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Where Can I Promote My Book? > Placing Your Books in Your Local Library System

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message 1: by Theodore (last edited Jul 07, 2017 12:23PM) (new)

Theodore Cohen (TheodoreJeromeCohen) | 1194 comments While attending a community meeting last night I was surprised when a neighbor who volunteers at the local branch of our country library system told me she checked out one of my short-story anthologies to a reader that morning. I didn’t know the country library system even had a copy of the book!

Feeling generous, I drove over to the branch this morning armed with a box of my books, including my Antarctic Murders Trilogy, the Young Adult (YA) novel I wrote under a pen name (The Hypnotist), and copies of all of my illustrated children’s storybooks, including the foreign editions.

Alas, the branch’s resource manager would not accept them, though she spent a lot of time reading the anti-bullying storybook (Pepe Builds a Nest) and talking about the county’s anti-bullying program. (Alas, the children’s reading specialist, who she called over, could not have cared less, took one look, and walked away.)

While not yet in the “no good deed goes unpunished” category, the resource manager did hand me a pro forma “congratulatory” printed statement from the county library system, indicating their interest in county author’s books, an e-mail address to where information on such books can be sent, and the type of information they sought. Here’s what they were looking for:

Reviews: Was your title reviewed in Booklist? The New York Times? Local county newspapers? If so, they wanted to know details.

Media Coverage: Was your book on a “Best Book” list? Were you doing any author events, nationally or locally?

Publisher: Legacy or self-published? They were open to both.

They were specific about NOT wanting to see copies of your books. But they did say that they were happy to support local authors and that if they decided your book was right for their collection, they would gladly purchase a copy.

The bottom line (literally) is this: contact your local library system regarding their procedure for submitting information on your books for their consideration.


Sam (Rescue Dog Mom, Writer, Hugger) (SammyDogs) | 450 comments Thank you for sharing this valuable information, Theodore. I'm sorry you didn't receive a more receptive welcome. Hugs


message 3: by Theodore (new)

Theodore Cohen (TheodoreJeromeCohen) | 1194 comments Sam (Rescue Dog Mom, Writer, Hugger) wrote: "Thank you for sharing this valuable information, Theodore. I'm sorry you didn't receive a more receptive welcome. Hugs"

The resource specialist was very pleasant, engaged, and enthusiastic, The great disappointment was the children's specialist. I understand they have procedures, and I have sent an e-mail. But it's sad when the person responsible for children's books seemed not to care at all. I've read these books in several elementary schools in the country, and the children, teachers, and parents are thrilled. I always leave a set for the class. It's days like today when I begin to question why I do this.


message 4: by Erica (new)

Erica Graham (erica_graham) | 1351 comments Mod
I have had similar experiences. Libraries that have me for author events will typically accept on the spot, but all others have a different list of requirements.


Carole P. Roman | 3823 comments Mod
People like MJ Rose have programs- (they are expensive) that get your books into the hands of librarians. Also, librarians do look at Kirkus and Foreword's magazines. Booklife with Publisher's Weekly is another place to put your book into the hands of people who buy them.

Getting your book into a show where librarians come to see what's new and trending will get you into a library. I use Al Galasso from NABE.
I had brochures made up and I mail them out to libraries, camps and schools in various counties where I live.


Sam (Rescue Dog Mom, Writer, Hugger) (SammyDogs) | 450 comments Theodore, bullying is an essential topic for schools and your books are important. Please remember that.

Do you already have an LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number)? I read somewhere it would help get your book into libraries, but don't know if it's true.


message 7: by Theodore (last edited Jul 07, 2017 01:07PM) (new)

Theodore Cohen (TheodoreJeromeCohen) | 1194 comments Carole wrote: "People like MJ Rose have programs- (they are expensive) that get your books into the hands of librarians. Also, librarians do look at Kirkus and Foreword's magazines. Booklife with Publisher's Week..."

Agreed...there are paths, as you've noted...but they do take a toll on the budget.

I tried putting my YA novel into a show for librarians, but not one query resulted. The group I contracted with just put the book on the shelf in their booth, and that was that (besides the brochure they printed). A total waste of time and money. Unless you can go to a show, it's simply not worth if. I'll try the local route and see what develops. (And I've tried Forward magazine...several years ago. Nada.) The thing is repeated ads. I did try month after month in Reader Views when Irene was running the show, but here again, nothing (despite assertions librarians were reading their publication). Another waste of dead presidents.


message 8: by Theodore (new)

Theodore Cohen (TheodoreJeromeCohen) | 1194 comments Erica wrote: "I have had similar experiences. Libraries that have me for author events will typically accept on the spot, but all others have a different list of requirements."

Interesting...will have to keep an eye of the county's event calendar. Thanks.


Carole P. Roman | 3823 comments Mod
It's hard, but you hit the nail on the head- it's all about repetition. One ad in an expensive magazine will usually not yield much. They have to see your name repeatedly. That's why I look for less expensive venues and put it in multiple times. They are selling to someone. It all ends up being cumulative, Ted.


message 10: by Theodore (new)

Theodore Cohen (TheodoreJeromeCohen) | 1194 comments Carole wrote: "It's hard, but you hit the nail on the head- it's all about repetition. One ad in an expensive magazine will usually not yield much. They have to see your name repeatedly. That's why I look for les..."

Even then, of course, there are no guarantees. I ran add after ad in Irene's publications for librarians...issue after issue, and I never could point to ONE sale as a result of those ads.


