I’m Thankful For Big Libraries, Small Towns, And A Smidgen Of Chutzpah

Learning to be an author in addition to being a writer is an interesting process. While in the midst of planning publicity, working on a new website, and sharing news both regularly and prudently (I think both are important), I’m very aware that yes, book sales are going to be an important factor if I don’t want to become a one-book wonder. (No intention of that, mind you, and WIP is coming along nicely, if I do say so myself. Which I do. Also have a tickling of a story for book 3!)

And then last week I learned that THE GLASS WIVES will be published in hardcover for the library market. That means that libraries can purchase a copy (or ten, um, book clubs!) of my novel and it will be sturdier and last longer than the trade paperback edition.  Because libraries are book buyers, this is a good thing. Whether we all like it or not, not everyone can afford to buy every book. And some people can’t afford or choose not to buy any books.  And this doesn’t mean they’re not book lovers or voracious readers. It means that I want libraries to have copies of my book so that everyone who wants to read it has the opportunity to do so, no matter where they choose to obtain their [legal, I'm looking at you, book pirating sites] copy.

The point here is to garner the attention of readers any way possible. This is not lost on me.

So, after I was finished with a personal celebration, knowing that my editor and publisher have confidence that libraries will want to stock-up on THE GLASS WIVES, I printed out THE GLASS WIVES page from the St. Martin’s Griffin Spring catalog, the first three pages, and a copy of the cover. And I marched my debut author behind over to the library in my town.

Small town. Big new library.

I introduced myself to the adult services librarian, leading with “I live in Small Town and St. Martin’s Press is publishing my first novel in May.”  Yes, that is a way to get a librarian’s attention. She was lovely, and interested, and her smile stretched across her face. She asked if she could shake my hand (heartily, I might add) to congratulate me.  She asked questions about how long it took me to write it, the agent-process, and she made many correct assumptions about the excitement level in my brain and heart.  The librarian needed to pass along my information (complete with actual telephone number) to the person who purchases fiction for the library because of course she was at lunch when I showed up.

I’m fortunate to live in an educated, education-centric community. I’m in contact with the local book club that started in 1938 and boasts over 100 members. It’s also not lost on me that the fact that THE GLASS WIVES is set in a Chicago suburb and about a divorced mom, and that I LIVE in a Chicago suburb and am a divorced mom, may send 9200 locals scampering for the book in stores, online, in this very library, looking for something or someone familiar, looking for answers and insights to my real life, or—gasp—theirs. They won’t find it, but hey, I’m no dummy.

I just nod and say, “You’ll have to read the book.”

Amy xo

A short synopsis of THE GLASS WIVES has now popped up on Goodreads! You can see that by clicking here—and if you’re so inclined to add it to your “to read” list, I think that gets you on Santa’s good list. I know it gets you on mine. xo

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14 thoughts on “I’m Thankful For Big Libraries, Small Towns, And A Smidgen Of Chutzpah

  1. How exciting, Amy. I agree: libraries are a great option for people who can’t afford to buy books – and our goal is always to get others to read our words — to reach as many as possible. I LOVE your new library (and the longevity of the book club). Good luck!

    And happy to hear that book no. 2 is coming along (WITH new ideas for no. 3 cropping up). Happy Thanksgiving.

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  2. Oh, congratulations, Amy, this is such wonderful news! Book clubs are definitely one of the best aspects of writing women’s fiction. I’m so happy that your book will make it into living rooms across the country, thanks to your clever publisher–and to clever, clever you! Great news about your WIP, too. I can’t wait to read them ALL.

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  3. Oh Amy Sue the thrill of that! I am so excited for you and only wish that I could be in your local town’s book club and read (and surmise..) along with your local townspeople! :)

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  4. I’m thrilled for you, Amy! Holding that hardcover copy in your hot little hands will be so sweet! I’ll make sure my local library orders copies, too. Super excited (and admittedly jealous!) to hear that your second book is humming. Lucky you! Happy Thanksgiving–with lots to be thankful for!

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  5. As both a librarian and writer, I can tell you that you handled this situation very well. Also, you might be interested in the study I’ve referenced below that shows that many book buyers buy books from authors they first discovered at the library. Although it primarily addresses ebooks, I believe the same can be said for print. Now, if you can get into Large Print and audio, you’ll have it made. (And I hope you do!)

    Here’s the link for an article about that study:

    http://www.infodocket.com/2012/11/15/new-ebook-survey-findings-from-overdrive-and-ala-library-borrowers-also-buyers/

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  6. Congratulations, Amy! I always get excited when I see an author friend’s book in my library, and even if I’ve bought a copy, I’ll often request it so the library can help share it with other readers. Actually, since I recently moved (just a few miles south into Austin, but that was enough to put me in a new county) I got my new library card yesterday—the excitement of it never gets old.

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