If you’re anything like me, you made Edelweiss your best friend a long time ago. If you’ve avoided it because you have a tough time with navigation (it can definitely be tricky), I’ve done a few tutorials that might set you on the path to loving it. But even if you’re well versed in using the site, digging through the nonfiction sections can feel pretty daunting. Edelweiss has catalogs from a wide variety of publishers, so there tends to be a ton of highly academic titles mixed in with more mainstream nonfiction.
To start with, we want to narrow the huge number of titles in the Edelweiss database down to smaller lists. The best way I’ve found to do that, both with fiction and nonfiction, is to start by refining to Format > Hardcover (if I’m looking for upcoming titles) and Age > All Adult. The one catch with refining to hardcover is that this eliminates trade paperback originals, which are books originally published as paperback, but I haven’t been able to figure out how to filter those out (if anyone knows, I’d love to learn!). I also refine to 3-4 months of publication dates. In the case of my Upcoming Nonfiction by Women post, I chose January-April 2015.
I’ve found that, when it comes to nonfiction, what works for me is leaving the format, age and publication date restrictions the same, but creating short lists of subject-specific topics to browse through (plus always opening a new tab to see books I’m interested in rather than having to wait for the list to repopulate when I go back). With the settings how they are, you can see the number of titles for each subject listed next to it—for example, history has 255 hardcover adult books being released between January and April 2015. I don’t mind browsing through 255 books, but if you want to refine that a bit, you can click on the plus sign next to history and get a more narrow scope.
Another method I use at times is browsing by imprint. If there’s a specific imprint you know or trust for nonfiction, you can refine to their specific books before eliminating fiction from their results by clicking on the Subject > Fiction box twice. Once fiction has a line through it, you will no longer see any fiction titles in your search results. Remember, you can always see your search values at the top of your results page, which I highlighted in the image below.
I hope that helps make things a little easier! I’m far from an expert, but a self-taught very regular user and I’ll help answer any questions I can!