What is Great Group Reads?
Great Group Reads (GGR) is part of the National Reading Group Month initiative of the Women’s National Book Association. Since its creation in 2009, Great Group Reads has become a highly regarded and anticipated resource for reading groups, individual facilitators, educators, bookstores, and libraries to recommend books.
Jump to all of the Great Group Reads lists, including the 2022 Great Group Reads (the newest list).
The ‘Great Group Reads’ is a wonderful resource for any bookseller, librarian, book club member or anyone who loves to read. Wonderful books that make great discussion are brought to light by this valuable program.
Sally BrewsterOwner, Park Road Books
Beyond the GGR committee, does WNBA read the GGR books?
Within the WNBA at our National level, we hold a monthly book club — the Bookwoman Book Club — that solely reads books form the GGR lists. Our book club has close to 200 members.
We read books from all of the previous lists. This exposes members to books they may never have come across on their own as well as provides continued support for all of the GGR selections.
We often schedule author talks close to the book club discussion, which adds an extra element of interaction with the book and its author.
Our WNBA-Charlotte has the Great Group Reads Book Club, which is for WNBA-Charlotte only.
When does GGR occur?
Between February and July of each year, the Great Group Reads Committee reads hundreds of books submitted by publishers. Seasoned readers read the submitted books and decide on a list of 20 top titles. Those 20 titles are our Great Group Reads for the year.
|February 1, 2022||Submission window opens|
|February–July||GGR Selection Committee reads all submissions|
|April 8, 2022||Submission deadline (no exceptions)|
|August||List finalized by committee|
|September||2022 GGR marketing materials distributed (including via ABA box mailing)|
|October||List continues to be distributed and celebrated during National Reading Group Month|
Notifications go out to publishers, authors, and media contacts by the end of September. The list goes out to bookstores through the American Booksellers Association box mailing in September. This gives bookstores, groups, and WNBA chapters time to use the GGR list to plan events for National Reading Group Month in October if they’d like, but the current list and previous lists can be used at any time.
GGR elevates the profiles of the books chosen for each list. While some books on the list become bestsellers, the value to lesser known titles, mid-list titles, and titles from small presses is immeasurable. WNBA provides extra publicity through our mailings to bookstores, libraries, and book clubs, author talks and interviews, giveaway opportunities, content marketing, advertising, and more.
We encourage small presses, university presses, independent publishers, as well as medium-to-large publishers to submit for GGR.
Submissions open in January
Submissions will open in January.
To submit books for GGR, email Kristen Knox, GGR chair, at GGR [at] wnba-books.org (subject line: Great Group Reads 2023). Include the titles you are submitting and a brief description of each. After she reviews the submitted titles, you will receive information about the process such as how to send review copies, who to send to, and other key information.
- Books must be submitted during the submissions open time frame. Any books submitted before or after that specific time frame will not be considered
- Publishers may submit literary fiction, including novels, novellas, and short stories, as well as memoir, including essay collections. Books in translation are eligible
- Books must be published in the US between October 1, 2022 and September 30, 2023
- Titles must be submitted by publishers, be limited to two titles per publisher or imprint, and be readily available through customary distribution channels
- All formats — except original e-books — are eligible, including trade-paper reprints published within the designated time frame
- Please do not submit previously submitted titles, previously selected authors, or self-published books
Publishers should submit titles to Kristen Knox, GGR chair, via email at GGR [at] wnba-books.org (subject line: 2023 Great Group Reads). Please include suggested titles and a brief description of each title.
For WNBA Members
Would you like to be a reader and help determine next year’s list?
What does being a reader entail?
Readers, aka members of the GGR Selection Committee, must commit to reading 20–25 or so books between February and July.
All of the books will be sent to you for free.
You will need to share your thoughts about why or why not each book should be on this year’s list.
Who can be a reader?
Members of the WNBA can apply to be a reader. Members must be in good standing.
You must renew or join the WNBA before March 2023 in order to apply.
This is a volunteer position.
What do past readers say about Great Group Reads?
Reading for GGR is perhaps my favorite aspect of WNBA membership. This will be my eighth year on the reading committee, which has been a uniquely fascinating experience. I’ve gained insight into so many publishers’ catalogs and PR approaches, enjoyed the pure delight of books turning up at my door, and – most of all – been exposed to topics and authors I’d never choose for myself. I love the diversity of opinion among the GGR readers.
Deborah MilsteinWNBA Boston chapter
As a GGR reader, I am always surprised by the titles I am asked to read. Just as I imagine I know the landscape of current fiction, the GGR finds hidden gems.
Apply to be a reader or to request more information
If you are a WNBA member in good standing, you can email Kristen Knox at GGR [at] wnba-books.org for more details. Please include your name and WNBA chapter. In the email subject, please write “2023 GGR Reader Application.”
More information about GGR
Contact Kristen Knox, GGR chair, at GGR [at] wnba-books.org for more information about the program.
Contact Julie Frey, Communications & Events chair, at communications [at] wnba-books.org for:
- media inquiries
- sponsorship opportunities
- marketing information
The 2021 Great Group Reads have been announced! We are excited to share with you the amazing books on this list. After you check the list out, make sure you look at previous lists. You can also look to the section below and shop each list on Bookshop!
Support Indie Bookstores and Shop the GGR lists on Bookshop
Most of the books on the GGR lists are available on Bookshop.
When you shop on Bookshop, you are supporting independent bookstores as a percentage of each sale goes directly to indie bookstores. Indie bookstores provide valuable resources to communities and help local economies. They also are better for the environment!
WNBA is an affiliate of Bookshop, so we do receive a small commission on sales through our storefront. Money made from Bookshop sales is funneled directly into providing our members with free event programming and content.
Simply click the GGR list you’d like to shop!