Librarians and Authors
Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on March 12, 2014
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We continue with my recap of panels and workshops at SleuthFest. These are my interpretations and notes, and any misstatement is my error. Photos are viewable from my Facebook Page. Like my page, then click on Photos, Albums, and SleuthFest 2014.
Note: We will be appearing at the Lake County BookFest this week. Go here for the schedule and more information: http://www.mylakelibrary.org/festival_of_reading/default.aspx
Who do we contact at a library if authors want to set up an event? Contact the program coordinator or director of library systems. Make your desire known as an author that you want to participate.
What works well for the librarians? Connecting writers with readers. Librarians can find out what circulates where, and then match authors to those audiences. They can make sure to have a visiting author’s book in circulation. For new acquisitions, they’ll read reviews and research Baker and Taylor and Booklist.
The Lake County library system has a local authors’ day twice a year for their local and self-published authors. This may include multiple authors plus one special guest.
In schools, look for the curriculum research or media specialist. It’s tough to get in the school libraries. Or check the school volunteer programs and offer to speak.
If you want to sign at the American Library Association event, a requirement is that your publisher donates one hundred copies of your book. You can have bookmarks with your backlist titles.
What draws people in? Writing workshops. Libraries can target groups, not only aspiring writers but also historians, for example, and invite Downton Abbey fans for tea. Targeting niche audiences works well this way. The Red Hat Ladies is another group they’ve approached for an author event.
What types of promotion work for the library? Having a website, putting a magnet on their courier van, newsletters, listserves among librarians. E-books are bought from Overdrive. Problems they encounter may be publishers who limit circulation or publishers who won’t license e-books to the library.
Audio books have grown. People check them out for trips, including truck drivers. Vision-impaired patrons like them. They are downloadable through Overdrive. Large print books are a good business, too.
What do the librarians require from an author? A website, media page, short and long biography, high resolution photo with permission from the photographer, and a bibliography of their books. Authors should show up on time for programs and have a contact number to call.
If you’re an author, how do you approach a library to do an event? Has this been successful for you?