Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Ever wonder how a book ends up on a library’s shelf? Ever wonder how your book could be on lots of libraries’ shelves?
Books & Such Literary Agency, in conjunction with library market expert Judy Gann, announces Library Insider, a website that offers two unique marketing tools to reach libraries:
1) a password protected, searchable database, called Library Locator, of acquisitions librarians in 2,500 public libraries and library systems nationwide; and
2) coaching, which we’re calling Behind the Stacks, on how to take advantage of the database.
Why should authors and publishers market to libraries? Consider these facts:
- Libraries spend more than $1.6 billion on books every year.
- Libraries are not in competition with bookstores. Think of libraries as an additional market for your materials.
- An entire segment of the population that regularly visits the public library never enters a bookstore.
- With independent bookstores closing, libraries are a much underutilized market for publishers and authors.
- Library sales are final: no returns!
- Libraries are not as focused on short-term results: longer shelf-life for materials.
- Libraries buy multiple copies of books and buy books to replace frequently checked out books.
- Library use skyrockets during tough economic times, with more people borrowing books from the public library rather than purchasing them.
- A 2010 Harris Poll showed that 65% of Americans used their library in the past year either in person, by telephone, or by computer.
- A 2008 CNN/U.S. News poll found that Americans make 3.6 billion visits to the library per year; 80% borrow books from the library on a regular basis.
That’s why we’re launching Library Insider–to provide information that facilitates placing your books in libraries.
The idea formed a few years ago when a client of ours, Judy Gann, who also is a longtime librarian and library market expert, began to collect the data necessary to contact every librarian who acquires books for the major public libraries and library systems around the country. My nerve ends tingled when Judy explained to me that the database she was creating was one-of-a-kind–no other list is as comprehensive as Judy’s. I realized that our agency and Judy could offer to authors and publishers a unique way to sell books to libraries. Thus began Library Insider.
Each day this week I’ll explain some aspect of what Library Insider has to offer you–and I want to hear your feedback.
The Grand Prize
To celebrate Library Insider’s launch, we’re offering prizes throughout the week, starting tomorrow. So check back to see what you could win. Our grand prize will be awarded on Friday, but I’m telling you about it today because you need to submit a short essay to win.
You probably have a favorite memory of a library. Maybe you met your spouse there; or you studied for your Master’s degree mostly in a library; or a librarian introduced your child to a book that became a favorite. Write an essay (or a short story or a poem or ????) telling us of some significant way a library touched your life.
Submit your creative effort to this address: [email protected] Use the subject line: “How a Library Touched My Life.” We’ll need your entries by Thursday at 8 A.M. CST to give us time to pour over them and decide who wins.
The prize? 50% off a three-month subscription to Library Insider. A subscription gives you unlimited use of the database.
To get a clearer grasp of what Library Insider has to offer, check out the website here. (Pulse Point Design designed the site, which I can only describe as a thing a beauty, easy to navigate and user-friendly beyond what I could have imagined.) Let us know what you think after you’ve taken a gander.
And check back tomorrow to see what bookish prize we’re offering and to find out more about Library Insider.