Selling your nonfiction books to libraries can create a significant sales opportunity for all the different formats of your book including hardcover, paperback, ebooks, and audiobooks. Often libraries will purchase several copies of each format at a time.
Library buyers are especially interested in unique topics that aren’t heavily covered or previously covered at all, so if your book focuses on an uncommon topic, your chances of getting acquired are higher than average.
Libraries also scrutinize books and expect to see top-quality production and editing, an index for heavily referenced books, and require an ISBN and barcode. Some also require a Library of Congress Control Number and/or a Catalog in Print record, although these aren’t as essential as they once were since most libraries are acquiring books based on demand and promotion instead of browsing Library of Congress catalogs.
Also essential, make sure your book has reviews on Amazon—as many as possible—since this shows librarians your book is popular. And there is a good chance they are checking on Amazon too. Goodreads is another source of reviews that librarians can check, so ask readers to write reviews there as well.
Most libraries won’t acquire spiral bound books without the title on the spine. They also avoid workbooks. Anything meant to be written in isn’t a good fit for a library.
These are the most common ways to market your books to libraries:
- Advertise in the publications librarians read.
- Get your book reviewed by publications read by librarians.
- Exhibit at library acquisition events.
- Participate in collaborative marketing programs through publisher’s groups or by teaming up with other authors and publishers and place ads in publications.
- Conduct mail campaigns and send sell sheets and/or postcards directly to librarians.
- Get media attention for your book to drive public attention and interest. Librarians are people too and they’re always on the lookout for books that are gaining popularity.
Read on for links and resources to help you accelerate success in getting your book acquired by libraries.
This is an excerpt from a 12-page report Nonfiction Authors created for you!
Thanks for sharing this valuable information.