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Getting Your Book Into Public Libraries


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Most public librarians will tell you they get their books from Baker & Taylor or Ingram, the book distributors. That is what my librarian

told me.  A publisher has to meet the  criteria to be accepted by these distributors. If you haven't published at least five books, you aren't eligible to even be considered.

 

Here's how I was able to get my book into seven New Jersey public libraries (two libraries took two copies) and one New York City public library--so far. Only two NJ libraries declined the offer, but I have another way of approaching them. I will let you know if it works.

 

I gave a reading for my home library and sold books to audience members as well as donated one to the library. After that, a sponsor took galleys to several NJ libraries. Their evaluation committees read the book and decided to accept a copy for their respective libraries. In this case, the sponsor paid me full price for the books and donated them to the libraries, but I think they would have bought the books outright.

 

Since my home library belongs to a consortium which includes several of the libraries where my book was accepted, I was able to check the catalog to see that the book was taken out quite often.

 

A few months later, a NY public library that neither I nor the sponsor had contacted called to order a copy of the book. This library paid the usual discount (40%) for the book. Although the circulation person did not know how she knew of the book, she said she had been given a printout. My guess is that one of the NJ libraries sent information to this NYC library.

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You're welcome, Damani. Also, there are 18,000 libraries in the United States.

 

Libraries BUY your book (not merely taking on consignment as independent bookstores do) and they don't return them (as bookstores will if they haven't sold in a specified amount of time).

 

All the Best,

 

Wendy

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