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NoveList Training 101: Finding Books Based on Appeal

Post by Kim Burton
Posted April 10, 2013 in NoveList Plus, NoveList Select, Readers' Advisory News

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Using Appeal factors is just one of the ways you can find your next favorite book in NoveList. Rather than searching for books based on author or subject, appeal factors enrich your search by selecting books that match a particular storyline, pace, tone, or writing style. 

Scenario #1: Use a favorite book to find more books using appeal

If you'd like to find books with appeals similar to a known specific title, you can do so from that book's title record.


Find the record for The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. After its description, you'll see the appeal terms applied to that specific book, including...

  • Storyline  Intricately plotted
  • Pace  Fast-paced
  • Tone  Suspenseful
  • Writing Style  Descriptive


Scroll down to view the "Search for More" menu at the right side of the screen

Check the box for genre Suspense stories

Choose the appeals you want to match (see examples above), and then click "Search."

The titles returned will all match on one or more of your selected appeal terms. BONUS TIP: A Definition of Appeal Terms link is displayed at every book title record so you can learn about each term and what it means.

Scenario #2: Narrow your search using appeal

After any search, you can refine your findings by appeal with the "Narrow Results by" menu. Use the options to limit by Storyline, Pace, Tone, and Writing Style appeal terms.


Type mysteries in "Basic Search" box. 

In the "Narrow by Results" menu at left, expand the dropdown for Storyline  Intricately plotted

Now you have a nice big list of intricately plotted mysteries! But since it's such a big list, let's see how we can refine it even more.


Using the same search for mysteries with Storyline  Intricately plotted, refine further by...

Add Pace  Fast-paced

Scrren shot

Add Tone  Suspenseful

Add Tone  Atmospheric

Add Writing Style ⇒ Compelling

Voila! You now have a very manageable list of mysteries with just the right mix of appeals.

Kim Burton is an Editor and Bibliographer at NoveList. Originally wanting to write books, Kimberly later decided she would just read them all instead. Now, her focus is on helping others get a chance to read them all, which she does by contributing Recommended Reads book lists in all genres.