Carole P. Roman | 3823 comments Mod
I understand. That's why I use one at a time and wait to see where I have the most results. Honestly, the best bang for the buck in Mommy bloggers. Disney trucks them in by the busload to watch their movies and blog about them.


message 12: by Theodore (last edited Jul 07, 2017 03:05PM) (new)

Theodore Cohen (TheodoreJeromeCohen) | 1194 comments Carole wrote: "I understand. That's why I use one at a time and wait to see where I have the most results. Honestly, the best bang for the buck in Mommy bloggers. Disney trucks them in by the busload to watch the..."

I've tried several...their efforts didn't produce anything except in two cases...and neither resulted in any sales. As well, regarding homeschoolers, I sent e-mails to ten, five weeks ago, received three replies and sent books to those three. So far, I haven't seen any of them post reviews. Frankly, I'm not sanguine. I don't know about your results, but I expect your running less than 5-10% response (not to mention them actually producing a review) . Do you know how successful your efforts have been with bloggers or homeschoolers. I have to tell you, I'm not enthusiastic about either of these groups at this point.


Carole P. Roman | 3823 comments Mod
Check you email. I wrote a buddy of mine.


message 14: by Carole (last edited Jul 07, 2017 03:38PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Carole P. Roman | 3823 comments Mod
I understand. They are hard. I have amazing results though, I have to say. If you google my name and If You Were Me... you'll see hundreds of them pop up- What can I say- I have no life. lol.


message 15: by Theodore (new)

Theodore Cohen (TheodoreJeromeCohen) | 1194 comments Carole wrote: "I understand. They are hard. I have amazing results though, I have to say. If you google my name you'll see hundreds of them pop up- What can I say- I have no life. lol."

I think, sometimes, my wife thinks the same of me. Should join her to watch the news. LOL

Back later.

Ted


message 16: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 208 comments I've been trying to get my books into my local library since I first became an author. Unfortunately they gave me the run around for years until they recently reached out after I contacted the libraries book buyer. They said they'll keep in touch next time they buy books but im not holding my breath.


message 17: by Theodore (last edited Jul 07, 2017 05:26PM) (new)

Theodore Cohen (TheodoreJeromeCohen) | 1194 comments Justin wrote: "I've been trying to get my books into my local library since I first became an author. Unfortunately they gave me the run around for years until they recently reached out after I contacted the libr..."

I know it's rough, believe me...being an independent writer carries little respect among local papers, local bookstores, local libraries, etc., etc. But you can see from what I posted above what the local libraries in my area, at the least, are looking for.

It's an uphill battle, to be sure. I'd love to have an agent and to be working with a legacy publisher, but frankly, it's more for the validation than anything else. And even then, based on some studies I've done, the time between the selling of a book by an agent (never mind the time to find the agent) and the release of a book often is more than a year. I have no patience...ask my ever-suffering wife of 53 years (who's only let me live this long, she tells me, because she not "finished" with me yet). So, waiting a year to see my book in print, and having to work with an editor, would absolutely drive me into an early grave!


Carole P. Roman | 3823 comments Mod
You are so right. My son was picked up by a publisher- they gave him a two book deal- one book is being republished with a new cover- the other is a continuation. They have the book since last year and are first releasing it in October. The next one won't come out til next year. It's very slow business.


message 19: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 3827 comments That kind of thing would be no good for me, I've published 3 novels and 2 shorts in the past 10 months and I can't say I've been pushing myself all that hard. I could work a lot quicker, and did with the first novel.
It seems as though legacy publishing would encourage a degree of laziness.
I know many people take longer than me to produce a book, but even at a moderate pace you could have 2 or 3 books written in the time it takes to get 1 released.
I remember reading that Anne McCaffrey had to have deals with multiple publishing houses to get all of her books out because she wrote somewhere in the region of 100 books in her lifetime, and even she didn't rush herself over the writing.


message 20: by Theodore (new)

Theodore Cohen (TheodoreJeromeCohen) | 1194 comments Carole wrote: "You are so right. My son was picked up by a publisher- they gave him a two book deal- one book is being republished with a new cover- the other is a continuation. They have the book since last year..."

Congrats to your son! That's a nice feather in his cap!


message 21: by Theodore (last edited Jul 08, 2017 05:20AM) (new)

Theodore Cohen (TheodoreJeromeCohen) | 1194 comments Alex wrote: "That kind of thing would be no good for me, I've published 3 novels and 2 shorts in the past 10 months and I can't say I've been pushing myself all that hard. I could work a lot quicker, and did wi..."

I'm with you on that. I've gone from a blank page to a full-up, published, 65,000-word novel in one month. A year? I would go stark raving mad.


Carole P. Roman | 3823 comments Mod
Being indie certainly lets you be in the driver's seat. It's one of the things I like best about it.


message 23: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 3827 comments Carole wrote: "Being indie certainly lets you be in the driver's seat. It's one of the things I like best about it."

Very true. Right now I think the only thing that would encourage me to take a deal with a legacy publisher is a big advance and guarantees on marketing. I can do everything else for myself with a reasonable degree of success.


message 24: by Theodore (last edited Jul 08, 2017 08:00AM) (new)

Theodore Cohen (TheodoreJeromeCohen) | 1194 comments Alex wrote: "Carole wrote: "Being indie certainly lets you be in the driver's seat. It's one of the things I like best about it."

Very true. Right now I think the only thing that would encourage me to take a d..."


As I understand it, legacy publishers are clawing back royalties where profit targets are not achieved. As well, they are placing more and more of the burden regarding marketing on authors, which is why they like those who bring strong platforms to the table. The legacy publishers are getting squeezed, for sure. That will trickle down to the agent sector, as fewer and fewer titles make it to press. I suspect there may be a significant number of mergers there in the next few years.


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