Novelist Plus: Tips & Tricks

Published Friday, March 4, 2022

Advanced Search

Novelist blog 1120 x 300 px

There are a number of ways to utilize the advanced search options provided by Novelist Plus. In my opinion, the many different ways to find something new is the best feature of the entire database. If you click on the "advanced search" button under the standard search bar, you will find numerous ways to expand and limit your results. A few key limits include:

  • award winner
  • intended audience
  • media mentions
  • lexile level & Accelerated Reader
  • forthcoming

Appeal Mixer

The appeal mixer is a fun option to create your own combos. Find it on the home page and click the blue button "Try our appeal mixer." Once inside, select up to 3 categories from a drop down list. Options include character type, tone, pace, storyline, and writing style. Create a combo of your ideal perfect book & then receive a curated list of suggestions. For example, I selected that I am looking for a funny book with an awkward character and a fast reading pace & was given a list of 6 suggestions. The first one being The Rosie Project which has been a popular read since its release in 2013.

Novelist blog 900 x 600 px 1120 x 500 px 7
Novelist blog 1120 x 300 px 2

Media Mentions

In recent years, celebrity book clubs and talk shows have become a popular way to find your next great read. These are generally books that appeal to a large audience and quickly jump in popularity because of its celebrity endorsement. The advanced search media mentions allows you to select all media sources you're interested in seeing (ex. Oprah's Book club, CBS: The Talk, ABC: Good Morning America, etc.) and gives you a nice browsable list. You can also find media mentions on any book's record in two spots, its immediate search results and in the "More About This Book" button.

Untitled design


Did you finish a really good book and want something similar to keep up your reading momentum? Novelist is great for read-alike suggestions for both books and authors! For book read-alikes, simply find the book you just finished in the database & open up that books record. Once inside, you'll see a vertical bar on the right side with suggested read-alikes. If you click "view all" it will open a printer-friendly list of 10 books.

The same method works for author read-alikes, too! Simply go to the authors page in the database and you'll find the same vertical bar on the right with authors with similar writing styles.

Novelist blog 900 x 600 px 1120 x 500 px 1
Novelist blog 900 x 600 px 1120 x 500 px 3

Lexile Levels & Accelerated Reader

Novelist Plus and Novelist Plus K-8 is a great resource for parents and students to not only find books that interest them, but find ones that are in their reading level range for school testing. Depending on the school your child attends, they may use Lexile Levels or Accelerated Reader to test their reading comprehension. You can typically find both numbers on a book's record & they are even clickable to assist you in finding more titles in that same range.

If you aren't starting out with a title, but instead are looking for a listing of books with a certain reading range, open the advanced search button and scroll down to the "limit your results" section to find the drop down options for lexile range, lexile score, Accelerated Reader interest level, and Accelerated Reader book level.

Novelist blog 900 x 600 px 1120 x 500 px 2
Novelist blog 900 x 600 px 1120 x 500 px 5

Book Club Resources

To find book club resources click on "Quick links" at the top of the page on the orange bar. From the drop-down list select "Book Club Resources" and on the following page is a button that reads "Browse all Book Discussion Guides."

Once inside the book club resources page, you'll find a button to click to browse all of the titles that Novelist has discussion guides for. For example, a popular 2020 read, Where the Crawdads Sing can be found in the list and it's guide has a book summary, discussion questions/conversation starters with example responses, information about the author, and read-alikes for further reading!

Untitled 1120 x 600 px 1120 x 300 px
Novelist blog 900 x 600 px 1120 x 500 px 4
Novelist blog 900 x 600 px 1120 x 500 px

These are just a few tips & tricks to get you acquainted with Novelist Plus and start exploring new books! You can always give us a call at 618-692-7556 for further help or questions.

About the Author

Kelcey is one of our Adult Services Assistants in the Reference Department and has been working at EPL since 2015. She enjoys horror films, K-Pop music, YA books, and traveling with her family. At work she enjoys coordinating adult programming, working with the 3D printer, and getting to the bottom of any research question.