mayer, editorial director, fiction, Bloomsbury

Publicity & marketing plans: Five-plus-city tour; advertising; social media campaign with posts from influencers; book club outreach, including discussion guide; included in lead fiction media lunch; early q&a’s in Lambda Literary Q&A and T magazine’s “Black Male Writers of Our Time.”

Opening: “In October of ’41, Azalea Centre’s man told her that he was sick and tired of West Mills and of the love affair she was having with moonshine.”

Mostly Dead Things

Kristen Arnett

Tin House, June

$24.95 hardcover

Announced first printing: 20,000

Why the buzz: “Arnett writes as viscerally about the strange geometry of families as she does the gooey entrails of peacocks, and as beautifully about the craft of taxidermy as she does the terror and ecstasy of love—both the requited and unrequited kind. I fell for this book from its opening paragraph, but I wasn’t prepared for the way it’s continued to rattle around inside my head. It’s been thrilling to see readers react the same way.”

Tony Perez, editor, Tin House Books

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour; major print and digital media confirmed; social media influencer campaign.

Opening: “How we slice the skin: Carefully, that’s a given.”

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

Ocean Vuong

Penguin Press, June

$26 hardcover

Why the buzz: “In Ocean Vuong’s glorious novel, every word counts. Every word has urgency and grace and resides in its place for a reason. All the major issues of our brief moment are on display here: race, class, masculinity, aging, and death. Treacherous terrain to be sure, but it’s navigated by a young man with an old soul, a poet who is a master of his craft.”

Ann Godoff, president and editor-in-chief, Penguin Press

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour; advertising; prepub buzz campaign; literary blog and podcast campaign; IndieBound white box mailing; outreach to literary influencers; comprehensive online and social media campaign; academic marketing and library promotions.

Opening: “Let me begin again.”

Deep River

Karl Marlantes

Atlantic Monthly, July

$28 hardcover

Announced first printing: 55,000

Why the buzz: “Karl Marlantes’s extraordinary debut, Matterhorn, was launched at Winter Institute to great bookseller enthusiasm. His second novel, Deep River, is a big, epic American story about the immigrants who settled the Pacific Northwest, told through the lives of three Finish siblings. Set against the logging of the first growth forests, with all the danger and profit that entailed, it is a story of adventure, love, loss, perseverance, and the making of modern America.”

Morgan Entrekin, publisher, Grove/Atlantic

Marketing & publicity plans: 12-city tour; library marketing, including ALA; prepub buzz campaign with giveaways on Goodreads and Amazon Vine; online advertising, including on Facebook, Goodreads, and Literary Hub; backlist e-book promotions.

Opening: “A thread of light on the eastern horizon announced the dawning of full daylight and with it the end of a night the Koski family would never talk about and never forget.”

Adult Nonfiction

Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen

Mary Norris

Norton, Apr.

$25.95 hardcover

Announced first printing: 60,000

Why the buzz: “What thrills me—in addition to the return of Mary Norris’s funny, wise voice—is that she didn’t stoop to writing a sequel that just rehashes a previous book’s subject matter; instead she bounds off over a new hill, and so seems sure to please her many existing fans and win new ones. I also love that the book is a rallying cry for making your own way in the world, a celebration of teachers and librarians, and a perfect introduction to the delights of Greek literature and mythology.”

Matt Weiland, v-p, senior editor, Norton

Publicity & marketing plans: 12-city author tour; advertising; satellite radio tour; op-eds timed to publication; featured at ACES: The Society for Editing; extensive social media promotion; giveaways and promotions on book club sites; library and academic marketing.

Opening: “Sing in me, O Muse, of all things Greek that excite the imagination and delight the senses and magnify the lives of mortals, things that have survived three thousand years and more, since the time before the time of Homer, things that were old then and are new now—you know, the eternal.”

The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees

Meredith May

Park Row, Apr.

