An Often Overlooked Book Marketing Resource

Just about every book promotion article I have read suggests that the author launch a public library marketing campaign by sending hundreds of letters to libraries nationwide. The problem with doing this is twofold. First, it is expensive and time consuming, and second, it is not very effective. I recently read a case about an author that mailed out letters to 1,500 libraries to promote his book and the entire campaign resulted in one sale that he could attribute to the mailing campaign. That sure doesn’t sound very cost effective to me.

Public libraries do not typically add titles to their collections based on mail solicitations, they base their purchase selections on a book’s popularity and whether or not patrons are requesting it. Furthermore, despite the urban myth, most do not care if your book has a Library of Congress Catalog Number either, they only care that it is in demand and prefer that it is still in print. Thus, if you want libraries to buy your book it would probably be more effective to launch a random population mail campaign that intrigues the recipients enough that they request your book from their local library.

Well, even though this approach would probably be more effective that directly soliciting the libraries, I am not suggesting you try it. What I would suggest that you do is to encourage your website visitors to ask their local branch library to add your book to their collection. This not only results in more book sales for you, it gives patrons of the library access to your book and in many cases they will buy their own copy if they like what you have to say.