How to Market a Book to the Library

books on a shefl image, how to market a bookI have been discussing how to market a book to the library this week, so I decided to talk about it in my blog.

In one of my previous book marketing posts, I explained the differences between print on demand printers and print on demand publishers and how the author’s choice between these options can affect the book’s perceived quality.

Well selling your book to libraries is a prime example of what I explained in that post. Just as any merchant intends to purchase the products to serve their customers, libraries have to buy books that will serve the largest amount of their customer base, so shelf space is prime real estate. For this reason, libraries are sometimes skeptical of self-published books.

Selling books to libraries means paying attention to all the details including:

  • the paper your book is printed on
  • your quality content
  • does it serve your library’s audience,

Books need to endure being loaned and on the shelves for years, so it is best to inquire about the library’s particular requirements. Each library is different, so it is best to add this question when you contact the libraries on your list. Bookstores and libraries sometimes specialize in particular kinds of books so when considering selling your book to the library or a bookstore research to ensure they carry your genre.

Book Donations

Although your aim is to get the library to purchase your book another way to get in the door is to donate a copy. Giving a copy of your book could lead to a library system purchasing additional copies for other branches. Indie authors are sometimes perceived in one specific way so when you have a finished product in your hand you have differentiated your work from the perception. Another advantage of having a hard copy of your book is that you can participate in your local library’s events. Some local libraries promote and encourage their local authors by hosting contests and workshops to assist authors in living their dreams.


If you are in the book development process or just finished writing your book consider reviews for your book’s back cover. I recommend a book review company that has an upstanding reputation.

Reviews help sell books.

The person that purchases books for the library doesn’t have time to read all books that come to their desk so if you have a back cover review, especially from a high profile industry leader, it helps to get your book noticed.

As you outline your marketing plan to sell your book, consider researching your local libraries requirements for book submission. Libraries collectively purchase over $1 billion dollars of books, digital products, and periodicals annually. It is worth the effort to see how this may be the perfect exposure for your book reach a larger audience.

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