How To Get Your Book On Library Bookshelves for Independent Authors

I’m so excited to talk to you all today about my FAVORITE thing: the library. I love the library, I can read as many books as my eyeballs can handle FOR FREE. It is the best and it is the best resource for any person, but especially authors.

So, I’ve heard a few authors make off comments like, “why would I want my book in the library, then I don’t make any money.”

Look, if you are just into writing books to make quick money, then I can easily list a host of other options that can make you a lot more money, a lot faster. Having your book in a library means that people can access it. The more demand the library has for your book, the more copies that they have to order. And probably, in more formats.

So, to get your book “into” the library here is what you need to consider:

First, it needs to be available where libraries purchase their books. This is usually through OverDrive or Baker & Taylor. Smashwords works with both. IngramSpark also has this distribution set up and Amazon officially works with neither. But if someone asks the library to buy a copy of your KDP paperback, the librarian can put in the order.

Once you know that libraries can access your book, let your audience know that your book is available everywhere great books are sold and can be requested at your local library.

Most libraries have a method for members to suggest books. Usually, they are behind a login that is just for library members so someone who actually belongs to that specific library has to make the ask.

A lot of local libraries have a local author program, reach out to the librarian and ask about it:
Author spotlights – online and posters in library
Local author section of library
Special local author sticker

Let your audience know that they can request the book at their library. Because my other passion is financial literacy I know that a lot of my audience is focused on saving money. So I let them know that they can ask their library to buy my book. They can read it and then my book is now available to their community.

Being available to libraries can be a big part of your strategy as an author. But here is the thing, the library does not exist to just buy your books. They exist to serve their community. So don’t abuse the system. Be honest, be kind, be sure to return your books on time.

Music from: E.R.F.

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