Thursday, June 07, 2012


I came across an article about a panel at BEA 2012. The article was called "BEA2012: What Librarians Wish Publishers Knew". The article, of course, talked about the institutional publishers, but I think it has information for self-published authors, as well.
 … it became very clear during the talk that, with 9,000 library systems across America, libraries are robust places to discover and share books. Of those 9,000 systems, a good thousand have four or more branches. And according to Rawlinson, when libraries survey their public, libraries translate into books. 
Some libraries even have an online system for checking to see  if they have a certain book you may be looking for … and if they don't, the system will help you find the nearest independent bookseller.

Keep in mind, too, that if patrons like a particular book, the library often will buy more copies to keep in stock. And libraries can often do a lot to promote a book they especially like, such as highlighting it on their website.

And, although not mentioned in this article, most libraries now carry e-books.

I think libraries are essential to the public. Many people can't afford to buy even a low-priced book like mine, but they can check out books and e-books from their library.

As a reader, how many books do you check out of your local library? If you're an author, have you managed to get your book in your local library?

Speaking of reading, a short story anthology, The Corner Café, has just come out. Two of my stories are included in it: Gila Monster and One Last Run. All the authors involved are doing a month-long book tour. Drop by and read today's post over at Magic Dog Press. One thing about this book that I think is fabulous is that all royalties go to charity.


  1. Hi Helen - I agree if you're an author you need to know your way round your industry .. and I definitely need to spend some time in my local library and check out what's there ... I didn't have a local library growing up.

    Congratulations on your two stories in the Anthology .. and the fact all royalties go to Charity ..

    Cheers Hilary

  2. Sad to say I rarely visit our library since I read eBooks.
    Congratulations on the Corner Cafe!

  3. Right on, Helen! Libraries are one of the single best friends of writers. Your post was timely for me since our local library has just released a video interview with me on YouTube that they disseminate to all libraries nation-wide and that has already resulted in significant sales of my books. Our Allen County Library is a decided leader--they have the third-largest genealogical collection in the world, behind the Library of Congress and the Mormon library. And, they continually look for ways they can help authors. Recently, several of us local writers were invited to serve as a panel for their in-service day to let their employees know ways they can help promote our books. They rock!

    If interested in seeing my video, it's at

    Blue skies,

  4. Hilary, I was lucky to have a town library - and a mom who encouraged reading.

    Alex, you might check with your library. A lot of them lend e-books now.

    Congratulations Les. What a great opportunity for you - and for the libraries, since I know they got a great speaker.

  5. Let me see ... oh, I've got one here from the Redford Township Library, date January 12, 1964 ... ooops, please don't tell them!

  6. Free public libraries are very important in our age of knowledge. Then we insure that money is not an obstacle for access to the written word, be it science books or fiction >:)

    Cold As Heaven


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