Get Your Book in the Library System

This morning, I was asked a few questions for an article about getting your book into libraries. I thought I would share some of my comments with you. There’s additional information about library sales in my book, Promote Your Book (Pages 158-161). Available at Amazon.com and most other online and downtown bookstores. Or purchase it at: http://www.matilijapress.com

I checked and find that it is also in 82 libraries from California, to Colorado, Oregon, Missouri, Kentucky and beyond. My self-published books are in nearly 100 libraries throughout the world. That is according to http://www.worldcat.org

If your self-published books are not showing up at World Cat, perhaps that is because you have not approached a library distributor. Read on.

I believe in donating copies to your local library system to get your books in the system. This is a generous way to introduce your book to librarians and to the community. I’ve also sent books to large libraries throughout the US along with my ordering form. This might be genealogy libraries for a local history book that profiles early pioneers, a library in an area where your story takes place—the west, a quaint town in New England, etc. or a medical, aviation, law, etc. library for a book, for example.

But there are things you can do even before your book is a book to make it more appealing to librarians—make sure the binding is sturdy. It should have a spine. Create an index for a nonfiction book.

Librarians buy books based on patron recommendation—so if you are doing your job promoting the book, people may begin to ask for it. In this case, you want to be sure it is easily accessible. Is your book listed with Baker and Taylor or one of the other library distributors? Have you sent your promo material to librarians? You can do so via email now. Certainly librarians read book reviews in the pre-publication review magazines, which are very limited to the number of reviews they can publish. But I understand some of them also read reviews at well-known online review sites.

I suggest taking advantage of your travels by stopping in at libraries as well as bookstores when you are traveling and show your book to the librarian. While they will pay full price, they do appreciate being offered a discount. So keep that in mind.

Here are a few library directories:
http://travelinlibrarian.info/libdir
http://www.publiclibraries.com
http://www.americanlibrarydirectory.com

Locate library distributors here: http://www.itcompany.com/inforetriever/vend_pub.htm

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