$24.99 hardcover

Announced first printing: 175,000

Why the buzz:The Honey Bus is a powerful story of the bond between a girl and her grandfather, and a love letter to nature and the secret wisdom of bees. Bursting with love and hope, this is a story that will make you see the world differently. It is a rare book that readers feel a profound personal connection with, but this is that book. It’s a gem that’s getting incredible early buzz (pun intended).”

Erika Imranyi, editorial director, Park Row

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; extensive advertising campaign; early reader campaign to book groups and social reading networks; promotion through early reader review programs, including Goodreads; bookseller and librarian outreach; online promotion, including social media and book bloggers; support through BookClubbish, social media properties, and newsletters.

Opening: “Swarm season always arrived by telephone.”

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy

Jenny Odell

Melville House, Apr.

$24 hardcover

Announced first printing: 50,000

Why the buzz: “Jenny’s book stands out for not being the simple antitechnology screed or back-to-nature meditation we encounter so often. It refuses that type of reductive thinking. Instead, it identifies our attention as the most precious (and overdrawn) resource we have. Once we can start paying a new kind of attention, she argues, we can undertake bolder forms of political resistance, re-imagine humankind’s role in the environment, and arrive at more meaningful understandings of happiness and progress.”

Ryan Harrington, editor, Melville House

Publicity & marketing plans: Eight-city author tour; social media advertising, including Google Adwords and Facebook; targeted booksellers email blast; author commentary on current events and trends, published on blog; outreach to DSA and other like-minded organizations.

Opening: “Nothing is harder to do than nothing.”

I Miss You When I Blink: Essays

Mary Laura Philpott

Atria, Apr.

$25 hardcover

Announced first printing: 50,000

Why the buzz: “This memoir in essays is by a funny, very relatable writer (and bookseller at Parnassus) who did everything right and in her late 30s found herself ‘having it all’—but with a very convincing feeling that she needed to blow it all up. The story of how she redid her life is like an evening with your very smart, very creative best friend, complete with lots of wine, laughter, and maybe even some tears.”

Trish Todd, v-p and executive editor, Atria

Publicity & marketing plans: Five to seven–city author tour with kickoff in Nashville at Parnassus Books; advertising; prepub regional e-blasts; extensive ARC distribution; Goodreads giveaway campaign; extensive outreach to Bookstagrammers; digital promotion campaign, including reading group guide and giveaways on Atria’s social media.

Opening: “It’s the perfect sentence, but I didn’t write it. My six-year-old did.”

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed

Lori Gottlieb

HMH, Apr.

$28 hardcover

Announced first printing: 100,000

Why the buzz: “Psychotherapist and Atlantic columnist Lori Gottlieb takes us inside the therapy room and shows us life from both sides of the couch. Her willingness to share her authority as well as her vulnerability makes this book so incredibly refreshing and entertaining. Regardless of where you fall on the therapy spectrum, the book meets you exactly where you are. I am convinced that all readers will both lose and find themselves in these pages—and (bonus!) laugh their butts off along the way.”

Lauren Wein, executive editor, HMH

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour; prepub media event; advertising; book club and mental health advocacy outreach; library and academic promotion.

Opening: ”CHART NOTE, JOHN: Patient reports feeling ‘stressed out’ and states that he is having difficulty sleeping and getting along with his wife.”

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee

Casey Cep

Knopf, May

$26.95 hardcover

Announced first printing: 200,000

Why the buzz: “At first I loved this book because of the creepy story of the reverend serial killer, with its portrait of rural Alabama and digressions into voodoo and the history of insurance fraud. Then I got to the barn burner of a trial, and after that came the beautiful account of Harper Lee; each part seems better than the last, but then you realize the whole thing is just one extraordinary story, told by a natural.”

Andrew Miller, senior editor, Knopf

Publicity & marketing plans: 10-city author tour; national media appearances, including CBS Sunday Morning; advertising, including online ads targeting literary and true crime readers; early author events for influencers and booksellers; podcast outreach; Goodreads giveaways and ads; Instagram and blogger outreach featuring photos and archival materials; organic and paid social media promotion.

