Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Getting Self-Published Books Into Libraries


Many writers focus on getting their books into bookstores, usually by counting on a legacy publisher to get it done.

Many writers, also, discount how valuable it is for an author to have their books in libraries.

Surveys have shown that a significant percentage of library patrons go on to purchase books they’ve checked out of a library.

But, if you’re self-published, how can you get your books into the libraries?

Lindsay Buroker, who I have in my blogroll, came to our rescue back in February with her interview with Marlene Harris.

Marlene is a librarian with more than 15 years experience and has worked in both public and academic libraries all over the United States.

To help you decide to click-through that link to the interview, here are a few of the questions:

“Can we donate copies of our books to local libraries and get them on the shelves? If so, what’s the process?”

“If our books do get into the library, is there a limited length of time they’ll be kept on the shelves?”

“Is there anything authors can do to improve the chances that our books will be found and checked out more often?”

“Do self-published authors need to get lucky like that to see their works added to non-local libraries? Or is there something they can try if they’re hoping to get in elsewhere?”

“Are there any special rules for authors who’d like to get their ebooks into the library?”

Have you gotten your self-pubbed books into libraries?

Have any ideas that the interview doesn’t cover?

Here are more posts from this blog about libraries…
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14 responses to “Getting Self-Published Books Into Libraries

  1. Simone Benedict April 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Wow, that’s an informative article! I’m imagining if I were in charge of the Collection Development Policy. What a responsibility, don’t you think?

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai April 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      Yes, Simone; in fact, I’m talking to the acquisitions person at the library in my hometown—amazing conversation!

      Like

  2. Mollie Player April 22, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    I love this idea. Thanks for the tips! I also love Lindsay Broker (sp?).

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai April 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      Glad you appreciated the article, Mollie.

      Your blog fascinates me :-)

      Like

      • Mollie Player April 23, 2012 at 8:43 pm

        Thanks! I second guess myself all the time about the content … what I really love reading about is writing/self-publishing, but that’s probably not my target audience…

        Like

        • Alexander M Zoltai April 23, 2012 at 11:20 pm

          Aha…

          “Target audience”…

          Hopefully, it’s the people coming to one’s blog :-)

          Like

          • Mollie Player April 24, 2012 at 12:06 am

            Yeah, that is part of it. Do you find that your blog leads to sales?

            Like

            • Alexander M Zoltai April 24, 2012 at 9:12 am

              I do think it’s leading to sales, Mollie; not many yet but things will pick up when I bring out the second book in the series.

              Like

              • Mollie Player April 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm

                Definitely. I’m shooting for the first 1000 that Buroker talks about–then hoping Amazon will help. This sef-publishing thing is fun, isn’t it?

                Like

                • Alexander M Zoltai April 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm

                  Yes, Mollie, fun and Empowering, eh?

                  Like

  3. Pingback: Let’s Go To The Library « Notes from An Alien

  4. Pingback: Self-Published Books & Bookstores « Notes from An Alien

  5. John Pope May 30, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    This was an excellent piece Alex. I am surprised I missed it! I really think it is advantagous to talk to your libraries and even go ahead and if you can afford it send a book with a letter. I consider adding anyone that goes to that trouble. I also wanted to say that when it comes to weeding we often go by circulation if a book hasn’t circulated in 24 months I will pull it!

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai May 30, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      Good to see ya here, John :-)

      Wow, a two-year grace period seems mighty reasonable

      Like

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