Using NoveList's Story Elements

Your secret to better conversations with readers.

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Story Elements

Many aspects of a book may catch your attention. NoveList calls these aspects “story elements,” which include appeal terms, themes, and genres. Our team tags each book in NoveList with appropriate story elements, making it easy to see if a book is right for you or your readers and to search for similar books.

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Appeal factors help readers decide whether or not a book fits their style or mood. What is heartwarming to one reader may be saccharine to another; what is mildly sensuous to you may be quite shocking to others. These resources will help you get started finding the right books to appeal to every reader.

Watch Story Elements: The building blocks to great readers' advisory


Themes are popular and recurring plot elements found in fiction — think chosen ones in fantasy or fake relationships in romance. Themes describe the overall plot, while appeal terms describe the storyline, tone, writing style, and other aspects of a book’s content. Use these resources to learn how to navigate themes in your readers’ advisory.

Watch Using Book Themes in NoveList


When a romance reader picks up a romance, the reader expects their heart to flutter as a couple finds their happily-ever-after. Mystery readers want to close a book knowing who the killer is.

Whether a library puts stickers on the spines of books or has genrefied the collection, as professionals, librarians use genre to guide readers to their perfect book. These resources will guide you through the collected genres in NoveList, and use them to help you match readers to their next favorite book.

Download a search strategy to help you tackle your hardest genre