Getting Your Book Into Australian Libraries

Getting Your Book Into Australian Libraries

Getting Your Book Into Australian Libraries

The Complete Guide to Libraries for Australian Authors


Australian libraries stock books from authors worldwide, but how do Australian authors ensure that their books make it onto library shelves? And more importantly, how crucial is it to get your book listed with libraries and what are the benefits to you as an Australian author?

In the following guide to Australian libraries, we’ll focus on:

            1. Who Are the Main Australian Library Book Suppliers?
            2. How Many Libraries Are There in Australia?
            3. What Are the Benefits of Getting Your Book Into Australian Libraries?
            4. Do Australian Libraries Stock Self-Published Books?
            5. What Is Legal Deposit?
            6. Do Libraries Prefer Specific Formats or Binding Types?
            7. Tips for Getting Your Book Into Libraries

Be sure to check out The National Library of Australia and Australian Self-Published Author Requirements! To learn more about depositing your self-published book.


Who Are the Main Australian Library Book Suppliers?

In Australia, we’re fortunate to have several leading suppliers that supply books to both Australian and New Zealand libraries. While some suppliers focus on a specific state or territory, other suppliers supply books nationally to both Australia and New Zealand.

The leading library suppliers include:

            • Australian Library Services (ALS)Australian Library Services (ALS) works with Australian Public Libraries in both acquisition and collection. They work to bring books written by Australian authors, along with international authors, into public libraries and schools across Australia.
            • James Bennett Pty LtdSimilar to ALS, James Bennet’s goal is to get print and ebook publications from Australian and international authors into school and public libraries.
            • Peter Pal Library SupplierPeter Pal works with Australian public libraries and schools to help them source premium books in addition to processing, cataloging, and distribution services.
            • WestbooksIf you’re focused on West Australia, Westbooks is a Western Australian-based company that provides a variety of services to authors and libraries.

If you’re looking for smaller suppliers that focus on supplying school libraries, then the following library suppliers will be an excellent place to start:


How Many Libraries Are There in Australia?

According to the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), there are over 13,000 in Australia, with a further 2-3,000 libraries in New Zealand. These libraries are broken down into several different categories, which include:

Public Libraries – These are libraries that are accessible to all members of the public, and anyone with a library card can utilize their services, such as borrowing print and digital copies of books. There are currently over 1,750 public libraries in Australia, and you can search for a public library close to you by using this interactive map.

State & Territory Reference Libraries – There is one reference library located in each state or territory in Australia.Getting Your Book Into Australian Libraries – The Complete Guide to Libraries for Australian Authors!

Primary School Libraries – There are over 7,000 primary school libraries spread across Australia. However, they only stock books relevant to their demographic, such as kindergarten through grades 7-8, children’s picture books, chapter books, teen fiction, and reference books.

High School Libraries – There are over 2,300 high school libraries in Australia, which typically have dedicated librarians. Along with books in the grade 7-12 range, high school libraries will also include reference books, classics, YA, and new adult readers.

TAFE Libraries – Located on TAFE campuses, there are over 200 TAFE libraries in Australia. Focusing mostly on educational texts, TAFE libraries are open to all students and teachers.

University Libraries – There are over 40 university libraries located throughout Australia. They typically focus on educational texts but also include general fiction reading and classics. Some university libraries allow students and teachers to borrow books, while others only allow them to read books within the library area.


What Are the Benefits of Getting Your Book Into Australian Libraries?

Libraries may stock one or more copies of a book, which is then made available to readers for free. Many libraries stock both physical paperback and hardcover copies of books, along with digital copies such as ebooks and audiobooks.

So, if libraries lend out your book to readers for free, how does it benefit you as an Australian author? There are several reasons why it makes sense to take the time to get your book submitted to libraries, especially if you’re an Australian self-published author who’s just getting started in the publishing world.

Libraries always pay for your book upfront, so that’s one guaranteed sale per library, but that isn’t where the financial benefits end for authors. Thanks to the Australian Lending Rights Scheme, Australian authors receive compensation for every book that is in circulation.

