Getting Your Book Into Libraries = Discoverability + Sales

Getting Your Book Into Libraries = Discoverability + Sales

April 6, 2023

A number of authors (self-published and traditionally published) have asked me: “What’s the point of having my book in libraries when a librarian will only buy one copy and multiple people will read it free?”.

They’re implying they’d prefer to sell copies of their books to people individually, rather than “losing book sales” due to multiple people being able to borrow the book freely from libraries.

But there are many reasons why having your book available in libraries is so important and as an example, just this week I was contacted by a reader, accredited editor Dr Rhonda Daniels, who had read my latest book at her library, and then decided to purchase her own copy, plus the workbook. She even took the time to write a book review here.

My tip: if you write a good enough book, a non-fiction book that people either find truly useful – or for fiction, a book in which the world and characters you create are so impactful and memorable – then library readers may very well convert to book buyers anyway.

Here are some other reasons why it’s important to get your book into libraries:

  • Discoverability: Not everyone goes to bookstores.
  • Promotion: When your book first enters the library system it’s likely the library will add it to the ‘New Releases’ section which many library goers check. It might be the first time they’re hearing about your book.
  • Visibility: Your book will appear on a real world shelf and be seen by library customers.
  • Searchability: Your book can be searched in online library systems so interested readers can locate a copy in their library network.
  • Prestige: You have to admit, it’s pretty cool to be an author with a book in a library! Having your book deemed library-worthy by a librarian is a legit author win no matter if you’re traditionally published,  and even more so if you’re self-published!
  • PLR/ELR/DLR payments from Australian Lending Rights. Yes…Australian authors are compensated for books that are available for library loans! (There’s plenty more about this in Look-It’s Your Book and the workbook, as well as detailed info about how to find library distributors and market your book to libraries.

So yes, it IS worth getting your book into libraries…the hard part is writing a book that’s worthy of it!

UPDATE TO THIS BLOG POST: There is now a 30 minute online course on Bold Authors, complete with all the links, downloads and tips you need to give your book the best chance of getting onto library shelves in Australia. Whether you’re a traditionally-published or indie author, building library demand is really important and this course will show you how