American Libraries love to have books from local authors, so if you walk into your local libraries and ask them this question-ideally before you publish your book-they’ll probably tell you what you need to do. But because each American library is responsible for buying their own books, getting your book into a local library does not guarantee that you will get into any other libraries. Fortunately, the American Library Association (ALA) offers tips for getting your title into public libraries.
As explained by the ALA, each library has a collection development policy that must be met before they library is authorized to spend money on a book.
A couple common requirements that are included in a collection development policy are:
-the book must be reviewed by “an established book review periodical,” and
-the library should be able to buy the book through one of the distributors they use most often.
The first three companies listed as popular library distributors and wholesalers are:
– Baker & Taylor,
-Ingram Book Services, and
There are others who distribute and sell to libraries, but since these three are mentioned by name, they are probably the most popular. So when you choose your traditional publishing company, self-publishing assistance company or POD distributor, you will want to consider whether they partner with any of these distributors who sell to libraries. and ask about how your book will be or can be marketed to the libraries.
I recommend reading the original ALA Q&A post to learn more about how to effectively market your book to libraries or even how to donate your book to libraries.