How to Get Your Self-Published Book in a Library

You have an ISBN. You have a LCCN. So libraries should be able to find your book, and therefore, will purchase your book, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, libraries rarely “order” self-published books. This doesn’t mean they don’t house self-published books and that they won’t stock your book. It simply means you need to do a little work to get on their radar. Here are a few ways to get your book in a library.

  • Donate a copy (or several copies) of your book to the library. Be sure to go through the proper donation channels.
  • Host a book reading at your library. This will not only introduce the library to your book but also introduce your book to potential readers.
  • If your book is geared towards children, give a school presentation on your book’s subject. School libraries are always looking for new books.
  • Connect with librarians via social networks. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are powerful ways to network.
  • Send promotional materials such as flyers and letters to local libraries. Be sure to include of the essential information about your book such as subject, genre, audience and purchasing information.
  • Try to get a book review in a local publication. This will bring positive attention to your book and encourage libraries to buy it.

Libraries are a powerful part of your book promotion strategy. Creative marketing tactics can increase your chances of a library stocking your book. They can also lead to great relationships with librarians and readers. The best way to find out what your local library wants is to talk to the librarians. Work on building an honest relationship, and you may just find one your book’s best promoters.

Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.

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