Friday, November 25, 2011

9 Reasons Publishers Should Stop Acting Like Libraries Are The Enemy and Start Thanking Them

1. Libraries let people read your books.

I know, I know, you think that if it weren’t for libraries more people would buy your books, I have bad news for you, if it weren’t for libraries people would read less not buy more books. There is no guarantee that the people who read a library copy could, or would, choose to buy your book. Let’s face it no one who is willing spend 4 months on the waiting list for their favorite author is going to buy that hardback copy and probably not the trade paperback or paperback either (have you seen the price of mass market paperbacks lately?). Instead of seeing that library book as money out of your pocket consider it another book sold that wouldn’t have been and more importantly consider it the gateway drug to your author. Millions of people discover their new favorite author through their local library.

2. Libraries introduce people to your books

For children we are a magical place where they can check out 20 or 50 books a week and take them home to read or for parents to read those books. We do story times and other educational and fun programs for children instilling a life long love of reading. This wouldn’t happen anywhere else. Without this introduction to books at an early age you would not have so many adult customers.

As adults its called Readers Advisory. It’s that thing we do when someone comes to us and says they’d like something to read. For the record we do it better than Amazon, because we’re real people who listen and read too, not some formula. Let’s face it you need readers advisory because people ( especially in this economy) aren’t willing to gamble money on a new author.

3. We celebrate books and authors everyday, all year long.

Book clubs, displays and more! We throw these huge parties celebrating your books and your authors at our libraries. We encourage others to read your books, buying multiple copies, and then we sit around talking about them for hours. We create displays to promote your books helping more people discover them. All of this leads to sales.

4. Archives

We keep copies of your older books that the bookstores have sold at discount prices or gotten rid of. We will buy additional copies when the ones we have get old or lost or stolen.

5. Publicity

Yes we’ve already covered readers advisory, book clubs and story times but what about, newsletters, new books, returned books. We also do huge city-wide read-a-longs in our communities, invite authors for readings and signings. With the predicted death of physical bookstores you’re really going to need a place to host those authors signings, especially in the smaller towns.

6. We WANT to buy your books.

In the day and age when you are so worried about piracy, we are offering to pay and we are offering a reasonable method for people to read your books without piracy. We’ve even agreed to your ridiculous anti-piracy methods that make the process cumbersome and frustrating for everyone.

7. We love books too.

Sure not for the same reasons you do, but we want there to be a future for books too.

8. Who else is going to pay those ridiculously high database and journal prices?

Not the general public or the students. The library can barely afford them, you’re raking us over the coals here guys.

9. Library users are your best customers.

Yep, its true. A recent study by Library Journal and Bowker PubTrack Consumer reports

Our data show that over 50% of all library users report purchasing books by an author they were introduced to in the library,” Miller noted. “This debunks the myth that when a library buys a book the publisher loses future sales. Instead, it confirms that the public library does not only incubate and support literacy, as is well understood in our culture, but it is an active partner with the publishing industry in building the book market, not to mention the burgeoning e-book market.

From, Librarian by Day

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