Authors: Have You Tried This Yet?

At your local library, donate your book and attach a letter that sounds something like this:

“My name Jane Smith and I’m a local author. I would be pleased if you would consider my book for your catalog.”

Having the conversation face-to-face is better.

If the library accepts your book, you will create several opportunities.

~ Your book will be displayed on the shelf with bestselling authors.

~ Every four months, you can ask the librarian to print out a report that will tell you how many times your book has been checked out.

~ By using the above process, you will have a free focus group. If the library cannot seem to keep your book in stock, then your book is a hit. If you book has collected dust, then you need to make some changes.

~ If at the end of the year your book has been checked out every other week, then you have a powerful statement to put in any query letter.

~ Building a relationship will a library will produce sales. For example, if you do a free workshop for teens, the library will promote the workshop using all of their media resources. This means, you will be promoted as well. If the teens are your target audience, they will certainly go to your website after the workshop and purchase your book.

~ If you write a book series, then you will have extra sales from those that checked out your book and want the next one in the series.

Continue with this process with other libraries. Build relationships by filling a need for the library. Any ideas that you have, the library will advertise in the newspaper and their website. Your name will be seen by thousands, even millions of people.

Remember that libraries want to create awareness to the public. From that awareness, the libraries hope to gain traffic. You can do something like this:

~ “For every student that signs up for a library card, the student will be entered in a drawing to win free books from author Jane Smith.” (Adjust this promotional idea to fit you personally.)

By helping libraries, the possibilities are endless.

Ron Knight

Coming Soon:

Ron Knight

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  1. I donated a copy of my first book to my local library, but they never even put it on the shelf. (No idea what they did with it.) I live in a big city, so getting your book in a big-city library may be difficult. If you live in a smaller town, I’d bet they’d be much happier to receive your free book.

    In the mean time, Worldcat tells me that five libraries have purchased my book without me even contacting them.

  2. Ron you are so on point. I did this and even solicited out of state libraries and found it to be resourceful. I did not do the follow up part….but now I know. Great article! You are always refreshing and enlightening.

  3. Good article. I give every school library, where I speak, a copy of my novel Night of the Cossack. I hadn’t thought of folllowing up like this. Thanks for the idea.