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:

Small Press Reviews:

Apparently not accepting submissions at this time. Fine.

Kirkus Indie Book Reviews :

Pay to get reviewed? Kirkus Indie Book Reviews is wanting 350 dollars for a review. Not sure I can afford that!

Independent Publisher:

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.

IP, 1129 Woodmere Ave, Suite B, Traverse City MI 49686

Independently published books entered into our awards contests will also be considered for review. See here for more details about each awards program.

Midwest Review:

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:

  1. Two copies of the published book.
  2. A cover letter.
  3. 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.

Send to:

James A. Cox
Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575

Booklife:

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.

In Closing

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!

-Anders

So you’re like me, huh? Been sending out manuscripts of picture books for some time and you aren’t getting anywhere?  It’s okay. It was only last week when I realized I’ve been doing it wrong this entire time! Say whaaaaat?  No need to fear! Here are some tips that can help you send out a better-looking manuscript.

Keep in mind that poetry and rhyming manuscripts will be formatted slightly different. I’ll break it down into three sections; settings, first page, and continuous pages.

Settings for the document

1″ Margins All Around

Most documents will have this already selected by default, but make sure it’s ticked.

Left-aligned text

What this means is that every time you hit the return on your keyboard, it will start typing on the left side, not the center and definitely not the right.

Jagged lines on the right

This just means you don’t need to have the text fill the entire line.  It will automatically move to the next line when it needs to. The lines of text will appear jagged. You shouldn’t need to do anything, but if you see that your document is spacing out your letters to fill each line, you’ll need to make sure you do left-aligned text.

.5 cm paragraph indents

When you start a paragraph and hit the tab key, it will indent .5cm. Again, it should be selected by default.

Double-space

This gives room for any notes and makes it an easier read.

12 pt. Times New Roman font

Use this font as it is said to be easier on the eyes for someone who reads manuscripts all day. There is no need to use any special font for a manuscript submission. Make it simple, keep it 12pt.

First Page

So the document settings are all set. Let’s dive in.

Create a header. On the left side leave your name, number, email, and website.  Make sure it’s single-spaced, left-aligned. On the other side of the header, leave the word count.  Round up the word count to the nearest 10. Make sure that this header is only for this page.

Go back to the body of the text, and come down from the header a few inches and type and center the title. Don’t make it too large, but feel free to go with 14 or 16 at the most.

Hit enter and put the subtitle here if there is one. Hit enter again and add the author’s name. Select this and make it single-spaced.

Now come down another inch or two and start the story on the same page.

Sequential Pages

Create another header on this page. All pages following the first page will need this same header. The header will contain the author’s “lastname/thebooktitle” on the left side and on the right side of the line, start the page numbers beginning with page ‘2’.  It may do this automatically.

Click out of the header and go to the meat of the page. Continue your story from page one.  When you finish the story, hit return twice and type THE END.

Good luck!

-Anders

 

If you want to download the free .doc template, feel free. I will attach one shortly.

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