Edelweiss is my number one tool I go to for research. I don’t use Goodreads as a fact-checker, as it is often unreliable. Anyone can tag books for any market or genre they want without considering how the publisher is marketing that book. And because many bloggers, YouTubers, TikTokkers, and Instagrammers still use it as a resource, I don’t really trust the individual’s label for their anticipated reads either. There’s just too much misinformation to risk it.
A lot of people forget that blogging is a journalistic activity. The support you give authors only goes as far as the work you put into your research, including the ethical intent of that research.
Pay attention to detail. Check sources. Look into the imprint and branding. How are they selling it? What do they publish? Adult, YA, Children’s? How can influencers contribute to boosting?
How to use Edelweiss for Research:
The first thing to know about Edelweiss is that it acts as a database of information for industry professionals, not just for reviewers to request their most anticipated books.
Let’s talk about Catalogs. Edelweiss is where I go to whenever looking for anticipated books I may have missed. These catalogs are digital magazines for publishers/imprints seasonal lists.
If you look on the left, you’ll see Source. Within that, you’ll find different publishers—for example, HarperCollins.
One of the first things you’ll notice is that they have Children’s and Adult catalogs for Spring, Summer, etc.
When I click on their Winter Adult Compilation and click on Harper Voyager’s titles, there’s a selection of 2022 Fantasy titles that most influencers listed on their most anticipated lists. For example, Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan. Note that this is in HarperCollins’ Adult catalog. It is not also in their Children’s/Teen catalog.
Crossover Appeal: Is it YA or Adult?
Many readers and book influencers have trouble figuring out if something is Adult or YA, especially when a lot of imprints intentionally make their books appealing to multiple markets. My number one suggestion is not to trust a blog post or a Goodreads list. As good as readers’ intentions are, they may not understand what the imprint does. Are they adult romance, adult SFFH with crossover appeal, or a YA imprint with crossover appeal?
Daughter of the Moon Goddess is a title I’ve seen miscategorized more than any 2022 release. Harper Voyager markets their books as adult with YA crossover appeal. Much like what Wednesday Books does for readers of Adult fantasy. The issue with influencers listing an adult book as YA instead of noting its YA crossover appeal is that readers that would typically be interested wouldn’t be aware. The author could lose readers, and the imprint could lose readers.
Any imprint publishing children’s or YA books will say they publish books for teen readers/children. Wednesday Books (and a personal favorite), an imprint of St. Martin’s Press (Macmillan), markets itself as a crossover, coming-of-age YA imprint.
It’s the difference between ‘Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror’ imprint vs ‘we publish books for teens and young adult readers.’ Either they say it or they don’t. Don’t always assume the market or genre based on the cover. If it says Fantasy/Epic, the book is fantasy. If the publisher says it’s Young Adult, then the book is Young Adult. Re-categorizing what authors and industry professionals have put a lot of thought into is not our decision.
Even when publishers don’t brand their books as crossover, there are mis-categorization problems. Marginalized authors regularly end up making announcements that their books are marketed as adult. Diversity isn’t exclusive to YA. It’s a common misconception that YA started diversity in publishing or that adult isn’t as diverse. YA and Adult publishers still have a lot of work to do.
This post is for those struggling to understand better research practices, how to tell if something is YA/Adult, and how to navigate publisher’s catalogs on Edelweiss. Considering the importance of ethical intent when blogging or creating content about books is going make your content more trustworthy.