Libraries in general do not purchase books written by indie authors. They have their reasons and like many bureaucratic institutions are slow to change. With all the changes in technology and the decline in reading among younger citizens libraries truly have their hands full.
None of this stops indie authors from wanting to get their books into local libraries.
The sale of a single copy of a novel or non-fiction book is not really the goal for most indie authors. Exposure to readers is.
One of the biggest challenges facing all authors is being discovered by readers. Throw in factors like the author’s genre might be narrow, it is a first book, and the seven million or so new books published every year and you can start to grasp the challenge.
One of the best ways for indie authors to get a foot in the door with libraries is for local patrons who frequent the library to request copies of the author’s work to be added to the collection.
Almost all of the paperback copies of my Inspector Sullivan Series that have been sold have been a result of readers asking their local library to add the book(s) to the library’s collection.
If you enjoy the Inspector Sullivan books, please consider asking your local library to add them to the library’s collection.
In fact, if you have other indie authors you enjoy, do the same for that author. We all need to be discovered!
Have you read a hard boiled detective story set in the countryside? Watched a classic crime noir film set in a rural area?
Crime noir stories are set in a city. Not just any city, a large, crowded, gritty city. It’s inhabitants range from the innocent to the most evil criminals an author can imagine.
Not just any city will do.
Most often the cities used in these stories are Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, London, and sometimes Chicago. Sometimes the city is fictional, often bearing no name.
A well written noir makes the come alive for the reader. So much so the city itself can seem to be one of the characters.
Capital City on Beta Prime is meant to be a character of sorts. It is a cold and inhospitable place, dangerous, dirty, and crowded.
It is also a diverse city. It’s humble beginnings were that of a mining colony using the shipping containers used to bring necessary supplies to the planet. In the better parts of town the architecture is modern and elegant. Suburbs for the middle class have sprouted up. Bad neighborhoods can be found adjacent to middle and working class areas.
Transportation is a mess. Just what you would expect from any large urban city. It ranges from individual hovercars to old fashioned but modern subways. Taxis can be found to take you anywhere.
What makes Capital City unique is the people. Spread throughout the millions who inhabit the futuristic city are characters who make the city what it is.
Joe Maynard for example. The proprietor of Joe’s Place, an Old Earth comfort food joint with great ambiance and music. A place to eat, relax, and do business, legal usually but not always.
There’s the crooked (bent) cop Markeson. A strange duck if you ask me. Markeson’s as bent as they come but he’s a skilled detective who periodically takes great offense to other criminals breaking the law in his city.
Weather makes a city unique. Chicago is the Windy City. It rains in San Francisco and the fog rolls in. Capital City is the frozen city. The fog in Capital City is a bit different though. When it’s a bluish green, evil lurks.
Everything necessary for a thriller can be found in Capital City. Transportation to get away, goods and property to steal or smuggle. Innocent people to be murdered and plenty of not so innocent people to do the killing. Corruption is everywhere and so are people who hate it. Most of all, there are plenty of people who just want to take care of their families and live their lives.
Capital City is also home to many who wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. It is more than just the backdrop for a story. It’s integral to it.
Social media can eat up a lot of time. There aren’t too many people who would disagree with that statement. Many avid readers who enjoy social media find it necessary to choose between reading and engaging with others via social media.
Social media designed for avid readers!
There three easy methods to connect with other readers and favorite authors:
Amazon Author Central
Goodreads is essentially Facebook for readers. Fans who open accounts on Goodreads are serious about reading. There are lot of cool features for the avid reader. Here’s a few:
1) Asking the author questions: Authors have to give their consent to participate in this feature so they tend to answer.
2) Updates on the author and upcoming new work: These come in the form of an e-mail. I know, another e-mail. Having said that, the subject line informs you the e-mail is an update from a favorite author. I open these.
3) Reading groups focused on specific topics or genres: I belong to a couple of these and they’re fun. One of the groups has a monthly group read of a book the group picks. You can participate in the discussion on line. Reading groups are also a way to discover new or obscure authors.
4) Book Giveaways: Goodreads runs book giveaways. You can win Kindle or paperback copies of books directly from the authors. I’ll be honest, some of the paperback copies are likely drop shipped directly from CreateSpace or IngramSpark (POD services). But some authors sign the copy for you and mail it directly to you.
Note: You don’t provide the author any of your information to enter the Giveaway. The author is notified by GoodReads when the Giveaway is over and provided contact information to the winners.
Each Giveaway has some restrictions and there are limits to the number of winners in each Giveaway.
5) Access to reviews: GoodReads users are all avid readers. Most of them at least rate the books they read and many write detailed reviews. I find the reviews and ratings to be more just and accurate than those I find on Amazon.
6) Friends that are readers: Like Facebook, you can have friends. GoodReads will communicate updates to you if desired about what your friends are reading. These are avid readers who love books. Not just reading books but discussing them as well.
If you love an obscure author or genre, here is a way to find like minded readers!
Unlike other forms of social media I actually enjoy the time I spend on GoodReads.
The pitch: Amazon owns GoodReads and it’s slowly becoming a way for authors to connect with and find new readers. The more followers authors have, the larger an audience they can reach.
How to follow an author: It’s easy. First you have to have a Goodreads account.
If you find an author you would like to follow, search for one of the author’s books. In the image above you’ll see the listing for my own The Predator and The Prey. Beneath the title of the book you will find the author’s name listed. Place your cursor on the author’s name and click.
The gentleman depicted above is none other than the famous Ed McBain, author and creator of the 87th Precinct series of novels. Bellow the image you will see a button labeled “Follow Author.” Simply click on the button and you are now following that particular author.
Amazon Author Central is just as easy to join. You can click on the author’s name as it is listed beneath the book title. In addition to announcements and updates about the author’s books and new releases (Amazon wants to sell you books) you can keep track of all of the author’s blog posts without leaving the Amazon website.
In the image above, you’ll notice beneath the small image of the book cover a caption asking you to follow the author of the book. Usually you’ll see a tiny image of the author and a button to click labeled +Follow. Just click on the button and Amazon does the rest. You’re following the author now.
BookBub is one of the most popular places for readers to find books and learn about deals on ebooks. Like Goodreads and Amazon, you’ll need an account.
Once you have opened an account and logged in, following an author is easy. You can use the search feature to look up an author. In the example bellow, I did a search for Rex Stout, the creator of the Nero Wolfe series.
In the top right corner is the familiar Follow button. Click on it and you’re now following the author.
If you don’t know who the author is but love a particular book and want to either learn more about the author of follow the author, do a search for the book.
In the image below you’ll see the page for The League of Frightened Men by Rex Stout. In the lower right corner of the image is the Follow button.
I am working to grow my list of followers on all three of these platforms. If you already have accounts with them, please take a minute and add me to the list of authors you follow.
If you don’t utilize any of the above three, consider creating a Goodreads account. As I said before, it’s social media for avid readers.