You might believe that traditional publishing will give you access to bookstores and libraries. The problem is few publishers offer a sales team. As far as indie authors are concerned, they are left to approach libraries on their own.
In order to figure the details out, I meet with Tamar Kreke (Adult and Technical Services Coordinator) and Kay Webster (Youth Services Coordinator) from Greene County Library. First of all, I would like to say that Tamar has the most amazing collection of glass vases. They fill her office. And I am grateful to Kay for stopping by. They both graciously took the time to answer my questions and send me links. Librarians rock!
Tamar receives about 25 pitches per years, but Kay, who is in charge of children books, rarely gets any attention.They are happy to receive postcards with pitches from indie authors.
There is one thing to keep in mind. In order to approach librarians, you need to understand what they do.
Librarians’ job is to find the best book available to attract more patrons to the library because the more patrons visit the libraries, the more budget they get. You might not see them as such, but libraries are businesses.
No acquisition manager welcomes authors walking in because they feel on the spot.
Also, authors have just a few seconds to pitch their book. Librarians are very busy people.
Do the librarians want to hear how much your book is entertaining? No.
They want to know if your book serves the demand in their branch. They want reviews and third party recommendations to check if people are buying it.
They want to be able to check the book and order with ease. They want to know if your book is available at regular wholesalers like Ingram, Baker & Taylor or Bertram and a hard cover is a plus.
If you can throw in a marketing campaign, your approach might be even more effective. It could be an article in the newspapers or a local radio where you mention your book is available in the local libraries.
You do not need to pitch each library individually though. Reach for the main library’s administrative office, the acquisition staff, or the collection development staff. A postcard with your book, email, a link to Amazon, and tons of reviews are the only things you need for a first contact. The last thing they want is an author dropping off his book or mailing it to them.
Derek Doepkerd. <http://ebookbestsellersecrets.com/blog-articles/> Amy Collins. <http://realfastlibrarymarketing.com/> Marketing to Libraries. <http://www.ala.org/tools/libfactsheets/alalibraryfactsheet05>
9 Profitable Reasons to Sell (or Rent) Your Book to Libraries. <https://publicityhound.com/blog/9-reasons-to-sell-to-libraries> “Six Strong Benefits of Supporting Your Local Author Community in Your Library.” <http://self-e.libraryjournal.com/>