While individual libraries or library systems are responsible for their own media purchases and collections, this resource guide provides basic information on marketing to libraries - including an overview of the library market, information on getting your title reviewed, and basic resources on self-publishing.
Please note: There is no agency that chooses and distributes books and other library resources to all libraries - including the American Library Association. Companies and products listed in this resource guide are named for informational purposes only. ALA does not endorse specific products or companies. Contact companies directly for further information.
Prices and procedures for renting an ALA mailing list.
Libraries purchase books for adults, young adults, children, and special readers (emerging literates, large print, braille). They also purchase newspapers and magazines, reference sources, scholarly journals, electronic resources (individual and aggregated online databases, computer software, ebooks and ebook readers), audiovisual materials (DVDs and online streaming video, audiobooks and music recordings in various formats including streaming and digital downloads), and microforms (microfilm and microfiche).
Individual libraries are responsible for their own book purchases and collections. There is no agency that chooses and distributes books and other library resources to all libraries--and that includes the American Library Association.
Libraries select materials in accordance with their collection development policy, a statement that defines what will be added to the collection to support local interests and needs. The basics for reaching the market are:
Seek to have your publication reviewed
Consider working with a distributor
Exhibit at library conferences where librarians can review your publication
Advertise in library publications
Do your own direct mail
Collaborate with other authors through an Authors for Libraries membership
Each of these avenues is further explained on the supplementary pages.
The current publishing environment has experienced a drastic change in the way content is created, delivered, and acquired, particularly for libraries. With the increasing importance of digital publishing, more than half the titles published in the United States are self-published. With this growth in self-published materials, librarians, publishers, and vendors have been forced to rethink channels of production, distribution, and access as it applies to the new content. Self-Publishing and Collection Development: Opportunities and Challenges for Libraries addresses multiple aspects of how public and academic libraries can deal with the increase in self-published titles.
Based on the all-day program, 'Marketing to Libraries for the Millennium, ' sponsored by the AAP/ALCTS Joint Committee, leading figures identify and respond to the challenges of maintaining a foot in both print and electronic worlds. Discussion topics include buying consortia; mergers and acquisitions; discussion lists versus traditional review media; on-demand print services; advances in approval plans, blanket orders, and leasing plans; the development of collaborative services; and the omnipresent importance of price. Also included are the questionnaire and results of the 1999 'Third Industry-Wide Survey of Library Marketing Practices and Trends.