Thursday, August 15, 2013

How Librarians Can Help Writers with Marketing and Platform

When you hear the term “Librarian”, what comes to mind? A stogy, bun-wearing matronly lady? I heaving buxom of a beauty hidden behind bad clothes and pointy glasses? (There may be a few guys who read this blog.)

Think again. A Librarian wields some serious literary power. Sure, publishing houses can pay big money to get prime placement in a brick and mortar book stores and writers can pay for ads on Facebook. But book placement in a library is entirely up to those who work there. A little time can mean the difference between getting lost in the stacks and getting “pimped” out.

So what can you do to earn some love from the librarians of the world? And what can you get out of it? Here’s one idea: if you are a debut author, or even a midlist author with a second or third novel coming out, do free Skype visits. We’re not talking forever, just 20 or 30 minutes of your time can mean a ton of free publicity. For example, Gina Damico, author of the CROAK trilogy, is going to Skype in to our teen writing club in October. So for the month of September, we will be promoting her books with professionally designed posters and flyers and press releases, etc. All the teens in the club will be encouraged to read her novels prior to the meeting. And having met her before, I’m pretty sure Gina is going to capture more than a few fans. So if an opportunity arises, don’t be afraid to say yes. And all it’s costing her is 20 minutes of free advice to her target demographic.

Another idea: If you have postcards or bookmarks, sign a few and send them to teen/children’s librarians. We’re always looking for inexpensive (read free) give always to entice teens to attend programs. Plus, if I were to receive a package from an author, I would make sure to move their book to the top of my TBR pile. And, if I love the book, you can bet I would have it on display. And, if word of mouth means anything, Librarians book lovers with a podium. Two of my favorite historical fiction novels are Scarlett by A.C. Gaughen, who happens to be another author Skyping in with our teens, and Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. Whenever a teen comes in looking for something different, these are my go to books. Every Librarian has one. Play your cards right and you could be that one!

Remember, writers aren’t the only ones who are PASSIONATE about books!

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