Please welcome guest blogger Elizabeth Spann Craig
Getting your book onto library shelves means you’re reaching a wider audience of readers. If you’re a series writer or hope to publish more than just one book, then you’re developing a readership. In these tough times, getting your book into a reader’s hands frequently means getting it into the library.
Here are my thoughts and tips on library marketing:
Find out which libraries have your book. Go to WorldCat.org, which searches libraries for content worldwide. You just plug in your book’s name, hit the search button, and find the results. My new book is currently listed in 84 libraries. After your marketing efforts, go back to WorldCat to find out if your work was successful.
For a listing of public libraries, go to Public Libraries.com. You’ll get physical addresses, phone numbers, and websites (from which you can get the library’s email address).
There’s a debate among authors as to whether old-fashioned mailings or emailed marketing work best for bookstores and libraries. One side says that emails are too easy to ignore or delete. The other side says that mailings are expensive and just as easy to discard. I think either method increases our exposure.
Whatever method you use, be sure to target the acquisitions librarian. Your email or postcard should include a cover photo, ISBN number, title of the book, publisher’s name, your name, release date, short summary, and any good review snippets (many libraries may be familiar only with your Library Journal review.) Some authors suggest that you should also include a link to a discount bookseller because some publishers don’t give libraries discounts.
Ask friends and family in other counties or states to request their library purchase a copy of your book. This can usually be done online in most library systems.
Befriend libraries on Twitter: http://tinyurl.com/74343j lists libraries that tweet. Wonder if it helps? My motto is that it can’t hurt—unless you use Twitter to spam, which is a big no-no. They may not choose to follow you back, but most libraries will.
Have bookmarks of your book printed for your local library or to include with any mailings you make. Libraries can put these bookmarks on their check-out counter for their patrons. This increases exposure for your book among readers.
Unfortunately, libraries are victims of the downturned economy like so many other institutions. But they are still acquiring materials. With a little work on our part, our own novels can sit on their shelves and reach a new audience of readers.
Elizabeth Spann Craig’s mystery, Pretty Is As Pretty Dies, was released this week from Midnight Ink. She blogs at Mystery Writing Is Murder and at InkSpot. Visit www.elizabethspanncraig.com for more information.