05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A December for Discovery

Hi everyone! I am YA author B A Binns , writer of contemporary and realistic fiction for teens. My tagline tells you what I am about - Stories of Real Boys Growing Into Real Men - and the people who love them. 

Let me begin by giving my personal thanks to people who stopped by my post last month  ( ) and left comments filled with ideas of holiday themed books to read. A number of people gave me ideas that have put books on my to-be-read shelf for this month. This includes:
  • Maggie Lynch reminded me about the many books Windtree Press puts out. 
  • Judith Ashley let me know about her book (Lily) from Windtree Press. 
  • Diana McCollum commented about First Love Cookie Club by one of my former writing teachers, Lori Wilde. 
  • Mindy Hardwick let me know about her new release, Sweetheart Cottage
The last two are both sweet romances, my favorite kind. 

I've always felt that the joy of reading comes when the right reader is connected with the right story at the right time. That includes weary adults like me finding the right holiday fare to lift their spirits, or teens like the ones I write for finding a book that reflects them, their realities, their joys.That's why I write for adolescents and teens who need to have the joy of curling up to a good book. It's why I continue to fight the battle to make my books available to schools and librarians. That's also why I try to get my local library to purchase copies of books I love.

Getting into libraries is always difficult, especially for Independent Authors. While librarians are eager to find books that will resonate with patrons, they want books with quality and appeal, books that won't end up sitting on a shelf instead of being checked out. I know because I deal with librarians all the time. Just two months ago I spoke at the joint Illinois Library Association/Illinois School Library Media Association conference in Peoria, Illinois.  

Indie authors have the ultra-tough job of being discovered. Unlike large publishers who can afford to haunt librarian conferences and inundate librarians with catalogs of their offerings, we Indie Authors fight a lonely battle to be discovered.  It helps to get fans to fans to request that their library buy a specific book because many libraries act on patron requests. They usually assume that if one person asks for it, more will want to read it. If you can get two or three people to ask the odds go up. Even libraries who do not normally buy from Amazon will do so if they want a book and can't find it anywhere else. And many libraries are becoming e-savvy and making agreements with library distributors to allow patrons to borrow books directly from them (which makes at least one reason not to have your book exclusive to Amazon because few libraries use their ebooks)

I know that not every author is interested in having their books in libraries. But it can be a valuable market, something you can go after simply by getting your fans to assist.

Anyway, with my holiday shopping done (Yah!) I'm now going to sit down and relax for the next few weeks with the new books on my to-be-read list. Mostly physical books, I'm still not all that big on eReading yet and still treasure the feel of the paper in my hands.


Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for the shout out, B.A. One of the things I value as a Windtree Press author is that we are a part of Vearsa so we can be in libraries. In fact, a library in Melbourne, Australia bought the fourth book in my series a couple of months ago. Fingers crossed they come back for the others! Your commitment to Diverse Books in schools and libraries is inspiring!

Sarah Raplee said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and tips for getting Indie books in libraries. I will start requesting Indie books I love from my library and I'll ask others to do the same. Happy reading and Happy Holidays, B.A.!

Mindy Hardwick said...

Thanks for including Sweetheart Cottage in your post!I think of getting into libraries as one book at a time, one reader at a time!

B. A. Binns said...

Mindy and others, just remember, there are over a hundred thousand libraries in the US (and plenty in other countries as well. And librarians talk to each other when they find something patrons like)

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Libraries are such a great asset to readers and their communities--I agree authors should support them and help get their books into libraries.