Opening: “Nobody recognized her. Harper Lee was well known, but not by sight, and if she hadn’t introduced herself, it’s unlikely that anyone in the courtroom would have figured out who she was.”

Adult Poetry

The Tradition

Jericho Brown

Copper Canyon, Apr.

$17 trade paper

Announced first printing: 10,000

Why the buzz: “What strikes me most about The Tradition is its ability to find and hold on to joy. I am envious of Brown’s superpower to deliver love—even among the pains of sexual trauma and racism. This is resistance. Brown, in his wonderfully capacious online and offline personality, has the ability to engage the world.”

Laura Buccieri, publicist, Copper Canyon Press

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances at AWP, LA Times Book Festival, and others; extensive galley and review copy mailing; social media campaign, including cover reveal.

Opening: “A man trades his son for horses.”

Children’s Picture Books

The Babysitter from Another Planet

Stephen Savage

Holiday House/Porter, Feb.

$17.99 hardcover

Ages: 4–8

Announced first printing: 50,000

Why the buzz: “Gleefully riffing on the popular mid-century modern design aesthetic, award-winner Stephen Savage creates an ideal bedtime read, with visual references to everything from ’50s science fiction movies to E.T. The hilarious writing will have kids laughing out loud and yearning for their very own babysitter from another planet.”

Neal Porter, v-p and publisher, Neal Porter Books

Publicity & marketing plans: Three-city tour; prepub buzz campaign; social media campaign focusing on nostalgia and design; online advertising on midcentury modern sites; collectible art print at conferences and trade shows.

Opening: “It was Friday night, and Mom and Dad were headed to the movies.”

Another

Christian Robinson

Atheneum, Mar.

$17.99 hardcover

Ages: 4–8

Announced first printing: 200,000

Why the buzz: “With themes reminiscent of Harold and the Purple Crayon, The Snowy Day, and even Where the Wild Things Are, Another is a thought-provoking celebration of imagination. We are incredibly excited to be publishing Christian’s solo picture book debut!”

Justin Chanda, v-p, publisher, Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour; advertising; national print and online media campaign.

A Little Chicken

Tammi Sauer

Sterling, Mar.

$16.95 hardcover

Ages: 4–8

Why the buzz: “Who else has an official day named for them in their home state? Named by Best of Books in Edmond, Okla., July 9 is Tammi Sauer Day. I’ve been working with Tammi for several years now, and it’s always a treat when a new book of hers hits our list. A Little Chicken is a funny, sweet story that’s all too relatable for kids everywhere—the world can be a scary place, and sometimes you need a little push to find your courage.”

Lauren Tambini, assistant manager, marketing and publicity, Sterling

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour, including school visits; advertising; social media outreach.

Opening: “Dot was a little chicken… who, let’s face it, was a little chicken.”—Illustrator Dan Taylor is not attending.

Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug

Jonathan Stutzman

Chronicle, Mar.

$15.99 hardcover

Ages: 3–5

Announced first printing: 35,000

Why the buzz: Tiny T. Rex is impossible to resist. And these days, Tiny’s message of loving friendship is more important than ever. Jonathan Stutzman and Jay Fleck really are a dream team, and we can’t wait for the world to fall in love with Tiny, just as we have.”

Ginee Seo, executive publishing director for children’s books, Chronicle Books

Publicity & marketing plans: Author and illustrator appearances; poster; animated video; print and online advertising; social media campaign; major promotion at school and library conferences.

Opening: “I have tiny arms. It is very difficult to hug with tiny arms.”—Illustrator Jay Fleck is not attending.

Llama Destroys the World

Jonathan Stutzman

Holt, June

$17.99 hardcover

Ages: 4–8

Announced first printing:100,000

Why the buzz: “Almost daily, I’m in desperate need of a good laugh, and Llama Destroys the World, the debut picture book by author-illustrator team Jonathan Stutz and Heather Fox, never fails to deliver. Jonathan and Heather are the real deal; I’ve already acquired five books by them, each one as spirited and funny as the next. So if you and your young ones love dragons, pigeons, and/or crayons, you’re sure to lose it for this llama.”—Christian Trimmer, editorial director, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances, including regional trade show and book festivals; advertising; promotions at San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic Con; parenting and educator blog tour; book trailer; MacKids social media engagement campaign; email marketing campaign; promotion at national school and library conferences; extensive outreach to key educators and librarians.

