LJNDawson.com, Consulting to the Book Publishing Industry
Book Publishing Industry Consultant

Libraries and Publishers

Shelf Awareness has a great piece this morning on the BEA panel led by Nora Rawlinson (former editor at PW/LJ, now at Hachette, and a librarian herself) on libraries and publishers. Essentially the panel repositioned libraries as a new marketing outlet:

[Leslie] Burger [of the Princeton Library] emphasized that the 16,000 libraries across the country are buying more books, serving an increasing number of patrons who are using the Internet to reserve books from home and becoming more community-oriented by hosting author readings and other events such as One Book One Read programs. "We're not in the business of selling books, but we are in the business of peddling books," she declared.

Publishers have, in the last 20-30 years or so, looked at libraries as barely worth the effort, because circulation has been steadily dropping and libraries buy relatively fewer books than the big-box retailers or bookstore chains. However, times have changed, Rawlinson noted:

She cited a recent Library Journal poll that found library budgets have recently increased by 44%. Libraries have the potential to be "the next Book Sense," she added, "the next big promotion vehicle for new titles."

Look for my upcoming white paper on the relevance of libraries to publishers - probably at the end of the month.
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