Libraries: Get your book on their shelves!

by | Apr 19, 2022

So you want your books in libraries. You love the very idea, but also the practicalities of libraries. And you know a large percentage of your readers are huge library patrons. So how best to make sure your book appears on the shelves of libraries everywhere?

  1. First and foremost, make sure you’re publishing through OverDrive or one of the many other library services. If you publish through Draft2Digital, there are several different services listed; you just have to toggle them on.
  2. Make up a Library Sell-Sheet for your book/series. Sure you’ve got a sell-sheet for conferences. But you also need one for bookstores and libraries. This one will differ in that it will have print ISBNs, LCNs, and other ways that bookstores and/or libraries find and purchase books. If you’re publishing through IngramSpark, you can grab the link for all of your books that a librarian would use to buy the book from. The point is to have all of the information that a librarian would need to be able to chose your book, find it, purchase it, and put it into circulation. Then, send the sell-sheet to the acquisitions librarian (there’s often a message form on the library’s website).
  3. Visit your local libraries. Yes, all of them. When you’ve got a book release coming up, talk to the event coordinator about doing a signing or some other special event. Build a solid friendship with the coordinator, letting them know all of your varied interests, talents, talks in your pocket, etc. The more things you can say, “I can do this for you,” the more likely they are to want to have at an event. And note that “local” is a relative term. It could mean “The library in your neighborhood,” “The libraries in your county,” or “The libraries in your state.” But using the phrase “local author” unlocks a lot of doors.

This is one of those long-term projects that you do a little bit at a time. For Sara Rosett, I’ve got a sell-sheet, a form letter, and a long list of libraries. I email ten libraries each month. Some never get back with me, some let me know they already stock Sara’s books, and some let me know they’re going to order them.

No matter where you are in your career, you can start small and start doing these things on a regular basis to build your library presence over time.

Adriel Wiggins

Adriel Wiggins

Owner, Adriel Wiggins Author Services and Consulting

Hello! I’m Adriel Wiggins, wife, mother of three, bibliophile, art geek, and all around student. I’ve been on a quest all of my life to learn as much as I possibly can about everything I possibly can. This has helped me tremendously in what eventually became my life’s purpose: to help other people become the best version of themselves. It is in that line that I became an assistant.

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