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Captain Morgan
10-23-2008, 07:09 AM
I remember reading somewhere before (I think on this forum) how you should donate some copies of your books to libraries. While I understand this if you have other books under your name (people will want to see and purchase other stuff you write), I donít see how this works if you have only 1 title under your belt.

For instance, when I order a book on a subject, I first check the library, and for those titles which are not at the local libraries I will then often order them from Amazon. In this case, it seems detrimental for a SINGLE writer stock the shelves. Would your sales not drop, instead of increase?

I also suspect, just because you donate a book to a library doesnít mean it will even get shelved. Papers have to be processed, and the government has to pay a fee to allow public access to the book.

Clair Dickson
10-23-2008, 07:18 AM
Consider this-- a reader who checks your book out of the library may talk about it to other readers. One or more of these other readers may buy your book. (Rinse & repeat-- now you have increased your sales.)

tehuti88
10-23-2008, 05:31 PM
I'm kind of an odd fish. I prefer to own the books I really like, rather than just check them out and return them. I stopped going to the library a long time ago for this reason (and because it's a small town so they don't have most of the books I'm looking for). Even now when I think back on some books I checked out from the library ages ago but didn't buy back then, I kind of wish I owned them. In fact, I did buy one that I once checked out, when I saw a copy on eBay.

Maybe some other people are the same way? Checking out a book in the library doesn't necessarily mean one wouldn't also buy it.

My apologies if I misunderstood the question.

c2ckim
10-23-2008, 05:39 PM
Yes but if you donate a copy of your book to the local library people that don't have computers would see it and maybe ask for anything else by the same author. Then if they really liked your work they would purchase the next book. And or tell their friends about this new author they found at the library. That could mean future sales increase.
You might be surprised the number of people that still use the library

Darzian
10-23-2008, 06:53 PM
Consider this-- a reader who checks your book out of the library may talk about it to other readers. One or more of these other readers may buy your book. (Rinse & repeat-- now you have increased your sales.)

Ditto.

I'd never heard of this, but it's an exciting possibility. Perhaps I'll bribe the librarian to place it in such a way that it's attention grabbing? :D

Susan Breen
10-23-2008, 06:53 PM
I think donating your book to your library creates good feelings, which is always a good thing. But as a practical point, my most successful sales events have been at libraries. You'd think it would be the opposite--that people who go to bookstores would be most inclined to buy books. But in my experience, and I've been to a lot of events this year, it's the libraries that get the big book buyers.

Deccydiva
10-23-2008, 06:56 PM
Choice Publishing gave copies of my book to the national libraries of Britain and Ireland, and to all the University libraries. I have SOLD copies into my local library, and to Dublin City libraries - which accounts for the greater population of Ireland. So - when I get someone from Dublin hovering at a book signing, I can tell them they can borrow it from their local library so they don't feel pressured into buying before looking at it first. Also, Dublin City libraries have a great website and readers can post their own reviews on books they have borrowed. Oo-er, that could dent my ego big time! :D
Sales for me come from the most unlikely sources and I believe that having it on loan from libraries can only be a good thing. As people have said, you can get sales from it by other members of the family, friends of the person who borrowed it who passes it around.

Darzian
10-23-2008, 07:00 PM
And if your book becomes a bestseller, the copy you donated will become something like a bible, and someone will likely steal it.

Bubastes
10-23-2008, 07:08 PM
Consider this-- a reader who checks your book out of the library may talk about it to other readers. One or more of these other readers may buy your book. (Rinse & repeat-- now you have increased your sales.)

Exactly. I recently borrowed a book, loved it, and told a friend about it. That friend bought the book this week.

Captain Morgan
10-23-2008, 08:59 PM
And if your book becomes a bestseller, the copy you donated will become something like a bible, and someone will likely steal it.

LOL, the one I'm working on now is a non-fiction, so I don't think it has that much a chance of becoming a best seller. Best seller in its OWN category maybe...

I'm not sure how many copies most LEGIT publishers mail you, but I guess now I will for sure do a few donations after all.

But back to another issue, don't libraries have a STOCKING budget anyhow? The most expensive part is not ordering the books, but paying those stocking / registration fees. They can only do a limited number each year.

willietheshakes
10-23-2008, 09:30 PM
While this might not be a factor for you, Canada's Public Lending Right pays authors a stipend based on the representation of their titles in libraries across the country...

IceCreamEmpress
10-23-2008, 09:37 PM
Libraries generally don't accept donations of individual books by authors. By publishers, maybe. It costs libraries money to catalogue books, and to keep them on their shelves, so they are selective in their choices. That said, there's nothing to be lost by writing to the library and saying "I'd love to donate a copy of my book XYZ; would you be interested?" Just be ready for them to say, "Thanks but no thanks."

seun
10-23-2008, 10:04 PM
Libraries generally don't accept donations of individual books by authors. By publishers, maybe. It costs libraries money to catalogue books, and to keep them on their shelves, so they are selective in their choices. That said, there's nothing to be lost by writing to the library and saying "I'd love to donate a copy of my book XYZ; would you be interested?" Just be ready for them to say, "Thanks but no thanks."

