Marketing to Libraries, Schools, and Daycare Facilities

by Gary D Hardy
(Adel, Georgia)

The cover of my first book (PJ, The Water Breathing Dragon)

The cover of my first book (PJ, The Water Breathing Dragon)

The cover of my first book (PJ, The Water Breathing Dragon)
This should be the front cover of my second book (Petey, The Flipper Toed Dragon)
The back cover of my second book.
A photo from one of my larger story times

Underestimated Appeal

I write poetry and an occasional short story here and there, but I also write stories for children as well.

Like many others, I thought that a children's book would be the best way to go for my first publication, but for a different reason than most would think.

There is a better market for children's books in the sense of marketing options than there are for other types of books. For example: libraries, schools, and daycare facilities are excellent areas to read, sell and create a buzz about your children's book.

As for marketing and distribution? Well, that is ongoing. I have been able to get my books on a few independent Christian book store shelves on a consignment or commission style agreement. But I went into this realizing that I would have to market my own books. So that's what I'm doing, and you're right, it isn't cheap.

I have been lucky, I think, with mine so far.

No, I'm not making any real money yet, especially when you look at expenses vs revenue. However, I seem to have piqued the interests of the library system, at least here in Georgia.

I did nine story times and books signings last year, with the first book, but had to halt everything due to health issues. But back in April I got a call from a local library about being a part of their Summer reading program. I thought, "Hey! I might need to finish what I started," and went to work securing speaking engagements.

I will end the year with twenty-three speaking engagements. So far about 98% of the library districts that I have or will cover this year have either bought copies of my books for checkout in their respective libraries or intend to. There are 159 counties in GA. By the end of November I will have between 45 - 50 counties involved.

So far I haven't been charging for these events, but plan to start, due to interest in my books reaching 5 - 6 hrs away from home. There are a couple of areas that I've flirted with in regards to charging, and they are seriously considering paying for my program.

I'm also looking at book festivals as avenues for sales to help raise volume, and to get my message and books out there.

So far, if anything, I've underestimated the appeal of my books. I didn't want to be that person who had boxes of books stored in my bedroom closet, so I haven't ordered in volume.

My mistake, as I have trouble keeping up with my demand.

So in regards to success, I think I've been successful. I've been able to open doors that I never thought I could, and thankful for it. But I haven't given up hope that one day I'll be able to open the ones that I can't at this time.

And yes, I plan to try and build a working portfolio to present to an agent. My plan is to show interest, marketability, and that my books can become a commercial success as well. For better or worse, it is a plan. And that is better than nothing.

This is the gist of my story. I hope you enjoyed it and were able to get something useful from it.

Best regards,

Gary D. Hardy

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Aug 28, 2013
What I'm Finding
by: Gary D Hardy

You are right, online they are available in paperback only. I don't particularly like the restrictions there, but Xlibris through online channels doesn't offer hardbacks for online distribution. Xlibris itself does on their site, but at higher prices than I'm selling myself. Online sales would probably be better if it was avail on these other online bookstores.

However, Ingram books evidently does. I'm not sure about the general public but libraries can order hardbacks through them. That being said, most all of my library sale have been orchestrated through me as my own vendor.

You are also right that libraries almost always require their books to be hardbound. The exception is very small rural libraries with modest budgets. I have about four counties that have chosen the paperback edition.

I hope this answers your question.

Best regards, Gary

Aug 28, 2013
Going where the kids are!
by: Steve B. (webmaster)

Gary, thanks for your post. I have a question...

Judging from Amazon, it appears both books are in paperback, not hardcover. If that's the case, are you finding that that causes some resistance? I would have thought that libraries would practically insist on books with readable spines.

What are you finding?

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