Natalie here. Today I’ve got a great tip on how to impress librarians with your book by S.J. Lomas. I’ll admit that this is a burning question for me. S.J. has a debut YA book, DREAM GIRL, releasing this month. Details of the giveaway are at the end of the post.
So here’s S.J.
How to Impress Librarians with your Book
1. Although it goes against the “don’t judge a book by its cover” platitude, your book should have a professional and appealing cover. A good way to figure out if your cover measures up, look at the books in the library. Does your cover resemble the quality and graphic trends of those on the shelves or could you play a game of “one of these things is not like the others”?
2. Librarians often need reviews to fall back on in the event that a book is challenged. Also, with the limited financial resources in the collection budgets these days, librarians can’t justify buying a book that comes with no reputable recommendations. Of course, we can’t all get a write up in Publisher’s Weekly or the New York Times, but if you can get your local paper, or an author blurb from someone with credibility to write a review or blurb, it can help your case.
3. Have a quality product. It’s true, all of us are the next great American novelist, but even they needed a good proofreader and editor. Make sure your work is clean and professional. Poor writing will keep your book off the shelf for sure.
4. Don’t act like your book is a precious gift direct from your golden pen to the librarian. They get a lot of solicitations from local authors. Remember the three Ps: be professional, polite, and pleasant.
5. Do your homework. Publishers expect you to be knowledgeable about the market for your work, use that knowledge when you approach a librarian. Clearly indicate the genre, audience and appeal of your book. Think about why your book would be of interest to the specific community that library serves. Once you have that knowledge, ask for the appropriate librarian for your book. Librarians are in charge of different collections. The librarian who orders cookbooks may be different from the one who orders travel books.
6. Be clear. Are you outright donating your book to the collection, regardless of what the library chooses to do with it? If the library doesn’t decide to add it to the collection, do you expect it returned?
7. Don’t burn any bridges. If the librarian doesn’t add your book, don’t be rude. Librarians work in a highly cooperative industry. You don’t want to make a name for yourself as the local author who’s obnoxiously pushy or mean. They’ll remember that when you come around with your next book. Similarly, they’ll remember if you were polite and professional. And that goes a long way.
S.J. Lomas is a cheerful Michigan girl who likes to write strange and somewhat dark YA fiction. She has also been a librarian for eight years but has worked in libraries for seventeen years. Her debut novel, Dream Girl, is forthcoming from Scribe Publishing this November. Find out more at www.sjlomas.com
Here’s a blurb of DREAM GIRL from Goodreads:
S.J. has generously offered a copy of DREAM GIRL for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment by November 16th. I’ll announce the winner on November 18th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, please leave it in the comments.
If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 or older to enter. International entries are welcome.
Hope to see you next Monday when I have an interview with a 9th grader for my ASK THE EXPERT series and EARTHBOUND and UNTHINKABLE giveaways.