It’s National Storytelling Week from 29th January – 5th February and, of course, one of the best places to find a huge range of children’s books is a Library.
As anyone who has looked at my Twitter feed or spoken to me in person knows, I am a massive fan of libraries. In addition to providing an essential service for the local community in providing a haven for reading and signposting other services, they are hugely supportive of writers. Let’s be honest, if they didn’t love books they’d go out of business! Librarians are passionate, knowledgable and endlessly patient in sourcing the answer to any book related enquiry you may have.
There is something quite special about perusing the bookshelves in the peace and quiet and finding an absolute treasure to read. But it’s not just a place to borrow a book – they host author events, are the home to reading groups and stage amazing activities for bigger and smaller readers.
In fact, before lockdown, I was taking my grandson to my local library in Poole as a Saturday morning treat (we also had to go to Cafe Nero for a smoothie & muffin!) where he was literally like a child in a sweet shop, marvelling at all the treats he could potentially take home.
For the self published writer, the local library is a fantastic introduction to book promotion. I have organised and also attended many author talks in libraries – when Bournemouth in 50 Buildings was published in 2020, my co-author Paul Rabbitts and I were the headline act for the first ever online event organised by Bournemouth Library. It was just the most incredible event, really well attended with lots of interesting questions from the audience and the technology behaved itself! I’ve also acted as interviewer for author talks – the library also marketed the event and provided refreshments free of charge. What a service!
If you’re a self published author, the library may buy your book to put on their shelves or you may want to donate a copy. But one essential thing to remember is…
objectively YOU GET PAID EVERY TIME SOMEONE BORROWS THE BOOK!
When you sign up for Public Lending Rights (PLR), you earn 9.55p (that was the rate for 2019/20). This is then totalled up, you receive a statement in November and the money gets paid into your account in January. It does need to be treated as taxable income on your tax return – but, hey, it’s a very easy way to earn some extra cash and get noticed! You can even check which library stocks your books and where they have been loaned out.
Find out more here: https://www.bl.uk/plr/plr-payments#
The wonderful Joanne Penn provides writers with valuable support and advice on her blog, The Creative Penn, and has written about how to get your book into the library here: https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2022/01/27/how-to-get-your-self-published-book-into-libraries/