Opening: “On Monday, Llama found cake.”

Illustrator Heather Fox is not attending.

Children’s Middle Grade/YA

The Storm Keeper’s Island

Catherine Doyle

Bloomsbury, Jan.

$16.99 hardcover

Ages: 8–12

Announced first printing: 50,000

Why the buzz: “We won this series in a global auction, and could not be more excited for readers to dive in to this gripping and enchanting tale. The first book is already a huge success in the U.K., nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal and selected as an Independent Booksellers’ Children’s Book of the Season. Catherine Doyle’s masterful and evocative writing is reminiscent of the very best classic fantasy, and her story will be sure to captivate readers young and old.”

Allison Moore, editor, Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Marketing & publicity plans: Author tour, including school visits; advertising; buzz-building social media campaign to influencers and consumers.

Opening: “In a field full of wildflowers, a boy and a girl stood side by side beneath an ancient oak tree.”

Two Can Keep a Secret

Karen M. McManus

Delacorte, Jan.

$19.99 hardcover

Ages: 14 and up

Announced first printing: 250,000

Why the buzz: “It’s been so exciting to see Karen McManus’s debut, One of Us Is Lying, resonate with readers worldwide. Mysteries have always been a compelling genre, but I think what makes Karen’s writing so special is more than the whodunit—it’s her characters. They’re flesh and blood, and teens and adults connect to them fiercely. Two Can Keep a Secret is a different kind of mystery, but Karen has written characters that are just as deeply authentic.”

—Krista Marino, senior executive editor, Delacorte

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour, festival appearances, and events in Massachusetts; influencer ARC mailing to booksellers, teachers, and librarians; single and mixed floor displays, including indie nine-copy signed floor display; online advertising, including on Goodreads, Instagram, and EW.com; promotion at librarian and educator conferences; book trailer; promotion on all Random House Children’s Books platforms, including RH Teachers & Librarians and Underlined.

Opening: “If I believed in omens, this would be a bad one.”

The Music of What Happens

Bill Konigsberg

Scholastic/Levine, Feb.

$17.99 hardcover

Ages: 14 and up

Announced first printing: 20,000

Why the buzz: “What does it mean to be a man? Jordan and Max explore that very question in The Music of What Happens as they fall in love one summer working on a food truck. They are characters in a book, yes, but Bill Konigsberg writes with an open heart and a singular voice that has made them people I will hold close for the rest of my life—and so, I think, will you.” —Nick Thomas, senior editor, Arthur A. Levine Books

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; advertising; featured at teen festivals and educator and librarian conferences; extensive social media campaign via I Read YA community; social media assets; digital chapter sampler and audio clip; feature in Read with Pride campaign; feature on Scholastic social media networks and websites for parents, educators, and librarians.

Opening: “There was this thing my dad taught me when I was a kid.”

To Night Owl from Dogfish

Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer

Dial, Feb.

$17.99 hardcover

Ages: 10 and up

Announced first printing: 150,000

Why the buzz: “The novel begins with a furtive email exchange between bookish Avery and fearless Bett when they discover that their gay dads have fallen in love and are planning to send them to sleepaway camp in the hopes that they will become best friends. Things don’t quite go according to plan. The authors bring their great wit and warmth to a story that readers of all ages will embrace, proving that family comes in all varieties.” —Elyse K. Marshall, executive director of publicity, Penguin Young Readers

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour with school visits; advertising; major prepub author campaign; deluxe galley mailing and sampler distribution at consumer conferences; extensive blogger outreach, online promotion, and social media outreach; major promotion at school and library conferences and outreach to librarians and educators.

