Are your books in public libraries? … how to get them there!

Libraries generally order from service providers that they deal with for their collection.They find books on a global listing or authors communicate directly; and then they order from library service providers/their supplier. You should offer a discount; however, shipping is generally at the purchaser’s expense.

In Canada, we help our authors to register their books with Library and Archives Canada. They have a Publisher Record that they own and an ISBN for each format of their book. So they are eligible to register and/or update their records via Bowker. (Each country generally has their own ISBN provider.)

Here’s an overview of the main steps that will help you get your books into public libraries …

  1. If you don’t already have one, set up an account at (If you have a CIP then your ISBN is likely already in the records but you will still need an account to update the records. If you are working with us – do NOT request or purchase another ISBN, you already have one.)
  2. Update your Bowker record to include image of front cover and book description.
  3. Get a library book review. For example: here’s a link to one of our authors’ illustrated children’s book’s review for High In The Sky
  4. Create an InfoSheet, for example:Infosheet example for book titled "For No Reason"
  5. Contact library service providers to add your book to their list of offerings.Check out our article on Libraries Are Opportunities Too to get you started.
  6. Make a list of libraries that you want to contact – look at library centers (i.e., each community might have several libraries but a central branch that coordinates collections for libraries within that area).
  7. Find the contact for your specific genre and write to them with a compelling communication as to why they should include your book in their collection, include your book’s InfoSheet so they have specifics and a review so they are assured of quality, let them know book is listed on Bowkers and with library suppliers (if not theirs you will certainly be in contact to add your book).

Some library website also have a “recommend to add to our collection” link. So, you can encourage happy readers to also recommend your book to their local library.

In Canada – make sure you register at PLR so, besides book purchase revenues, you receive lending rights revenues.

Finally – CELEBRATE…post your book’s availability via public libraries (maybe world-wide) on your website… Let people know where your book is being read!

Please comment below if you know of any other library service providers that authors should contact!