Are libraries essential for book sales?

Some people think authors don’t make money from books at the library. By chatting with librarians and authors I have discovered that not only do get paid, and libraries play a huge part in book sales. Here are a few ways in which libraries help authors:

  1. Libraries buy books for people to borrow – and not just one copy! Libraries buy multiple copies of popular books, in different formats (e-book, hardcover, paperback, audio, and large-print) and sometimes entire sets for book clubs to borrow.
  2. A portion of our taxes pay for libraries – which means we aren’t borrowing books for free.
  3. Libraries have to purchase a new copy when a book is damaged, worn out, or not returned.
  4. Libraries encompass a substantial percentage of net book sales.
  5. If we couldn’t borrow books from the library more people would probably be downloading books illegally (because they can’t afford to buy them), which means authors would lose out on sales.
  6. Many readers I chat with often “try before they buy”. If they liked the borrowed book then they buy a copy, sometimes more than one copy so they can gift it to others.
  7. Some libraries offer free workshops for writers/aspiring authors.
  8. Libraries offer exposure for authors! Books are on display, librarians suggest books you may like, and authors can host signings, or events at a library.
  9. If your library doesn’t have a book you’d like to read, you can request for the library to order a copy.
  10. Libraries pay a higher price for books than the general public because they have to pay lender fees. E-books are becoming extremely popular, and if you think that will hurt sales through library, you’d be surprised to learn that e-books often end up costing more than print copies.
  11. Readers borrow books from the library that they wouldn’t have ever bought. Which means they get to try it, review it, recommend it to others, and sometimes buy a copy if they liked it. If there was no library – none of that would have happened.
  12. Libraries create readers. They help kids get excited about books – which means they’ll be asking their parents to buy books. Those kids grow up to be adult readers, who can now buy books for themselves, as gifts for others, and for their own children.


Do you use your local library?







4 thoughts on “Are libraries essential for book sales?

  1. What a great post know libraries! I knew many of these things, but some I did not. Like paying more for the books they buy for the public to borrow.

    I love our local library! I take my daughter weekly or biweekly depending on our schedule. She’s 9 months old and we have a lot of fun there.

    Liked by 1 person

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