View Full Version : Promotion Idea for YA and Some Other Books

06-17-2016, 12:28 AM
I thought of this after reading the thread below, started by cmhbob:


My new book isn't strictly YA but it would work for teens as well as adults (Story Prompts That Work). In this case, I could also see it working for English teachers.

So... for YA books and those that would work for that age group, what about looking up poor schools around the country that are in need of books, and offering them free copies?

If you offered it to individual teachers, you could also request an honest Amazon review in exchange for a print copy.

Otherwise, I'd think getting your books into school libraries or etc. could provide decent returns on its own that would definitely be worth the author's cost of a book or two.

I've felt a bit cheated and annoyed when I've given out free copies and not gotten the promised review in return. But providing books to poor teenagers would make me feel good even if I didn't get more reviews or sales for it. So to me, this one would be a win, regardless.

I am not sure quite how to go about it, though.

So, I thought I'd start this thread for people to post appropriate places to send their books, and perhaps any results as well. I'll try to find some and post them here.

Anyone interested?

Jess Haines
06-17-2016, 03:02 AM
I'm actually very interested in this subject. I have done some research in the past on public libraries but I have no information about how to get into school libraries.

If you want to do some collaboration, I'm happy to throw my resources and connections at this, as well as send a few of my latest (YA fantasy) to any libraries in need. Unfortunately, I'm sure there must be many more libraries out there who need help like this that we're not hearing about.

06-17-2016, 03:19 AM
It's an interesting idea. I gave a printed version of my self-published YAF book away to my kids grade-school teacher. She loved it enough to read it to the entire class, but I got no feedback otherwise. And my kids loved it. But otherwise I only sold a few dozen copies to people my mother promoted it to at work.

Realistically, if I could have gotten it into libraries, I think it could have gone quite well. And I had considered printing a few for local libraries and schools as promotional prints. It's not a bad idea. Local media might have helped too (such as an article in the local paper and such). But I was never that ambitious. I moved on to other projects. Ones that I could submit.

06-17-2016, 08:33 AM
Here's a possible starting point:


My quick search found a few of these articles and the school districts listed varied and were all something of a pain to scroll through, so here's one condensed list (2015). School district sites/contact information was added by me. But please keep in mind that I have no idea what I'm doing. :p

10 Poorest School Districts in the US (according to article linked above):

1) San Perlita Independent School District, TX
http://www.yellowpages.com/san-perlita-tx/mip/san-perlita-school-district-487291547 (district site is down)

2) Cairo Community Unit School District 1, IL

3) New Boston Local School District, OH

4) Monticello Independent School District, KY
(Apparently, it was merged with another school district and no longer exists)

5) Highland Park City Schools, MI
http://www.hipark.org/about-us/ (K-8)

6) Jackson Independent School District, KY

7) Yazoo City Municipal School District, MS

8) Madison Community Unit School District 12, IL

9) Muskegon Heights School District, MI

10) Barbourville Independent School District, KY

06-17-2016, 11:55 AM
From the list below, I tracked down six people and emailed them, offering a free paperback for an Amazon review. In my case, I looked for HS English teachers and school librarians. Of course it's summertime and they might all just ignore me anyway, who knows.

06-17-2016, 08:54 PM
So far, one of them (a HS English teacher) has answered and requested a book.

This is not quite the same as getting my book into their school libraries but my particular book seems more for English teachers to use with their students (although I did contact some school librarians, too).

To get your book into the school libraries, I'd guess the poor districts are more likely to welcome it, with the wealthier districts perhaps not wanting to bother with individuals. And then there's the helping out the kids who need it factor, too. It wouldn't hurt to try to track down the school librarians and offer them a book or two (perhaps in exchange for an Amazon review).

If anyone tries anything, please report the results here!

12-31-2016, 07:27 AM
This is actually a really good idea. Getting in with librarians and people who could potentially set up school visits is always smart.