Writing for a YA Audience: The Truth about LibrariesPosted: August 21, 2019
“This looks great!” The young woman picked up my book from the table at the craft show. She read the back and took a free bookmark. “I’m going to look for this in the library.”
I let her know which of the local libraries had the book. Smiling, she left for the next table.
Across the aisle, a woman sold beeswax lip balm. She shook her head at me. “That’s a horrible thing for her to say to you. She should have just bought it.”
Was it a horrible thing, though?
I hear from at least one person at every book signing I do that they’ll look for my books in the library. I hear from other authors that it happens to them too. It might sound like a bad thing. The author isn’t getting a sale.
Here’s the truth –borrowing your book from the library isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s a great thing. That person is reading your book. That’s what all authors want: someone to read the book. Someone who borrows a book from the library has a limited time to keep that book in their possession, so they’re actually going to read it in a timely fashion. If you buy a book, it might sit on your shelf unread for years. That person who just read your book is hopefully going to leave a review. Bad or a good, a review always brings attention to the book online.
The reader is going to talk about your book in person too. They’re going to tell all of their reader friends. Those friends will hopefully buy or borrow your book. The buzz about your book is growing.
The more people who take your book out from the library, the longer the library will keep your book in circulation. They will also order your other books, because hey, you’re a popular author.
For everyone who says you don’t get a sale when someone borrows your book, keep in mind that the library did order your book originally. Most libraries will be willing to have you autograph their copy and host a book signing. Libraries are an author’s bosom buddy.
Jordan Elizabeth is a young adult fantasy author who is often at her local library participating in workshops or browsing the titles. You can connect with Jordan via her website, JordanElizabethBooks.com.
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