When I was shouldering my way into Geek Fest, April, one of my colleagues, encouraged me to donate a few copies of my book to the library, so that attendees could check them out. Which is something I always intended to do, but never got around to, because of my shyness. Another way I just “had to do it,” as Alys Arden said, but didn’t.
But with April’s encouragement, I did, and the cataloging department kindly had them ready in time for Geek Fest.
Of course, I earmarked a copy for my own branch that I manage.
That’s it above. One of my staff members put it on display. They were excited to finally see it.
“They could make a movie out of this!” my coworker Belami said.
(I think so too, but find the possibility unlikely.)
And now, all three copies of my book are checked out and there is even a waiting list! I have to tell you, that makes you feel like a real author.
It was lovely to receive this support from my coworkers. It’s encouraging.
That’s the thing about “just having to do it,” — it’s not all nerves and anguish. It can be good too. You get support. There are rewards. (Besides, you know, selling books.) This is what I learned from this.
And the more you do it, the easier it gets.
So, if you are an indie author like me, you might look into donating a few copies of a book to your local library. Particularly the first book in a series, if you have one. It’s another way for people to discover your work. If they like it well enough, they may be moved to buy your subsequent books.
If you work exclusively with e-books, you might look into the SELF-e platform libraries use. Again, it’s a donation, but it’s a way to get noticed.
It’s up to the inclinations of individual libraries and librarians whether they collect indie authors or not. Some libraries are very supportive of their local authors. Some are not. But it can’t hurt to offer.
DON’T, however, try to sneak in a purchase request for your books as if you were just a regular patron. We librarians can always tell, it smacks of desperation, and it just pisses us off. Be above board and donate a few copies if you can. If nothing else, they will go to the library book sale. You will get noticed and help the library earn a couple dollars.