I don't how it works outside the UK, but here we're happy to take donations from authors. It doesn't cost us anything to catalogue or shelve them. And as councils only have a finite amount of budget, any donation is potentially welcome - although it really pisses me off when mad old ladies think we want their tatty Mills & Boon paperbacks.

Captain Morgan
10-23-2008, 10:34 PM
Well, I remember the university library had to pay extremely hefty fees for anything to be shelved. Though, a big reason for this is because the government insisted they had to pay advances due to the copyright infringement that would happen when students would use the photocopy machines for... surprise... copying pages from the stocked shelves.

I also know, over here video stores that rent videos have to pay much more than the cover price of a VHS/DVD to be allowed to place it on the shelves. They also have to do paper work/registration.

IceCreamEmpress
10-23-2008, 10:43 PM
I don't how it works outside the UK, but here we're happy to take donations from authors. It doesn't cost us anything to catalogue or shelve them.

I should have been clearer that my comment applied only to the US. Here in the US, public libraries are strapped for salaries and shelf space, so the reason not to have a "we welcome donations" policy is to avoid spending person-hours and shelf space on books that might not meet the core needs of the patrons.

It takes at least an hour to get a book catalogued and on the shelf in a public library here. So if every "free" book costs an hour of staff time, that starts to add up. And, similarly, it takes staff time to go through the shelves and free up space for new additions, it costs money to store excess books in the depository, etc.

Twizzle
10-23-2008, 11:01 PM
Check w/your library. Ours (in a largish northeast town in the US, which I worked at for some yrs) actively solicits donations. And not just books, but DVD's, etc. Whatever they can't use, they sell at their used bookstore. Any money they make goes back into the book budget. It actually saved us time and money. They also make a point to support local authors-holding book readings, signings, displays devoted to them solely. So, it depends.

ishtar'sgate
10-23-2008, 11:58 PM
I also suspect, just because you donate a book to a library doesnít mean it will even get shelved. Papers have to be processed, and the government has to pay a fee to allow public access to the book.
Really?
I live in Canada and the libraries here stock their shelves with books they buy from publishers' catalogs just like any other bookstore. They may get a deal on them, I don't know. All I did was give a heads-up to libraries in my province to watch for my novel when they received the catalog. Later I checked my local library and they have a couple of copies which I'm pleased to say are quite tattered and taped so they must be getting read.
I've donated to conventions, contests, online booksellers and reviewers etc. Donating books is a good way to get your name and the name of your title out there. Your publisher will give you freebies so if you use those the expense is minimal.

ishtar'sgate
10-24-2008, 12:00 AM
While this might not be a factor for you, Canada's Public Lending Right pays authors a stipend based on the representation of their titles in libraries across the country...
Yes. Nice isn't it.:)

Bubastes
10-24-2008, 12:01 AM
Check w/your library. Ours (in a largish northeast town in the US, which I worked at for some yrs) actively solicits donations. And not just books, but DVD's, etc. Whatever they can't use, they sell at their used bookstore. Any money they make goes back into the book budget. It actually saved us time and money. They also make a point to support local authors-holding book readings, signings, displays devoted to them solely. So, it depends.

My local library (in a mid-sized Midwestern town) also actively solicits donations for the same reasons.

jclarkdawe
10-24-2008, 02:11 PM
Depending on the size of your town and library (this applies to the US), they can love authors in their town donating books to them. My wife (who's a librarian) does a display every couple of years of the town's authors. Good publicity for your book and good show of community support for the library. And a lot of smaller libraries do this.

Further, once you're in a library, your book is available for interlibrary loan. Plus once one library catalogs you, it's easier for other libraries to do so.

And you can offer another deal to a library that does book discussions. Offer your book for the discussion (you'll need multiple copies), with a real, life (well, as life as most authors get) author to tell the process and why you made the choices you did in writing your book.

As with any advertising, you never know what's going to work, but presenting your book to your local library as written by a local writer isn't going to cost you much, and you don't know how it going to work. You might hook the reader who has ten siblings who all had ten siblings and they all tell ten of their friends. If they all buy your book, just by themselves they'll make you look good to the publisher.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

CheshireCat
10-24-2008, 10:36 PM
Just to add to what others have said, it would pay to check with your local/county libraries and find out what their policy is.

In my area, libraries welcome donations (especially of hardcovers), and love having multiple copies of books by local authors.

I didn't realize this until I got an email from someone local complaining that she'd been on the waiting list for my latest for nearly two months. When I contacted the library, I was told that they were constrained by budget from buying more than a couple of copies, and they were thrilled when I offered to donate a few more.

I would much rather a reader check out one of mine from a library than to buy it used. I discovered many good authors in my library when I couldn't afford to buy books (especially hardcovers), and I've never forgotten the joy of that.

Over the years, I've heard from countless readers who discovered my work in their library and then went on to begin buying copies because they wanted to keep them.

brainstorm77
11-01-2008, 03:36 AM
In Canada I have donated boxes of books to a local library and they took them all very happily.