How to get your book into libraries
7 December 2017
To anyone who has written a book: Congratulations! As someone who agonised over every word in this short blog post, I salute those with the inspiration and the commitment to write an entire book.
But now what?
How do you get people to find and read your masterpiece?
What sells a book sells a book, same in traditional or self-publishing. You gotta shake your tail feathers
- Joni Rodgers (author)
- Set up a beautiful website and sell your book online
- Send copies out to be reviewed
- Host a fabulous launch party
- Encourage all of your friends and family to buy a copy (or three!)
- Contact local bookstores and see if they will take your book on consignment, and maybe host a book signing event. Staff recommendations are always popular, so if they like your book, you’re set!
- Make industry contacts through author and publisher groups
- Get involved in local writers groups, workshops and festivals
- Do your research. As every book and every author are different, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to promoting your book. I’ve compiled a short resource list at the end of this blog post to get you started.
…and don’t forget the libraries!
A 2015 Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) research paper estimated that libraries spend over $400 million each year on print and ebook resources. Despite the straitened budgetary conditions that many Australian libraries face, collection development continues. So why not prod it to continue in the direction of your book?
Every reader his or her book. Every book its reader.
- S.R. Ranganathan (librarian)
One of the key duties of every librarian is to promote reading. If you can successfully demonstrate to a librarian how your book could reach a certain demographic of readers, they may become a champion for your book.
Your book can live longer in a library, as books that are too old for bookshops to stock may remain accessible for current and future library readers.
At the National Library of Australia, we do not 'weed' our collection. This means that we preserve your book as close to forever as possible, so your book, your ideas, and thereby an imprint of your soul may become immortal.
A library book, I imagine, is a happy book
- Cornelia Funke (author)
Here are my top tips to get your book into Australian libraries:
Prepublication Data Service
The National Library of Australia provides a free Prepublication Data Service.
If you’re an Australian publisher or self-publishing author with an upcoming book, fill out our online form with your book’s details. Using this information, we will automatically generate a mini-catalogue record. We share this catalogue record with over 1,000 libraries and library suppliers via Libraries Australia and Trove, the national discovery service, which may lead to more pre-orders for your book.
Contact library suppliers directly
You can also contact some library suppliers individually to let them know when your book is coming out.
Australian publishers and self-published authors are required to send a copy of their works to the National Library and relevant State Library for legal deposit. Legal deposit ensures that a comprehensive collection of published material relating to Australia and its people is preserved for the community and future generations.
But legal deposit also benefits you.
When the legal deposit copy of your book is processed, it receives a full catalogue record, which we upload to Libraries Australia and Trove. Libraries and library suppliers can see that your book has been published, and the general public can see where to borrow or buy it, as Trove ranks highly in Google searches.
Contact your local library
Libraries are our friends
- Neil Gaiman (author)
Local libraries are usually keen to support home-grown authors, and they can provide help both before and after publication.
- Make an appointment with your friendly local acquisitions librarian
- Would your local library be a suitable venue to host a book launch?
- Would they be happy to purchase a copy (or three) of your book?
- Do they host author talks and author workshops?
- Would they be interested in a free copy of your book to review, and hopefully recommend?
Public Lending Rights (PLR)
Do you know about Public Lending Rights (PLR)?
Public Lending Right (PLR) and Educational Lending Right (ELR) are Australian Government programs that compensate Australian creators and publishers in recognition of income lost through free multiple use of their books in public and educational lending libraries. These programs also support the enrichment of Australian culture by encouraging the growth and development of Australian writing.
Yes, you read that right! If you fit the eligibility criteria, you can receive money from the government for having your book in libraries. Check the Lending Rights website to find out if you qualify for this payment.
The Australian writer’s marketplace. http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/24336562
How to market your book : the business beyond your book!, by Rachael Bermingham (2017). http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/226577403
How to write your book : a step-by-step guide on how to write your very own book, by Rachael Bermingham (2017). http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/226577393
Write to launch : a step-by-step guide to self-publishing, by Kylie Dunn (2016). http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/206671575
Your book publishing options : how to make and market ebooks and print books, by Euan Mitchell (2014). http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/186334537
Australian Publishers Association: https://www.publishers.asn.au/
Australian Society of Authors: https://www.asauthors.org/
Self Published Author by Bowker: http://www.selfpublishedauthor.com/home
Small Press Network: http://smallpressnetwork.com.au/