Three Ways to Get Your Book into Libraries
By Elaine Wilkes, PhD
Libraries are one of the most overlooked yet lucrative markets to sell your books and eBooks!
While traveling, I stopped at a few local libraries. They all purchased my three-year-old book.
I received checks within two weeks, and those books that will never get returned. Later I discovered that my book was checked out. So fun!
I took my mom, a senior citizen with her first self-published children’s book, around to the local libraries. She sold eleven books. Off to a great start!
It amazes me that we hear so much about getting your book on Kindle, but not much about getting books into over 120,000 US libraries.
It could be because people think it’s hard to get their book into libraries. And it is.
That is if you don’t know how the libraries work. It’s like going to Vegas and not knowing the rules of gambling. You may get lucky, but chances are you’ll lose your money and it’ll be a bad experience.
Here are a few tips get started in learning the library system:
1. Email them. Here’s what librarian buyers like to see in emails. Include:
- Your book’s ISBN
- How they can buy it. Do you have a distributor, or do they buy from you?
- Their price.
- Do you have any reviews? It’s helpful to have that.
- List size and page count. If it’s an oversized book, they need to know that.
Here are general points they want for your emails:
- Keep your emails brief.
- Have white space in between SHORT paragraphs. Long paragraphs with no white space look too overwhelming to read, and in the trash they go.
- Edit your email so it’s concise and to the point, but still friendly. As Mark Twain supposedly said, “If I had more time, I would have written less.”
- Personalize your email. Find something about their city, library, or anything that seems like you’re writing a personal email to them.
2. Do virtual library speech, or even a virtual video tour. Now you can speak to library groups all over the country—virtually without leaving your home!
Virtual library video meetings are the latest thing, and a HUGE opportunity for you.
For example, in the suburbs of Chicago, three libraries simultaneously used an interactive webinar to virtually host Adriana Trigiani, the author of The Shoemaker’s Wife.
Here’s how it worked. Adriana and the three libraries were hooked up with their own Webcams. Each library was able to see and hear all four Webcams on one big screen at the same time. Adriana, via her Webcam from her office in her laundry room in New York, was able to interact with all three libraries at once.
Adriana did an interactive virtual meeting with library patrons in a different state without leaving her home. How cool is that!
What’s the cost for all this amazing technology?
The library used the GoToMeeting.com free 30-day trial. Up to six Webcams can be streamed at once.
There are numerous other free and easy to use options such as Google Hangouts and Skype.
Authors have shared how the libraries have given them good PR by promoting their library events for them. This promotion proved so popular that three libraries had a waiting list.
Libraries are starting to have virtual meetings with out of town authors allowing local people to communicate with the author who is onscreen. The author can see hear, and speak to them, but can’t shake their hands.
3. Looks matter! They do take self-published books now, but they want those books to look just like the big time publisher books. If the cover or layout looks unprofessional, chances are they won’t buy it.
Proofread your book many times. If a librarian buyer sees typos, or bad grammar—that’s a deal breaker.
Libraries now have eBooks too! (Checking out eBooks from your computer saves you money, and no more late fees, since there’s nothing to return.)
In summary, it’s a terrific time to get your books and eBooks into libraries.
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- Audio interviews with librarian buyers on why they buy and don’t buy books
- A 100+ page eBook
- Author interviews on ways they got their books into libraries
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Elaine Wilkes, PhD, is a published and self-published author. Her award winning book, Nature's Secret Messages, was awarded Publishers Weekly rare star recommendation. Her latest book, 101 Awesome Things to Do for Someone Who's Sick, is now on an introductory sale. Finally, cool stuff to help someone who's sick! http://www.101AwesomeThings.