As a self-published author, getting your books into libraries and bookstores is crucial to success. It's a great way to increase your visibility, build your brand, and gain new readers. However, knowing where to start and what steps to take can be challenging. This blog post will discuss how and when to get your self-published books into libraries and bookstores.
Compile a List of Target Libraries and Bookstores
The first step in getting your books into libraries and bookstores is identifying your target locations. Compile a list of libraries and bookstores in your area or the areas you want to sell your books. Research the types of books they stock, their purchasing policies, and other relevant information. This research will help you identify which libraries and bookstores will most likely carry your books.
Create a Sell Sheet
A sell sheet is a one-page marketing tool summarizing your book, including the cover, title, author, summary, and other details. This tool is essential when approaching bookstores and libraries. It showcases the unique features of your book and will decide whether it attracts attention. Make sure it's visually appealing and highlights the strengths of your book.
Contact the Libraries and Bookstores
Now that you have your list and sell sheet, it's time to contact the libraries and bookstores. Identify the appropriate personnel, such as the librarian or the bookstore manager, and contact them. Introduce yourself and your book, and explain why your book is unique and would be a great fit for their library or store. Be respectful and professional, and don't forget to follow up.
Attend Book Fairs and Events
Book fairs and events are great opportunities to showcase your book, meet potential readers, and network with libraries and bookstores. Attend book fairs and events in your area and have your books available for sale. Put up posters and have flyers ready to hand out. Take time to chat with attendees and distribute your business card. This way, potential readers will remember your book, and you'll increase the chances of getting it into libraries and bookstores.
Consider Working with Distributors
Working with distributors is a great option to sell books in bulk and reach a wider audience. Distributors act as middlemen between authors and bookstores and handle the distribution process, including orders and shipping. Although they take a commission, distributors can make reaching a broader audience easier and get your books into libraries nationwide.
Getting your self-published books into libraries and bookstores is not easy but worthwhile. Following these steps increase your visibility and gains new readers. Remember to be professional, patient, and persistent. Attend book fairs and events, create a sell sheet, and work with a distributor if possible. It won't happen overnight, but with hard work and dedication, you can get your books into libraries and bookstores. Good luck!
By Linda Herron
Children's Book Series