Some authors have success selling their books to libraries in addition to bookstores.
The library must see the value of your book for their local library system and the community. A librarian’s main interest is providing the best books that reflect the community in which the library is located. You may consider approaching your local library(s), but also think of contacting libraries throughout the country, if your book is pertinent to the community, or of national or regional interest.
Features and Benefits for Libraries
When ‘selling’ your book, think in terms of feature / benefit statements. What features does your book offer to the library for their consideration? What benefit will the library derive from that feature?
Example: Let’s say you wrote a book children’s book on life in your city 150 years ago. The librarian needs to meet the needs of the local community, as well as stay within a tight budget. “Sell” it through features and benefits.
- Feature (for the library) An educational book for children set is our city 150 years ago.
- Benefit (for the library) The young reader will learn about local history creating community involvement and educating young readers and parents.
- Feature (for the child) The story of a child about the reader’s age who lived in our city 150 years ago.
- Benefit (for the child) The young reader will learn about local history, places and events.
If you were composing a letter or speaking with the librarian, you would phrase it differently. You might say this instead:
(Title) is an educational book for children set is our city 150 years ago. The young reader will learn about local history, therefore creating community involvement and educating young readers, as well as parents. It is the story of a child about the reader’s age who lived in our city 150 years ago, so the young reader will learn about local history, places and events.
- If you are not used to sales and writing feature – benefit statements, select a feature, and then ask yourself, “So what?” What benefit is this feature to the library (or the young reader)?
- You may also have a photography book about your area, or a famous place or landmark. You can run through the same exercise. Three to five feature – benefit statements is enough to get your best points across.
Take a look at Star Print Brokers features and benefits for more ideas.
Don’t overlook the ISBN
If you are about to embark on the journey of printing or writing a book, you will need an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) to sell to libraries or bookstores. Be prepared and have a marketing plan in place before you send your book to press. You never know where new opportunities will present themselves! You will need an ISBN, a barcode, and copyright your work.
Book Readings and Signings
- Ask to speak at libraries or bookstores; to do a reading or book signing.
- Don’t forget to have posters, bookmark handouts are nice to have, and publicize the days and times your will be there.
- Most importantly, don’t forget to ask for the order! That might mean, “How many copies of (Title) would you like for the library, or libraries? Instead, it might also mean, “When may we schedule a reading of (Title)? I would like to bring copies to sell and have a book signing.”
Star Print Brokers is here to help our clients. We offer advice to authors and publishers utilizing our book printing or book design services. We always represent our clients, not our vendors!