The Best Ways to Get Your Self-Published Book in Your Local Library
So, you’ve written a cool book. You want to get it out in the hands of your genre. If you’re like me, you’re thinking about how you can get it in your local library, right? As all library systems are different, I’m not totally sure, but small-towners may have a much easier time getting their self-published book into their local library than us city folk. I’ve heard of self-published authors walking right into their small town library and just asking. Easy enough. In Utah, there is a huge county library system and lots of red tape to get through in order to get my book on the shelf. Libraries get bombarded with submission requests. Although I don’t claim to have all the answers, this is what I was told from our local county library system:
Reviews from industry sources will improve the ability of selectors to fully evaluate your book. Review sources for independently published materials include:
Apparently not accepting submissions at this time. Fine.
Pay to get reviewed? Kirkus Indie Book Reviews is wanting 350 dollars for a review. Not sure I can afford that!
There submission guidelines are pretty straight forward. It does sound like they probably choose winners of the IPPY Awards (their awards) or from indie submissions. Cool.
How We Choose Books for Review
IndependentPublisher.com publishes original reviews of noteworthy new titles, chosen by our editorial staff from review submissions and entries into our six awards contests. We also feature books in articles and round-ups throughout the year. We review these books to bring increased recognition to the thousands of great — and often overlooked — independently published titles released each year. This is also why we launched our first book awards contest, the Independent Publisher Book Awards, in 1996.
Winning a book award and getting a good review published are two of the best marketing tools available to the independent publisher today. To be considered for a review, send your book to the address below. If your title is chosen, a member of the editorial staff will contact you with a link to the completed review.
Independently published books entered into our awards contests will also be considered for review. See here for more details about each awards program.
There guidelines are also pretty straight forward. If you are submitting ebooks, pre-publication manuscripts, galleys, uncorrected proofs, ARCs, or pdf files, expect to pay 50 bucks. From what I can tell, it’s free to send them a hard copy of your book.
To submit a print book for review, we require the following:
- Two copies of the published book.
- A cover letter.
- A publicity or press release. This (or the cover letter) must include either a physical address or an email address to send the review to.
James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575
Booklife has a couple of options I believe. You first need to create an account. From there, you can send ebooks or hard copies. They have a completely free option for a possible review, and if I’m not mistaken, a paid option for a guaranteed review.
I was only told about these particular industry review sources. I can’t say if a review anywhere else would help or not. Don’t let it discourage you from trying!
Remember, even after getting your book reviewed from one of the above industry reviewers, it won’t guarantee you a spot in the library system. It only gives you an “improved chance.” Make sure your book is available to buy at a book store or somewhere because if you do get a spot in the library, they’ll need to know how they can pick up a copy of your beautiful work.
In the case of children’s books, make sure the copy of your book is going to hold up to the abuse of thousands of tiny hands. Most picture books I check-out are hardbound for this very reason! “Only materials that are sturdily bound, preferably sewn or glued (without spiral or comb bindings) will be considered. Books with pages designed to be filled in or torn out by the reader will not be purchased.”
In closing, I hope this helps you get your book into your local library! You can offer some free readings too! Good luck and keep writing!