Libraries-Discover Why They Are Vital Business Partners for Indie Authors
The book publishing industry has grown exponentially in the last decade, reaching an astounding $40 billion in revenue. According to a study conducted by a group of scientists from the University of Virginia and published under the name of “Under the radar”, indie authors alone generate over $14.2 billion in sales. All other famous New York Time best-selling authors generate the rest of $25.8 billion in sales just last year. However, two decades ago, top authors used to generate 90% of the revenues in this industry. This only proves one thing – indie authors and publishers are growing exponentially in numbers and will soon overtake New York Times publishers.
Only in the US, last year there were 60 large publishers, 3,400 medium-sized publishers and over 86,000 self-publishers (or indie authors). Statistics also show that Australia, UK and Canada are slowly catching up. For instance, last year alone Brits bought over 340 million books and that number is rising fast. For more interesting statistics about the book publishing industry, click on this link: http://www.parapublishing.com/sites/para/resources/statistics.cfm.
The Trend has Shifted in the Favor of Online Reading
We all remember the pleasure of going to the library and reading our favorite books in those large halls. For many of us, that used to be one of the best experiences of our childhood. However, things have radically changed today. Since the Internet took over our lives, we all started to read books online or on our eBook readers. Moreover, because of the tension existing between publishers and libraries and because of the high price of buying a hardcover book, people have begun reading books from the comfort of their homes, and they’ve chosen to use a digital device to do that.
Indie authors have been struggling to get their books into the library system in the past. However, as more and more libraries are becoming aware of the huge importance of integrating their needs with the needs of the consumers, they have begun creating programs that enable indie authors to promote their books right in a library.
Because the drop-out rate from many high-schools across the country has remained high, local and nationwide programs that help students to complete their education and start reading more books are more than welcomed. However, in order to do that, public libraries need to partner up with indie authors and large publishing houses.
Indie Authors Need Public Libraries
As a writer, you definitely know how many obstacles you have to overcome in order to sell your books. Aside from the writing part, the editing, rewriting and publishing aspects, you need to face the marketing headaches to promote your novel and let your audience know that it exists. To top it all, you need to fight the constant stigma of being unpublished by big houses.
However, the good news is that you can now partner up with librarians from all over the country who are willing to discuss eBook acquisition with indie authors. They have realized that by helping indie authors, they are actually helping themselves. So far, libraries already experienced tremendous success by partnering up with schools and universities from all around the country. They can now leverage the benefits of partnering with publishers and indie authors.
How to Partner up with Libraries
As an indie author, you can either choose to go the standard way and promote your book online, or you can leverage this unique opportunity and partner up with libraries. Librarians are now using various marketing techniques to help you sell your books and are willing to go the extra mile to help themselves enjoy a steady flow of readers eager to spend time in their halls.
Here are some of the methods libraries use to help indie authors sell their books.
– Setting up booths: libraries have begun setting up booths at large conferences and trade shows, where they promote new books from indie authors. For a small fee, libraries are willing to promote your book to the wide public and make yourself known to avid readers. Truth be told, people who go to these trade shows and conferences are definitely avid readers looking for something new to read. With the right marketing techniques, you can sell yourself here and get quite a lot of fans.
– Self-E Program: this is a fairly new program specially designed to help authors connect with libraries all across the country. This has easily become a win-win situation, as authors get to promote their books for free, while the libraries get to attract more readers and are able to promote the benefits of reading to the new generation.
This program was created to address an ongoing challenge between modern libraries – providing access to self-publishing and eBooks by local and national authors. This platform connects libraries from all across the country with authors and readers. Here you can find more interesting facts about this platform: http://self-e.libraryjournal.com/.
So far, the feedback for this platform and other similar platforms has been really good. Many indie authors have managed to promote their books and make themselves known in the local market. Additionally, many avid readers have been able to discover amazing books written by not-so-famous others and satiate their thirst for fantasy, mystery, science fiction and romance. Many more authors are becoming aware of this opportunity and are beginning to look at libraries at opportunities to extend their reach in new areas.
Of course, if you want to have success with this resource and with any other tool that involves libraries, you need to do your part. That means that your book is produced professionally, is well edited, has a compelling cover art and is able to spike interest among consumers. You can easily set yourself as an authority in your niche if you have something unique to offer and you pack it the right way. Partnering up with libraries is definitely one of the best ways to promote your book and establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
The issue of discoverability is quite common among authors nowadays. Almost every conversation regarding indie authors revolve around discoverability. If an indie author is successful, he has definitely found a way to become discoverable. The opposite is also true – the lack of discoverability leads to failure.
As an indie author, you should look at libraries as a major opportunity to make yourself discoverable. Part of the job of librarians is to ensure they meet their patrons’ needs. For instance, what works at a small rural library might not work at a large library in a big city. What is extremely popular in a local community might not be read at all in a metro library. When contacting libraries to help you promote your eBook, you need to be aware of your need to be discovered. That’s why you need to know exactly what kinds of books are read in each type of library.
As an indie author, you can make yourself discoverable in libraries by using the best tool of the moment – the Self-E Library Journal contest. In addition to being free to join, you get the chance to win up to $1,000. Even though the monetary prizes are modest, a single honorable mention or a win helps you get a major amount of discoverability.
According to superstar indie author Hugh Howey, the Self-E contest could be an amazingly powerful tool for emerging authors. This contest involves publishing your book on the Self-E site in one of the following genres: science fiction, romance, fantasy or mystery. There are four winners, each of them getting $1,000 in cash and a full Library Journal review, both published online and in print version. Additionally, the winner gets a special recognition at the Midwinter Meeting in Boston of the American Library Association, together with the presence in the ad featuring the winners of this competition that will go online in December.
As you can notice, it is worth entering this contest, because these are all extremely valuable prizes. However, that’s not all. Partnering up with libraries means many more opportunities to come and many more occasions to get noticed. There are many other platforms that can help you promote your eBook for free. But we’ll let you find them.
As a conclusion, we need to remind you once again that you are not alone in your fight to promote your new book. Large publishing houses have allied with libraries from all across the country in order to help indie publishers get where they want the most – in front of their readers. Once they get noticed, readers are the ones who will decide which author has to rise and which has to fall.
You want to create a top-notch book with an attractive cover and then become part of this growing movement. You need to be ready to partner up with libraries from all across the nation and get your unique book in front of millions of avid readers eager to read a new story and emerge themselves into a whole new universe. Libraries are vital partners for indie publishers, so do not hesitate to work hand in hand with this powerful ally to achieve your purposes.