Thursday, 16 May 2013

How To Make An Author Love You

Well, okay, there are probably lots of ways to get an author to love you, but I'm just going to focus on one:


When it comes to small-potato authors like me, libraries aren't likely to pick up our books without a bit of a poke.  As an author, I can always be the... uhmmm... poker?  But the request has much greater impact coming from YOU, the reader. You're a much better poker than I am.

Wait... do libraries stock ebooks?

They sure do!  There are lots of services (Overdrive, for instance) that provide ebooks to library users.  If you visit your local library's website, you'll probably find a place where you can download ebooks.

Say you want to read the Untreed Reads horror anthology Year's End (one of my stories appears in that collection, btw).  You could visit your library's website and search the Digital Media/ eBook database for Year's End: 14 Tales of Holiday Horror.  If the anthology is there and available, perfect!  Check it out!

But what if you search for Year's End and it's not there?  Well, you could always buy a copy from the publisher or any other retailer, but you do have alternatives.

Every library's system is different, but if you peruse the site you should be able to find a category that says "Suggest an Item."  It might be under "Contact Us."  In some cases, you need to enter your library card information before you can make a suggestion, but not always.  Sometimes it's a form, sometimes you might be asked to email a librarian.  In either case, include all the information you know about the book.  Especially pertinent are:
  • Title
  • Author
  • Publisher
  • ISBN

Using Year's End as an example, here's the info I would include:
  • Title: Year's End: 14 Tales of Holiday Horror
  • Author: J. Alan Hartman (editor)
  • Publisher: Untreed Reads
  • ISBN: 9781611874822

You can suggest items of any media--not just ebooks (and not just mine, obviously, though I'd love it if you did!).  If there's a paperback you want to read or a CD you want to listen to, you can suggest those too.  There's no guarantee your library will buy it, but in my dealings with librarians, I've found them to be very kind and helpful.

Smaller authors published by indie presses don't have the same backing or distribution as the big guys.  We rely on YOU, our readers, more than you know.

I want to be in your library, but I might need your help getting there.

If you can spare a minute, request my work, or the books of any other author you love.
All the best,

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