Marketing to Libraries for a Self-Published Author

Anne C. Miles > Marketing > Marketing to Libraries for a Self-Published Author

Okay. I admit it. I know librarians. I know one library really well because my company (day job) built their website. So I got a ping from their IT guy with a photo of my book on the shelf at their library. It was awesome. I want moar!!!!!!!

Sorrowfish in a library

After my last post I did some research and I prayed and I decided to go wide. I got out of Kindle Select. I put my book everywhere. I used Draft2Digital so my book will go into Hoopla and Overdrive. Bam. I’m in libraries. However, in a seminar last spring, the author who trained us said there were 2 types of readers. Ebook readers and physical book readers. And I realized, that while I read both, if I love a book, I want the physical book. Also, people who read physical books tend to expect more. Higher quality. Better books.

They also don’t expect the book to be free. Which is more and more the case on Amazon.

Last time I went into a local indie bookshop, I bought a hardback and I loved it. Didn’t bat an eye.

So I have decided to market my book. My physical paper book. Which might be nuts, but it’s what I want to do. I want to support indie bookstores and heck, I want to support Barnes and Noble. And I want my book in a library. Not just on Overdrive, but the physical book.

Now I must qualify this by saying that in my former life, long, long ago, I worked at the Calloway County Public Library for 2 years and then I moved and I worked at the Ohio Township Public Library in Newburgh, Indiana. I processed the books in addition to running circulation and helping put together a special children’s literature collection. But…I know how librarians buy.

I needed a Kirkus review. I knew I did and I bought one before I published Sorrowfish. And praise God, it was a fantastic review. They are NOT always. And if mine hadn’t been good I would have hung up the writing thing. Forever. But my review was awesome.

I was a librarian back in the 90s, before the internet was a Thing. Way before ebooks. A lot has changed. But one thing that hasn’t changed is that librarians order from Baker and Taylor or Ingram. Much like with Indie bookstores, you need to offer a decent price (wholesale for me is 55% off) and make the book returnable. I’ve done that.

The next thing I have done is submit my book to Self-e. Self-e is a program by Library Journal. They curate self-pubbed books and let librarians know if they are any good. So I submitted and am waiting to hear if I made the cut. I really really really really really really want this.

From their page:

“Over 50 percent of all library users go on to purchase ebooks by an author they were introduced to in the library.”
LIBRARY JOURNAL’S PATRON PROFILES: UNDERSTANDING THE BEHAVIOR AND PREFERENCES OF U.S. PUBLIC LIBRARY USERS

True. So I am really hoping I make it.

The other thing I’m going to do is save my pennies for a LibraryBub. It costs $299 and will get my book put in front of librarians. I am okay with the price. It seems reasonable to me (along with the press release they throw in.)

And then thirdly, I’m going to send a postcard to libraries, asking them to buy the book. I’m also doing a mailing series direct to indie bookstores. We’ll see how it goes.

So that’s my strategy for marketing my paperback to libraries. If you have any other ideas, let me know!

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2 thoughts on “Marketing to Libraries for a Self-Published Author

  1. Can you link to the Kirkus review? I hope the librarians love it. So many librarians have an adventurous heart and Sorrowfish is perfect for them.

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