Opening: “From: Bett Devlin/To: Avery Bloom/Subject: you don’t know me but I’m writing to you anyway.”—Coauthor Meg Wolitzer is not attending.

Opposite of Always

Justin A. Reynolds

HarperCollins/Tegen, Mar.

$17.99 hardcover

Ages: 14 and up

Why the buzz: “It is an immense privilege and joy to introduce an electrifying new voice in YA, Justin A. Reynolds. Opposite of Always is an irresistible, page-turning, hilarious, and heart-racing debut, an epic contemporary romance with a high-concept twist. (Think Before I Fall meets Everything, Everything.) Justin probes big ideas—love, loss, grief, time—always prescribing laughter as the best medicine for readers. Be ready to fall in love.” —Benjamin Rosenthal, executive editor, Katherine Tegen Books

Publicity & marketing plans: Epic Reads Meet-Up tour; major online advertising campaign targeting YA and crossover readers; promotion at consumer festivals, including galley giveaways and custom promo items; buzz-building social media campaign, including video content and influencer outreach.

Opening: “My face is mashed sideways against the trunk of a police cruiser when Kate dies for the third time.”

The Revenge of Magic (Book 1)

James Riley

Aladdin, Mar.

$17.99 hardcover

Ages: 8–12

Announced first printing: 75,000

Why the buzz: “It’s no easy feat to find a fresh way to write about magic school, but James Riley is an author who consistently delivers unique concepts. He’s done it again here in Revenge of Magic, a series rich with layers and fantastical twists that will thrill readers, and also driven by a moving undercurrent of a father/son bond that gives the books beautiful resonance.”

Liesa Abrams, v-p and editorial director, Simon Pulse

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour; book festival appearances; advertising; education and library campaign; digital promotions.

Opening: “Just minutes before the attack in Washington, D.C., Fort’s father was embarrassing him at the Lincoln Memorial.”

Ronan Boyle and the Bridge of Riddles

Thomas Lennon

Amulet, Mar.

$17.99

Ages: 10–14

Announced first printing: 100,000

Why the buzz: “Hollywood actor and writer Thomas Lennon has delved into his Irish ancestry to create a hilarious world of troublemaking leprechauns, harpies, trolls, and other magical creatures. Our hero, Ronan Boyle, is a 14-year-old recruit in the Garda, a human police force in charge the world of magical creatures. He’s also intent on proving the innocence of his parents, who are in jail for a crime they did not commit. If you like to laugh so hard you snort, this book is for you.”

Maggie Lehrman, executive editor, Amulet Books and Abrams Books for Young Readers

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour; prepub author appearances and buzz campaign; preorder campaign and merchandising kit; print, online, and social media advertising; nine-copy floor display; event kit; author video; comic con promotion; school and library conference promotions; extensive social media outreach; branded web page.

Opening: “It almost never snows in Ireland. Ireland is a temperate zone. Snow-wise, the best you can hope for is a dusting.”

Sal & Gabi Break the Universe

Carlos Hernandez

Disney/Riordan, Mar.

$16.99, hardcover

Ages: 8–12

Announced first printing: 75,000

Why the buzz: “After reading his book of quirky sci-fi stories for adults, I knew Carlos Hernandez had the imagination required to write compelling sci-fi for middle schoolers. But he exceeded my expectations when it came to delivering unique and fully developed characters, inventive storytelling, and riotously funny scenes. In addition, the book captures Cuban culture beautifully, and it offers readers profound ethical questions to ponder. Best of all, it’s wrapped with a big bow of love.”

Stephanie Lurie, editor-at-large, Disney-Hyperion

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; online advertising; nine-copy frontlist floor display; cross promotion with Rick Riordan social media and on dedicated Read Riordan website and social media; back of book ad in print and digital Rick Riordan backlist; chapter excerpt included in The Ship of the Dead (to pub in April); promotion at New York Comic Con; social media shareables; blogger/vlogger campaign tapping into “The Percy Pack,” 50 online ambassadors of all things Rick Riordan; sponsored BookTuber videos on YouTube.