Not only that but having your book in a library, particularly multiple libraries, means that you’re getting a lot of exposure to your books and other books. Many people will borrow a book from a library, but if they enjoy it, they’ll purchase their own copy or other books in the series. If they love your book, they’ll most likely also recommend it to friends and family and potentially leave it a positive review online.

So, to recap, the benefits of adding your book to public libraries include:

            1. Financial Benefits
            2. Increased Exposure
            3. Reviews


Do Australian Libraries Stock Self-Published Books?

It may not be as easy for self-published authors to get their books into Australian libraries without the established channels and connections of large publishing houses, but it’s not impossible either. Most libraries understand that all authors, including self-published authors, are contributing positively to their collections.

So, yes, Australian libraries stock books by self-published authors and small presses. You just need to make them aware of your book and follow their specific submission guidelines. Below are some FAQs concerning library book submissions:

            • Does it cost money to get my book into Australian libraries? – Libraries don’t charge you to submit your book, but in most cases, you’ll need to supply them with a physical copy of the book, which will require you to pay print and shipping costs.
            • Do I need to give a discount on my book for libraries? – Yes. Most libraries will require you to discount your book with a wholesale price (50-55%). You don’t have to discount your book, but it will increase the chances of it being picked up by a library.


What Is Legal Deposit?

Legal Deposit is part of Australian law, which ensures that the nation’s heritage, written or spoken, is collected for future generations. One copy of every book that is published in Australia must be given to the National Library under the legal deposit requirements of the Copyright Act 1968.

Legal deposit rules apply to books, comics, graphic novels, newspapers, magazines, newsletters, journals, maps, sheet music, annual reports, government publications, and websites. To learn more about Legal Deposit, check out The National Library of Australia and Australian Self-Published Author Requirements!


Do Libraries Prefer Specific Formats or Binding Types?

Australian libraries will stock both paperback and hardcover formats of books. While paperbacks are cheaper, hardcover books are more durable. Having multiple formats of your book available will give libraries the choice of which format they stock.

There may also be binding restrictions on certain types of bindings, such as spiral, coil, or comb because it makes it harder for libraries to place spine classifications. Not only that, but they’re also not as durable as regular bound books.

If your book is oversized, it can also be difficult for libraries to stock due to shelf space limitations.


Tips for Getting Your Book Into Libraries

Like self-publishing in general, marketing is key to getting your book into Australian libraries. You want to be able to show libraries that you already have an established author brand and a group of dedicated readers, along with positive reviews.

Other areas that you can focus on include:

            • Getting your books featured in Australian newspapers and magazines.
            • Popular Australian book blogs.
            • National radio, such as ABC Radio, or even local radio interviews.

Dropping into local libraries and talking to librarians is also a good idea. Go in and introduce yourself, take a copy of your book, and ask them if they host local author events such as book readings, signings, or new release events. If you show them that you’re a local Australian author who’s committed to their local area, they’re more likely to go the extra mile and help you get your book on their shelves.


Getting Your Book Into Australian Libraries | Conclusion

Hopefully, by following the advice and information above, you’ll be on the right path to getting your book into Australian libraries. Remember, take your time, reach out to local libraries first, and follow submission guidelines carefully to avoid making any mistakes.

At Author Services Australia, we support Australian and New Zealand self-published authors and writers with a full range of affordable self-publishing services that include ghostwritingcopyediting, developmental editing, proofreadingebook and paperback formattingbook cover designchildren’s book illustrations, graphic design services, manuscript uploading assistance, and social media and marketing.

If you have any tips for first-time Australian authors setting up their Amazon KDP accounts, drop a comment below. We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to avoid missing out on any future author news and updates.

Be sure to check out The Best Self-Publishing Platforms To Publish Your Book! Before you self-publish your first book, and if you’re a new Australian author just getting started in the self-publishing world, check out Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing for Australian Authors: The Complete Guide to Amazon KDP!

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