Promote Your Book at Libraries

by Nancy Humphreys on October 20, 2011

Leverage your library to help sell your book. There are many ways you can get the word out about your book. Librarians can help you do this.

Librarians promote books that they purchase so their readers will find a book each reader wants to read.

Keep in mind that you can strategically partner with a local librarian to promote your book in their library through an author appearance and/or providing promotional materials about your book to use for display. Many libraries periodically put up displays and are looking for new ideas.

Research and develop your book

When starting your book, check your library for materials on book marketing and business planning. Utilize business, publishing, and tax planning information at the library when creating and selling your book.

See what else is being published on your topic. If you find a competitor, notice if their book is in the library, or if it is checked out. How many copies of that book did the library buy? What does the library catalog tell you about that book? Note where your book might be shelved in a library.

Make sure you have a unique title for your book. Ask a reference librarian about databases where you can look for books in print or soon to be forthcoming in print. Find out if anyone else has already used your title.

Get your book mentioned in journals librarians read

Special Librarians read Information Outlook:The Magazine of the Special Libraries Association. Search this magazine and you may find a librarian who is interested in and writing about your topic.

Reference Area Librarians read and write articles for Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSQ) [formerly titled RQ].

Online Searchers and Internet Specialists at the library read Searcher: The Magazine for Database Professionals published by Information Today, Inc.

Librarians read the general news magazine, Information Today, along with other magazines relevant to libraries also published by Information Today, Inc. (ITI).

You can find these magazines at larger libraries. Ask for them if you can’t find them. They might be on a librarian’s desk!

Promote your book at the library

  • When you’re done with your book, use a room at your local library for a book publishing party.
  • Offer to give a book talk at your local library or at nearby school libraries. Ask if you can sell your book afterwards.
  • See if you can display your book at a nearby library that bought it. Get visual at the library.
  • See if you can use an area of the library for your brief “book trailer” video for promoting your book on You Tube!

These suggestions are excerpted from my new book, Marketing Your Book to Libraries: An Insider’s Guide for Authors, available at In it you’ll find out much more about librarians and the tools they use to select books to purchase. Even if you are just beginning to write your book, get started on marketing it today!

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Marketing Your Book to Libraries Marketing Your Books to Libraries: An Insider's Guide for Authors by former librarian Nancy K. Humphreys includes: 
  • How to tell what kind of library to target
  • Types of librarians and books they order
  • Strategies to get past the "gatekeepers" who influence librarians
  • Right ways to approach librarians most likely to order your book

Learn more »

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lila L. Pinord October 20, 2011 at 10:40 pm

This is a great site – I didn’t know it existed!
It pays to snoop around the Internet, doesn’t it!!

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