Updated: Aug 27
Believe it or not, the instant gratification of Amazon has not replaced the pastime of visiting a library and checking out a book. In fact, 60% of Americans own a library card and due to the rising costs of books, more people are actually borrowing books now than ever before! Authors, take note - libraries should be an essential part of your book marketing plan!
Getting your book into a library is a proud and special moment for an author. But with a limited shelf space and budget, especially in a post-pandemic world, libraries have to be picky about what they bring in.
Many authors find it more beneficial financially to have their books in libraries versus traditional bookstores.
Unlike bookstores who have up to 90 days to return your book, once libraries purchase your book, they cannot return them. Additionally, libraries will often purchase several copies of a book for various branches.
So what do librarians look for when considering whether to bring in a book?
Library wholesale distribution Libraries tend to order from specific library wholesaler distributors like Ingram, Baker & Taylor or Follett. Make sure your book is available on those platforms and at a short discount of 40-55%.
Editorial reviews When choosing to stock a book, one of the first things acquisitions departments look for is whether a book has been professionally reviewed by an unbiased third-party company. Librarians will look for these independent reviews of your book to help them decide if they will purchase the book for their shelves, as they see reviews as a sign of legitimacy. Foreword Publicity advises all of its authors to obtain at least (3) professional editorial reviews for library consideration.
Sell sheet A sell sheet provides an overview of the book so the librarian can quickly assess if the book is of interest to its patrons. Make sure your sell sheet provides all of the information that’s needed, including ISBN, price, back cover blurb, and wholesale availability.
Foreword Publicity has worked with thousands of librarians on behalf of our clients and has a database of public libraries by state. If you are looking to add library marketing to your marketing strategy, book a consult to find out how we can help you! We offer more than 30 customized marketing and book promotion services to help an author succeed.