Opening: “There’s all sorts of bad advice out there about how to deal with bullies.”

The Wizenard Series: Training Camp

Kobe Bryant, creator

Wesley King, author

Granity Studios, Mar.

$18.99 hardcover

Ages: 10 and up

Announced first printing: 200,000

Why the buzz: “I couldn’t be more excited about the debut of Granity Studio’s first YA novel, The Wizenard Series: Training Camp. Sports provide an exceptional literary vehicle for teaching children life lessons. We hope this novel ignites their imagination and inspires them to be better versions of themselves. We know no better way to introduce readers to Granity than through the tale of the West Bottom Badgers and their magical coach, Rolabi Wizenard.”—Kobe Bryant, CEO, Granity Studios

Publicity & marketing plans: New York City book signing; high-profile press appearances; librarian outreach; partnership with major national sports, youth, coaching organizations, and influencers; detailed day-to-day social media campaign.

Opening: “Rain pulled open the doors and found darkness.”

Author Wesley King is not attending.

The Next Great Paulie Fink

Ali Benjamin

Little, Brown, Apr.

$16.99 hardcover

Ages: 8–12

Announced first printing: 100,000

Why the buzz: “What Ali Benjamin’s beloved debut, The Thing About Jellyfish, did for science, her second book, The Next Great Paulie Fink, does for philosophy—but this time, with humor. It’s about what happens when our celebrity-obsessed, reality TV world collides with a deeper humanity. It’s about how much we can ever really know about others, and about discovering new parts of ourselves. It’s fresh, memorable, funny, and profound, and I can’t wait for it to inspire conversation.”

Andrea Spooner, v-p and editorial director, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour; advertising; prepub buzz campaign; school and library conference promotions; nine-copy signed floor display; book club guide and promotion; social media outreach and shareable social media graphics; LBYR.com feature; librarian and educator outreach; LB school podcast, e-newsletter feature, and networking promotion.

Opening: “If the whole thing really had been a TV show, like everyone kept pretending it was, there are a million places the first episode could have started.”

A Place for Wolves

Kosoko Jackson

Sourcebooks Fire, Apr.

$17.99 hardcover

Ages: 14 and up

Announced first printing: 75,000

Why the buzz: “When I first read this on submission, I knew I had a very special book on my hands. Kosoko Jackson has written a book that at times reads like a thriller, at others a tender love story, and still others a poignant and funny coming-of-age novel. I fell in love with the devotion and passion these two boys have for one another. And my heart was in my throat as I turned the pages, praying these two characters would not only survive, but live.”

Annie Berger, senior editor, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky and Sourcebooks Fire

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; prepub buzz campaign; preorder campaign; advertising, including Goodreads; major social influencer outreach and promotions; library marketing.

Opening: “I’m going to die here.”

White Rose

Kip Wilson

Versify, Apr.

$17.99 hardcover

Ages: 12 and up

Announced first printing: 30,000

Why the buzz: “As one of the inaugural projects for Versify, White Rose is strikingly relevant for today’s teens. It’s a beautifully written novel in verse that tells the incredible story of Sophie Scholl, a German student who challenged the Nazi regime. As student movements and protests are taking place across the country, now is the perfect time to tell Sophie’s story of courage and nonviolent resistance, and we are thrilled to share Kip Wilson’s heartfelt first novel.”

Margaret Raymo, senior executive editor, HMH Books for Young Readers

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; conference promotions; advertising; dedicated bookseller mailing: Jewish community outreach and advertising; social media promotions; partnerships with YA bloggers, BookTubers, and Bookstagrammers.

Opening: “The cars screech to a/ halt, officers pull/ us out by the arms, haul/ us inside and off to/ separate/ rooms, my heartbeat/ pounding,/ all the while,/ boom-boom/ boom-boom.”

