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.
How is the Bookwoman Book Club related?
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.
When does GGR occur?
Between February and July of each year, the GGR selection committee reads the 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.
The list is finalized at the end of July/early August. 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.
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 and mid-list titles 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.
Get notified when submissions open in January
Submissions will open for 2022 Great Group Reads in January and close in April. Any submissions received after the TBA deadline will not be considered.
You can sign up to receive an email about the opening of the submission period by emailing Kristen Knox, GGR chair, at GGR [at] wnba-books.org (subject line: 2022 GGR submission info request).
In January, you will be sent an email with all of the submission guidelines and deadlines. You will also receive information about the process such as how to send review copies, who to send to, and other key information.
Submission guidelines (do not use before January call for submissions goes out):
- 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, 2021 and September 30, 2022
- 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: 2022 Great Group Reads). Please include suggested titles and a brief description of each title.
For Potential Readers
What does being a reader entail?
Readers, aka members of the GGR Selection Committee, must commit to reading 20–25 or so books between March 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. Calls for reader go out in January of each year, so you must renew or join the WNBA before January in order to apply.
This is a volunteer position.
What do past readers say about GGR?
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
When the call for readers goes out in January, 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.
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, sponsorship opportunities, giveaways, and marketing information.
Great Group Reads Lists
Pages being updated.
Support Indie Bookstores and Shop the GGR lists on Bookshop
List to launch on October 1.