I love libraries, don’t you? But until recently, my books were not available there, in print or ebook. That changed when the first four Friend Grief ebooks were accepted by Library Journal’s SELF-e program for their Illinois and National Select collections. Print, however, was a different story.
Authors want to see their books in public libraries: actual, physical books. But too often, indie authors are shut out. The reasons are, well, reasonable. The sheer number of indie authors is growing every day. The number of librarians is much smaller. They simply don’t have the time to meet and greet every author who walks in to sell their books.
Purchasing requirements vary from library system to library system. When you’re on your own – that is, not traditionally published – it’s nearly impossible to make any headway.
So, how in the world can library patrons find out about the terrific books being written by indie authors? I’m glad you asked!
October 8 marks the first collaboration between Library Journal and almost 300 public libraries in the US and Canada to focus on local independent authors: Indie Author Day.
I got pretty excited about this. I was first asked by Library Journal to answer a few questions about my feelings on Indie Author Day. You can read my answers – along with those from authors Darcy Fray and Kerry J. Charles – here.
There’s one small correction to my answer about what I’m doing for Indie Author Day. I’m actually participating in three different libraries’ activities:
Sunday, October 2 – Villa Park (IL) Public Library – Local Author Showcase
Saturday, October 8 – Evergreen Park (IL) Public Library –Local Author Display
Saturday, October 8 – Chicago (IL) Public Library, Edgebrook branch – Presentation with Nancy Nau Sullivan
How did I wind up with three?
I started with my home library system, Chicago: first to talk about the event in general and then to offer my services as a speaker. I’m thrilled to be at Edgebrook because that’s the branch I use the most (especially since my neighborhood branch burned down).
Then I received an email from the librarian at Evergreen Park. I’d participated in a local author fair there a few months ago, and she asked us to donate a book for their local author display, encouraging patrons to discover the wealth of talent in their own communities.
Finally, I checked the Indie Author Day listing of participating libraries. I saw that Villa Park – like a few others – was holding their event on a different day. I contacted them and got the last spot for their fair.
Three different libraries. Three different activities. That’s the beauty of Indie Author Day: there are as many possibilities for programming as there are libraries.
In addition, there is a digital Q&A that indie authors won’t want to miss. The participants include the amazing former Director of Author and Publisher Relations for Amazon, Jon Fine; Robin Cutler from Ingram Spark; Kiera Parrott from Library Journal and more. It will be held at 2:00pm ET on October 8 and you can learn more about it – including submitting questions by September 23 to be answered – here.
If you’re a reader, find out about your local library’s plans for that day. You’ll meet local authors and learn more about their books and how/why they wrote them.
If you’re an indie author and you’re participating, enjoy it! You’ll be sharing your experiences and writing with a whole new audience.
If your local library is not participating, suggest that they get involved next year. Because there are already signs that next year will be bigger and better – maybe even expanding to the UK!
Whether you’re an indie author, a reader, or a combination of the two, your local library will open up your world: to new writers, new readers and a brave new world in publishing. And October 8 is a good day for that partnership to begin.