Finale

Stephanie Garber

Flatiron, May

$19.99 hardcover

Ages: 13–18

Announced first printing: 300,000

Why the buzz: “From the moment I read the first pages of her first novel, Caraval, I knew that this writer’s boundless imagination and vivid characters would make her book—and the many that would assuredly follow—obsessive, immersive reads. Stephanie Garber is a born storyteller. And two runaway bestsellers later, she has more than delivered on that early promise with her third book in the series following the Dragna sisters and their involvement in the dangerous game of Caraval. Finale, surprising to the end, is the crown jewel to end the games forever.”

Sarah Barley, editorial director, YA, Flatiron Books

Publicity & marketing plans: Five-city or more author tour; blogger outreach; preorder campaign; digital advertising: email marketing campaign; prepub YA, book club, and BookTube, Bookstagrammer outreach; New York BookCon and Comic Con presence; massive finished copy mailing; tie-in with paperback publication of Legendary; major library marketing campaign.

Opening: “Each morning, for more than thirty years, Claude Ballard returned to the hotel lobby with two cameras strapped across his chest and a tote bag full of foraged mushrooms and herbs.”

Stepsister

Jennifer Donnelly

Scholastic Press, May

$17.99 hardcover

Ages: 12 and up

Announced first printing: 200,000

Why the buzz: “Jennifer Donnelly’s ‘Cinderella’ retelling opens with one of the stepsisters cutting off her toes to squeeze into the glass slipper and only grows more startling from there. We’re used to stories about ugly ducklings who become beautiful, but what happens to the girls who reject that narrative and decide to embrace ‘ugly’? That’s what inspired Jennifer to explore our culture’s toxic obsession with beauty, and the result is nothing short of masterful.”

—Mallory Kass, senior editor, Scholastic Press

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour; advertising; extensive prepub buzz campaign; extensive social media campaign via I Read YA Community; feature on Scholastic Parents, Educators, and Librarians social media networks and websites; social media assets; dedicated Tumblr site; feature at teen festivals and educator and librarian conferences; digital chapter sampler and audio clip.

Opening: “This is a dark tale. A grim tale.”

The Voice in My Head

Dana L. Davis

Inkyard, May

$18.99 hardcover

Ages: 12–18

Announced first printing: 75,000

Why the buzz: “Dana Davis has a talent for tackling weighty subjects with a lightness that leaves readers feeling hopeful. The Voice in My Head is a story about a girl who, on a family road trip, must learn how to live without someone she can’t imagine living without, her twin. Like her debut, Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now, it places black teen girls and their families front and center in a story with heart, humor, and important takeaways.”

T.S. Ferguson, editor, Inkyard Press

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances, among them TLA conference; print and digital advertising; extensive galley distribution, as well as Goodreads giveaways; major digital outreach and influencer outreach; feature title at BookCon; web exclusives, including excerpts, author features, and giveaways; backlist price promotions, including in-book excerpts; feature in Inkyard Press social media and newsletter; library outreach with live book previews.

Opening: “My hands tighten around the rusted metal scaffolding as I pull myself up onto a pair of wooden planks near the rooftop of an old industrial warehouse.”

Queen of the Sea

Dylan Meconis

Walker Books US, June

$24.99 hardcover

Ages: 10–14

Why the buzz:Queen of the Sea represents the intersection of three childhood obsessions: female spaces, illustrated fiction, and the Tudors. With Queen of the Sea, Meconis captures in wonderful detail the rhythms of a convent, as it is disrupted by the arrival of a young Elizabeth Tudor–inspired character, imprisoned there by her half-sister. With 400 pages of full-color illustrated and sequential-art pages, this hybrid novel is representative of a new golden age of illustrated fiction, led in part by women comics artists, and is a welcome layered portrait of a woman on the verge of great power.”

Susan Van Metre, executive editorial director, Walker Books US

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances, including San Diego Comic-Con; advertising; librarian and educator outreach; outreach to bloggers; online galley giveaways; galley and blad distribution; discussion guide.

Opening: “A queen does not abandon her people.”

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A version of this article appeared in the 01/14/2019 issue of Publishers Weekly under the headline: Authors and Books to Watch for at WI14

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