You're a librarian. I'm an author. What next?
December 12, 2023 3:04 AM   Subscribe

When I'm in a library, I'll always check to see if a book I wrote is on the shelves. If it is, I'm happy... but I'm not sure what to do next. At a bookstore, I can sign their stock of my book, but that seems less appropriate for a library. If you're a librarian, would you want an author on your shelves to say hello? And is there anything a passing author can do for you other than that?
posted by yankeefog to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Libraries are routinely looking for programming. If you introduce yourself to the librarian who would manage programming for the age range of your book and provide them with your contact info stating that you are available for a reading or author talk, they might take you up on that. If it is an out of town library that you don’t often frequent, you can check their catalog online in advance and reach out by phone or email a few weeks ahead of time with info on when you will be in town.
posted by donut_princess at 6:40 AM on December 12, 2023 [6 favorites]

Write a note, tuck it in the book, maybe a postit, so it doesn't fall out. Hi, I wrote this book, thanks for reading it.
posted by theora55 at 6:49 AM on December 12, 2023 [12 favorites]

Some public libraries have active social media - you could challenge yourself to take selfies with one of your books in as many libraries as possible. Libraries could reshare the images as FB/Instagram Stories, giving you both a publicity boost. You may wish to call/email ahead so that you don't interrupt a busy moment at the library.
posted by toastedcheese at 8:56 AM on December 12, 2023 [11 favorites]

Some libraries welcome you signing the library copy - just make sure to check first. At my library we've had authors sign our library copies with a message to the reader.
posted by eekernohan at 9:03 AM on December 12, 2023 [1 favorite]

I'm a librarian! We have a specific collection for local authors -- any local author who wants to be included just needs to donate a copy (ONE copy) of their book or books to us, with a form giving us the info we need to add it to our catalog. Non-local authors can certainly send us copies of their books, but we treat those like any other book donation -- the subject selector will look at it and decide if we want to add it or not, and if we don't, it goes into our book sale.

Things NOT to do, please, we beg of you: do not email/call/stop in repeatedly asking us to purchase your book. Please. Asking once is fine. Asking a dozen times, like a non-local author did recently? Not cool. Also, please do not just leave copies of your book in the library, with or without a note. Don't get your friends to spam our Suggested Purchase form asking us to buy the book -- it's very obvious when you do that, and it's obnoxious.
posted by maryellenreads at 10:20 AM on December 12, 2023 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks, everybody! Your advice is super helpful. I'll definitely be acting on those suggestions.
posted by yankeefog at 3:26 AM on December 15, 2023

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