View Full Version : Library questions

08-29-2012, 05:22 PM
Hi all,

Now that I have published a non-fiction book in paperback and on several e-book formats, I am interested in having my book picked carried by libraries - public libraries and university libraries.

Does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to do this? Are there any services out there which alerts public libraries about new books, or is this a case in which I will need to contact librarians?

Any advice and suggestions are much appreciated.

Old Hack
08-31-2012, 09:44 AM
There are a few periodicals for libraries and librarians. The better ones carry book reviews which are very influential in many libraries' decisions about which books to carry; but they require that books are submitted for review several months prior to publication. If your book has already been published, they won't consider it.

You could contact your local libraries and ask if they'd be interested in the book: if you have a good relationship with them (and you do, right? you're not just thinking of them now you've got a book out?) they might even tell you how to persuade other libraries to buy your books.

09-03-2012, 05:56 PM
Many public libraries are short on funds and space for new books, so librarians depend on reviews from services like Library Journal, Booklist, Publisher's Weekly, and Kirkus to decide what to buy. As for e-books, almost all use a distributor called Overdrive, and as far as I know, Overdrive will not carry self-published books as yet (unless they're huge NYT bestsellers)--this may have changed or is changing, I'm not sure. But if Overdrive won't carry your e-book, then you're not getting into a public library.

You can donate a paperback book to your local library if you ask someone with authority to carry you as a local author. Also, many librarires have online reader recommendation forms you can fill out.

09-03-2012, 08:40 PM
There are a few problems with many self-published books wrt to libraries buying them. For one thing, they do not have (and are forbidden to have) Library of Congress CIP data, which libraries use in cataloging and ordering books.

For another, many libraries now have specific archival standards for paper works, which require specific kinds of manufacture in order to last with repeated borrowings.

Old Hack
09-03-2012, 09:49 PM
Have you published through Smashwords? You'll get into libraries through that.

Are you sure?

And are you talking about electronic editions or paperbacks too? The OP specified both formats.

09-04-2012, 12:15 AM
Smashwords just started this program, only for e-books. I've been reading up on all the particulars, but haven't finished researching it yet. What I've gleaned so far is that a library purchases one e-book and then lends it out to their patrons.

Old Hack
09-04-2012, 12:49 AM
Ah--so Smashwords makes it possible for libraries to order e-books. Thank you for the clarification, Merri.

That's a long way away from selling e-books to libraries, though.

09-04-2012, 02:01 AM
You can potentially get into a handful of libraries via Smashwords. If you're in the top-selling books, and if a library participates.

It's nothing like the size of the Overdrive list, for instance.


09-05-2012, 03:33 AM
Self-published books aren't allowed Library of Congress data? That's interesting.

I've heard of people donating self-published books to libraries. Does that mean that even donated wouldn't have a shot?