How to Get the Most From the Catalogs on Edelweiss

I’m a self-confessed Edelweiss addict. I can lose an afternoon to the website without blinking an eye, so it surprises me to find out that some book bloggers don’t like it. If all you’ve used it for is review copies, then it probably just seems like an over-complicated version of NetGalley. But I promise, Edelweiss is overflowing with tools that can help you as a blogger, you just have to know where to look. 

 
If this is the first you’re hearing of Edelweiss, the site itself has a good step-by-step on setting up an account and getting started. When it comes to digital review copies, Monika from A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall made a great video that walks through the steps of requesting ARCS and connecting with friends on Edelweiss

I’m going to focus more on the actual title pages on Edelweiss, which I think tend to get overlooked in favor of review copies. 

BROWSING 

how to find titles in edelweiss
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If you click on the titles tab at the top of your screen, you can browse the books cataloged on Edelweiss several different ways. I’m going to start with sorting by the default setting, which is publication date. By clicking on a desired month, in this case February 2014, from the list of options you end up with over 4,000 possible titles. Edelweiss offers several ways to narrow that down, including age and imprint, but I like to choose subject. By clicking on fiction you still have close to 1,000 titles being published in a single month, but are taken to a screen with very specific genres. Categories like historical, literary, romance and science fiction are much more manageable, with closer to 50 titles to browse through – plus, they’re exactly what you’re looking for!

So, how do you keep track of all these great books you’re stumbling on now that you’ve found them? 

TAGGING

how to tag titles in edelweiss
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Edelweiss has actually built in a feature that lets you mark anticipated titles, but I prefer to use their tagging system to create sortable lists. Once you’ve navigated to the page of a book you would like to come back to, you should see a textbox labeled Tags. You can create your own tag by typing in this box, in this case I used “TBR 2014”, and hit enter. Your text will turn into a shaded blue box to confirm that the tag has been stored. Whenever you want to see the books you have tagged, you can click on the Tags tab on the homescreen and click on the name of your tag. You will be shown a list of all the books tagged with “TBR 2014”, which you will be able to sort (by publication date, title, imprint, etc.) using a dropdown menu on the right. 

TITLE PAGES

what to look for on an edelweiss page
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Dozens of publishers upload their digital catalogs to the Edelweiss site, so you’re able to see much more information about many more titles than through NetGalley. There are a few specific things that may be of interest as a book blogger. Of course, you’ll want to know the book’s publication date, format and page count, which are all at the top of the page. If you scroll down, you’ll find a list of comparable titles which can be helpful, as long as they’re taken with a grain of salt (not every book is the next Gone Girl). But you’ll definitely want to take a peek at the right side of the title’s page, too, in the space labeled Marketing Plans. This is where you can find out what kind of push the publisher is making for the book, particularly if they are planning on reaching out to bloggers or a specific type of social media.

There are tons of other features (like GeoSearch, which allows you to find books connected to a specific area, and Buzz for finding books winning awards), but hopefully this will get you started with digging into some of the catalogs on Edelweiss. Next time one of the publishers uploads a seasonal catalog, we can all grab some snacks and hunker down for a night of tagging…no?…just me?