I spent the weekend at the American Library Association Midwinter conference in Denver, Colorado. I attended the conference as a retired (and current volunteer) library worker. And because, as a writer, I consider librarians a major part of my audience. (I feel the same about RTG readers, so please read all the way to the end for a surprise. Pretty please with sugar on it, as I used to say when I was young.)
|Beautiful Downtown Denver|
Librarians and vendors.
The exhibit hall was filled with companies that make every type of library tool. And all kinds of publishers. Not just the big five. There were dozens of small presses. And, a surprising number of Indie publishing houses.
|Images from four different Indie booths|
There was also booth from Indie consortiums, authors who could not afford an independent presence at the conference, but joined together to purchase a booth and get their work in front of the thousands of attendees.
There is no cost for a review. But, since they get thousands of requests, only a small percentage of the authors who want a review actually get included in Foreword Reviews. There are costs associated with post publication reviews, as well as for being included in the books displayed at booths or for advertising in their magazines.
I want to say again that I am not endorsing any of these groups or efforts. I was simply impressed by the shear number of Indie authors and small presses. Impressed by the fact that they were not only in small, less expensive booths in the back, but also in the larger, decorated booths manned with specialists ready to engage with librarians. I am happy to see the way some authors join consortiums to give themselves a chance to be noticed by librarians.
Only the future will tell how much success individual authors will have breaking into the library market. That includes public libraries, college and reference libraries, and school libraries. That represents thousands of potential sales. I spoke with one woman who was looking at possibilities for her areas "One community, One book" program, and she intends to purchase 3,000 copies of the selected book. Libraries can be a great market for Indies to break into.
And now, your surprise. I would love to hear any of your comments, about libraries, Indies...or about my new book - http://www.babinns.com/books/courage/ . I have some Advance Reader Copies of Courage, my Middle Grade debut coming out at the end of July. I have reserved two for readers of this post. On Feb 28 I will select two commenters to receive copies. Check back at the end of the month to see if you are a winner of a hard copy ARC that will be mailed to you.
While I want to hear comments from everyone, please note that only commenters from the continental US will be included in the raffle.