How to Wade Through Nonfiction in Edelweiss

Edel1If 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.

Edel3I’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.

Edel5Another 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!

  • Katherine Nabity

    I didn’t know about the double-click-to-exclude trick. My world has been changed…

  • Awesome! I love these Edelweiss tutorials.

  • Words for Worms

    I really need to use your tutorials so I can use Edelweiss…

  • Anita LeBeau

    I love picking and choosing specific date ranges and more on Edelweiss. It’s a very dangerous place to go. :)

  • I never think of filtering by a publication date window. Thanks for these tips, you are the Edelweiss guru!!

    • Oh, it makes such a huge difference! You’ll definitely have an easier time finding new titles if you aren’t digging through stuff that’s already been published.

  • Thanks so much for this! I recently joined Edelweiss and have only successfully used it once…it’s so NOT user-friendly. I got one ARC from them, but now the “Download or request” button never appears when I find a book I want in the Review Copies section. I also cannot figure out how to provide my feedback. Anyway – I much prefer NetGalley, but will check out your tutorials to see if I can figure this out since I’d like to be able to use both :)

    • It takes a while to figure out Edelweiss, but I pretty much gave up using NetGalley once I had it down. EW has full publishing catalogs (which NG doesn’t), so everything coming up will be listed under the “titles” section, even if it doesn’t have a digital review copy. Everything under the Review Copies tab should have a button to download or request, though, so that’s strange if you’re not seeing it there. For your feedback, if you go to a book’s page…click on the words “Your Review Note” and a feedback box will come up (I also put feedback in EW for everything I read, even though I rarely read digital review copies).

  • Oh gosh, I’ve been petrified to even try Edelweiss . . . but you inspired me to register. I’ve browsed the catalogues before, but I was afraid to register. Ok, I’m on there now–I will give it a try! Goal–request one book and see how it goes. :)

    • If it helps, I made my EW profile the same as my NG one and you can go in and add feedback for books you didn’t get from EW (I mentioned how to add feedback on Sarah’s comment) if you want to kind of build up a review profile for yourself. It’s definitely harder to navigate than NG, but there are so many more books and so much more information. I use the tagging system I explained in my first tutorial and keep all the books I’m interested in organized that way…I’m pretty much in love with EW.

      • Excellent, thanks! I was just reading your post about tagging. I am hoping I can learn to navigate EW effectively, because NG really only has a limited amount of info. EW seems a better way to find the books I really want to read. In theory, anyway–first I have to figure it out! Thanks for posting all this info.

  • You have just reassured me I am doing it right. Edelweiss is intimidating to use so this was so reassuring, Shannon!

  • Yay, thank you for this! I already usually narrow results by publication date, hardcover, and subject, but wading through non-fiction still seemed overwhelming. Your post inspired me to try narrowing down the publishers, and it helped SO MUCH; restricting results to publishers I know I like really helped weed out the academic texts! It seems sooo much more manageable now.

  • Bookmammal

    This is great! I’ve been using Edelweiss for about 6 months now ( I LOVE the digital ARCs) and your hints will definitely streamline things for me. Thanks!

  • readersrespite

    Awesome. Nice job!

  • This sounds familiar! :)

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