Bookstores Aren’t the Only Place to Sell Your Book


The American Library Association (ALA) tells us there are over 120,000 libraries in this country and that they purchase nearly $1.8 billion dollars in books annually making libraries this country’s largest book market.

  1. Seek Reviews in Library Journals – These typically want to see the book 2-3 months BEFORE it’s published so plan ahead
  2. Do a Google search for library trade shows – they provide the attendees the opportunities to see the actual books even though orders aren’t usually written here; create & distribute a sell sheet [with your book’s image, synopsis, testimonial(s) and order or purchase information]. Attach your business card.
  3. Contact the library system’s admin & find out who to direct you media kit to [who is responsible for making orders].
  4. Personally contact the local branch librarian where your book’s plot takes place.
These are just a few suggestions for this lucrative market.

The American Library Directory provides library information, including personnel info, in over 40 categories.

Press Release: Smashwords To Distribute eBooks to Libraries

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6 Responses to Bookstores Aren’t the Only Place to Sell Your Book

  1. Thanks for such a short yet succinct post on thinking broadly on book marketing/promotion. You’d think libraries would be an intuitive choice, yet I think many authors never go beyond pitching a sale of one copy of their book to their local library!

    • laphillips52 says:

      Libraries used to seem like such formidable institutions – or maybe it’s just that we weren’t aware of the ‘secret code’ to get the information necessary LOL

      Thanks Linda!

  2. As an independently published author — multiple award winner — I’m finding the library market hard to crack. One librarian suggested sending postcards to targeted librarians with a photo of the book, info, etc. So, I’m definitely going to try that!

    • laphillips52 says:

      What a great idea! I’ve always liked postcards for marketing – your message is immediately seen even if it ends up in the ‘I’ll look at this later pile’.

      They’re also a low-cost promotional item many authors have printed up with an image of their book’s cover, the ISBN, publisher and author’s names and purchase information. Another of their best features is room to write a personalized ‘call to action’ message on the back.

      Thanks for sharing this tip ;0)

  3. For more information along this line on telling libraries about your book, access ALA Library Fact Sheet 5, Marketing to Libraries @ http://www.ala.org/tools/libfactsheets/alalibraryfactsheet05 which lists strategies for informing the library community about your product or service, especially books and getting reviews in the major library book review periodicals. Includes section named Special Note to Self-Published Authors, Authors with Print-on-Demand Books.

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