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TIP TUESDAY #174 S.J. LOMAS ON IMPRESSING LIBRARIANS WITH YOUR BOOK AND DREAM GIRL GIVEAWAY

Tip Tuesday features writers' tips on craft, research, querying, blogging, marketing, inspiration, and more. If you'd like to send in a tip, please e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.

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:

For Christine, dreams have never meant much. Until she meets Gabriel. Everyone thinks Christine should stay away from her new coworker at the library—thanks to his bad reputation—but when her dreams grow more vivid and she becomes entangled in a dangerous dream world with Gabriel every night, she can’t stay away. Soon it’s clear there is far more to dreams than Christine ever imagined, and now she’s on the path to making the biggest, and strangest, decision of her life.

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.

41 comments:

  1. Congrats on the book!

    I love librarians. I've gotten to know some of the librarians at my libraries quite well. The children's librarian is amazing! She will save books for us that she knows the kids will love, she remembers their names, their book preferences, and always has suggestions.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by S.P. I have a soft spot in my heart for children's librarians, and it sounds like you have an extra special one! What a wonderful example for your children.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your librarian's view, Sarah / S.J.!

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  3. Congrats on the book! I appreciated hearing your librarian's view on authors and books. I'm so thankful that my local library has my two books in their local author section. I may not be in the "big" county system, but that's ok - I didn't have that special write up or recommendation so I understood, and I donated my books because I didn't expect them to buy them from me.

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    1. Thank you, Tyrean. Congratulations on your books too! You were smart to donate your books to your local library and I'm glad they have a local author section to showcase you in. Sounds like you have a great library.

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  4. Great advise. I had my first experience pitching my husband's book to the library and it was a bit nerve wracking. Great tips, especially on always being professional and polite. I wish that went without saying:)

    Congrats on your book!

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    1. Thanks, Robin! What a great support you are to your husband to pitch his book to the library! I hope the librarians didn't make it too scary for you! :)

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    1. Thank you, Cherie. Glad the tips seem valuable to you. :)

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  6. Really helpful tips. Thanks so much. I'll have to bookmark this :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Lynda! I'm so glad you find it useful.

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  7. Great tips!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

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  9. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Email: hamedovicselma@hotmail.com

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  10. S.J. gave such great tips, and they're perfect for me because the trying to get noticed and begging-for-reviews is just the point I'm at now. Thanks very much!

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    1. I'm glad this is timely for you! Best of luck getting the word out about your book. How exciting!

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  11. Thanks SJ for the great advice. I haven't thought about the library aspect of things. I just wait for my local library to order the books I want to read which thinking about how they were selected.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Stina. You can also help your library speed up the ordering process by suggesting that they order certain titles. More often than not, if a patron asks us to buy something for the collection, we do. (Reasons we don't are if it's not available from vendors we do business with, there's a severe quality issue, or it's so specific that we don't feel it would be of value to the community at large.)

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  12. I have always mentioned my books to my childrens' librarian and she is excited to see them. My librarian has even put new books aside for me because she knows I love to read. Thank you for the advice and the giveaway. I will post to Facebook to help get the word out!

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    1. Thank you, Danielle! Sounds like you have a fantastic children's librarian at your library. That's always great to hear. :)

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  13. Thanks for the article. I'm saving it to my Favorites. I have my two books in my local library but want to get it into more locations.

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    1. Glad it was valuable to you. Best of luck getting your work out there!

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  14. Always good to have some guidelines for making our books available to readers. Thanks.

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    1. Hope you find it helpful. Best of luck with spreading the word about your books!

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  15. Oh boy I need to do this. *bites nails* lol
    I appreciate all these tips SJ. I wonder if simply mailing in a copy with a request would be sufficient? Of course, nothing beats person to person contact. :)

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    1. Hi Pk,
      I'm glad you brought this up. Yes, mailing a copy is sufficient, but that's where it helps to be clear. I've had authors mail a copy of a book, only to come in a few days later and ask for the book back if we aren't going to add it or tell us how much to pay. Just today, I got a book at work that was mailed from a university press. It clearly stated that the book was free and that they hoped we'd add it to our collection. No mystery about it, and I was happy to add the book.

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  16. Solid advice. Always be polite and professional. Those same things can be applied to bookstores, too.

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  17. I agree that it's important not to burn bridges with someone just because you get a "no" from them. You might get a "no" today because of budget constraints, but a "yes" next year when things get better.

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    1. Excellent point, Cynthia. Thanks for stopping by.

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  18. Interesting and informative. I hadn't thought that a author could approach a library to do this. So there you go. Learn something new everyday :D

    mich

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  19. Loved your tips, SJ. They make sense. I might even have the nerve to approach my local library now.

    Hi Natalie! (((hugs)))

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  20. Great tips, S.J. Thanks for the post. Natalie, please let someone else win. My TBR pile...well, it's huge.

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  21. We have a fabulous local library. Very helpful too.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  22. It's great meeting librarians, teachers, booksellers, etc., who are also writers because they have the inside scoop on these things.

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  23. Thanks S.J for this great advice. Libraries go a long way in getting a book noticed.

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  24. ooh a dream lover, count me in
    GFC Tia
    videoclimber(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  25. I love the cover! Thanks for the giveaway!
    I follow your blog with bloglovin' as Layla Garcia
    my email is: anexihs(at)ovi(dot)com

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