Get Your Self-Published Book Into Libraries – 6 Must-Know Tips

Have you wished you could have your book in the library system? How thrilling would it be to have someone borrow your book from your local library?

For a long while this was only possible for traditionally published books. But that’s no longer the case.

I read a great article at Jane Friedman’s site about getting your self-published book into libraries. (1)

As I mentioned, at one point, this wasn’t the slightest of possibilities. Libraries were prejudice against self-published books.

It didn’t matter if your book was exceptionally written and had a slam-dunk storyline. You could not get it into the library system.

But times are changing and self-published authors have come a LONG WAY.

Since most of my clients self-publish, I thought this would be helpful information.

Six Tips on Getting into Libraries

  1. You’ve got to do your research.

This step is key. You need to

You can do an online search for your local public library and see if they’re accepting self-published books.

For my book, I went to my library and asked to speak with the librarian in charge of the children’s section. I explained that I wanted to get it into the library.

Just keep in mind that library space is limited so don’t be disappointed if your book doesn’t get picked up.

  1. The sell sheet.

According to an article over at Hubspot, the sell sheet “is a one-page document that concisely details how your product solves a specific problem.” (2)

In regard to your book, that information would include the basics:

  • The book’s cover
  • The title
  • The publisher and its website
  • The ISBNs
  • The formats the book is available in
  • The price
  • A brief description of the book
  • Your author website
  • Your social media channels
  • Target market
  • Where it can be ordered

This should all be on one-page as mentioned. And it needs to be neatly formatted and appealing.

  1. If it all won’t fit on one page.

There’s a lot of information listed in number two above, so to have all the other information you’ll want to share with the librarian, create a page on your website with all the extra information, like your:

  • Awards
  • Review links
  • Social media links
  • Review links
  • Interior images if it’s a children’s book
  • Author events you’ve participated in
  • Anything else you think might be pertinent

4. Make it easy for people to get your book.

  • Be sure your book is available through major distributors like Baker & Taylor. This may be the difference between your book being accepted by the library of not.
  1. Offer to do an event for the library.

I did this with my library. I offered to do workshops, author readings, and even book signings.

This shows the library that you are actively promoting your book. And, it’s great exposure for you and your book.

Keep in mind that you will need to promote your event because you wouldn’t want poor attendance. It wouldn’t reflect well on your or your book.

  1. Always be professional.

Just as you would be with an agent or publisher, you need to be courteous and professional at all times with the librarians you’re dealing with.

Along with this, try to find out and use the individual’s name you’re dealing with. Address them personally – it helps create a connection.



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Being a writer, like being any kind of artist who creates something from nothing, is an amazing ability. It’s almost like magic. And, you are in control. You decide what to create. The only limit you have is the cap on your imagination.

Check out my 200+ page ebook (or paperback) that gives you all the basics of HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK. It’s newly revised and includes information on finding a publisher or agent and marketing your books.


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