do’s and don’ts when marketing to libraries

Libraries, a Neglected market an article by the guy who wrote the ebook How to Market Your Book to Libraries. I can give you a few tips for how not to market your book to libraries, and a few suggestions…. [thanks robert]

  • Don’t pretend you are a patron and send us email telling us how good the book is. We know if you are or are not a patron, and we have Request for Purchase forms you can come in to the library and fill out, or we wil happily email you one. Patrons requests are taken quite seriously, non-patron requests are frequently not.
  • Don’t generically email us your press release and a link to your online store. We have distributors that we purchase the bulk of our books through, and we would prefer to go through them if we can. It takes extra effort to order from smaller presses and publishers, let us know why that effort is worthwhile.
  • Don’t tell us that the book is just right for our patrons if you know nothing about the community we serve. If you have local knowledge, please include it.
  • Do feel free to send us an inquiry as well as some information about the book and — most importantly — reviews that have appeared in print or online; the larger or more local the review the better.
  • Do look at our online catalog and see if we have books similiar to yours that you could compare your book to, or perhaps that your book would improve upon.
  • Do realize that purchasing decisions are not made immediately, and are not made by all staff. Be prepared to take “We’ll see” as an answer, feel free to politely follow up at a later date.
  • Do try to attend local or national library conferences with professional and interesting promotional materials. Librarians get a lot of good ideas at these events, perhaps your book could be one of them.