Too many authors think way too small.
They think of their book as the end product. Many can’t see all the possibilities down the road for spinoff business.
So can Daniel Hall and Amy Collins. They were the guest experts during a webinar I hosted yesterday called “Sell (and Rent) Your Books To Libraries: Cashing In On The Secret Library Passive Income Opportunity.” You can watch the replay until midnight Monday night and take a look at Real Fast Library Marketing that’s outlined on the same page. It’s an in-depth training program they’re selling. (Full disclosure: I’m an affiliate, and I earn a commission if you buy.)
I’ve heard authors complain that they aren’t interested in selling to libraries because it cuts into their sales figures. Why let someone read your book for free, they reason, when you can sell it to them instead? As I mentioned, they think way too small. If you’re willing to be patient and forego an immediate return on your investment, you can end up selling many more books, other products and services.
During yesterday’s two-hour call, which included several dozen questions and answers at the end, we discussed many benefits to authors if they sell their books to libraries. Here are nine of them.
1. If your book does well at one library, there’s a good chance that other libraries within the same library system will be interested in it.
If, for example, you successfully pitch the acquisitions staff at one library in a major city like Chicago, that system has 79 other locations. And if your book is popular with patrons, word will spread to the other libraries.
2. Librarians can recommend your book to their colleagues at other libraries throughout the country.
They attend local, regional and national conferences. They network with other libraries and librarians. Librarians who know your book is popular among their patrons can be one of your best advocates.
That’s why Amy recommends doing whatever you can to make the librarian’s job easy. Before you pitch libraries, approach the wholesalers like Baker & Taylor, Proquest, Unique, Quality, Brodart and Ingram Library to have your book listed properly in their offerings. Offer your book at a 50 to 55 percent discount to wholesalers, 90 days to pay and fully returnable. The better your terms, the better of chances of selling more.
3. If your book is available in one or more library systems, use this on your marketing materials.
Who better than librarians to know a good book? Letting potential buyers know that your book is available in libraries is a valuable third-party endorsement. And it boosts your credibility as an author.
4. Millions of readers, including many who visit libraries, are chatting up their favorite books on book review and book recommendation sites.
Those sites include Goodreads, the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Its 50 million members have added 1.5 billion books to the site. Of those, more than 50 million have been reviewed.
Book reviews are important if you want to succeed on sites like Amazon. But you don’t have to get reviews only from people who buy your books. You can get them from readers who find your book at their local library. If they like it, I’m betting that some of those borrowers will buy your book as a gift for friends or relatives.
5. Libraries welcome authors who want to do book signings and author events.
When author Marjorie Turner Hollman wanted to do presentations in her community about the best places to view the fall color in central Massachusetts, she gave local libraries a short paragraph of information about her slide show presentation and let them know she wrote the books “Easy Walks in Massachusetts” and “More Walks in Massachusetts.”
She was smart to tie her presentation into autumn and offer to talk about the best hiking trails mentioned in her books. the result? Five speaking engagements in the month of September.
Author events can include things like cooking demonstrations, craft workshops and yoga classes.
6. Libraries are marketing machines. An author event can result in publicity galore for you, most of it done by them.
You’ll show up in their newsletter, at their website, on their Facebook page, and on flyers around town. Many libraries also submit calendar notices to the local weekly and daily newspapers and to the local TV station’s public access channel.
Of course, they’ll welcome any help you can offer.
7. Your book can lead to paid speaking engagements and events.
The more people who read your book, the more people can recommend that their industry associations hire you to speak, especially if they’ve heard you speak at their library or around town.
The speaking circuit is one of the best places to sell books from the back of the room because you can usually sell them at the cover price.
But not just books. If you have spin-off products like T-shirts, desk calendars, coffee mugs and other items related to the topic of your book, you can sell those too. SuperFans are the cadre of followers who can’t stand to be without anything your offer.
8. Your book can lead to clients and consulting assignments.
Amy Collins’ new book, The Write Way, published this year, already has brought in more business for her company, New Shelves.
9. From print book to audio book to ebook.
Libraries aren’t only interested in print books. You can “rent” your ebook for up to 8 times the price that you’d “sell” your book for on Amazon. Real Fast Library Marketing includes an easy 20-minute activity that allows you to become recognized as an approved library ebook vendor.
Selling to libraries isn’t easy. It takes time, patience, resilience when you hear the word “no,” and knowing who to contact. But the payoff is well worth it.
J.V. Crum III, author of “Conscious Millionaire,” used Real Fast Library Marketing. He contacted 25 libraries, followed Amy’s instructions, and was able to get all 25 libraries to order his book.
Many authors ask me, “How long after my book is published do I have to market it?”
My answer: “Only for as long as you want to sell it.”
Check out Real Fast Library Marketing now before you forget because the offer disappears in just a few days. I hope to see your book at my local library.