I don’t know about you, but I was a kid whose favourite place in the world was the library. Books! Books everywhere!
I still love the library and still go there (in person or online) multiple times a month. Libraries are where voracious readers live, and it’s a great – and often overlooked – place to promote your books, increase your visibility, find new fans, and make more sales.
Here are some ways to do that:
Libraries love local authors! They can show off people doing awesome things in their community, and you as the writer have the opportunity to meet readers and sell books. Approach your library about doing a reading with a book signing/sale afterwards.
Love Your Librarian
Make friends with your librarian. Librarians are generally good people, in my experience, and they are excellent people to have in your corner. If a patron comes in looking for a recommendation for a book similar to yours, your librarian friend will have you in mind and create a new fan.
Be an Influencer
Provide value to other aspiring writers and readers in your community by presenting on what it’s like to be an indie author, how you balance your writing with other parts of your life, the steps you took to getting your book published, etc. If there are a few authors in town in your same niche, organize a panel about writing, publishing, and working in your genre. Here’s an example of a collaboration between indie authors and a library system.
Hit the Clubs
The book clubs, that is. If the library runs a book club, you can suggest that your book should be their next selection – the library will buy multiple copies of your book to support the book club, and you can be present at the book club meeting to lead discussion and explain more about how you wrote the book.
Make sure your library has your book in circulation. Most libraries have a “Request an Item” option on their website where you just fill in the book info and then the library will consider buying it. If you already have a relationship with the library, then you can approach them directly and coordinate getting your book out there.
Asking your fans on social media to request your book at their libraries is also a smart way to expand your audience. The more people who have access to your book, the more potential fans you’ll garner who will be ready to buy the next time you have a book out (or who will buy the book they just read because they loved it so much)!
Don’t Forget About Ebooks
You can get copies of your ebook (or audiobook) into libraries’ digital collections! This is especially good news if you’re an indie author and if your book is only in digital format. If you use Smashwords or Draft2Digital to distribute your ebook, you have the option to send it to Overdrive, the biggest distributor of digital media to libraries, as well as online bookstores and other library platforms. The library can then choose to add it to its digital collection. People love the ease and convenience of borrowing ebooks without having to leave their house; ebook borrowing is up 14% from 2016. Don’t miss out on this part of the market!
Love your local library; they’ll love you back!