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Hands writing in a notebook

You’ve written a book. That’s awesome! Now what?

The good news is that we want people to read your book!

I’m a Collection Development Librarian, and one of the things I do is order books for HCPL. I want to help you get your book in the hands of your readers. Here are some tips to help you with this process.

What to DO:

- Join a writers group, if you haven’t already. Writer groups create a safe space to share feedback with fellow authors. A simple Google search will help you find one that’s close to you or ones that concentrate on your particular genre.

- Create a cover that is both appealing and reflects the content and atmosphere of your book. Publisher's Weekly has articles called "Book Cover Redesign." These articles are helpful in making a good cover great.

- Take a look at the Collection Development Team’s FAQs. It will guide you in our purchasing process and how you can request your book to be purchased by the library.

- Consider an ebook format. When we orders physical book, we have to determine the best geographic locations to find your potential readers it takes a minimum of 90 days. An ebook in Overdrive means that your book is available almost immediately to the entire Harris County. Since many library systems use Overdrive, your reach is not just local but nationwide.

- Check out the Indie Author Project. They have a vetting process to help get your ebook Overdrive-ready and available to HCPL and other library systems. They also have networking events and as well as ways to submit your work to  The Indie Author Project Regional Contests and The Black Caucus of ALA (BCALA) Self-Publishing Literary Awards.

- Take a look at Kirkus Review’s Writers’ Center for more tips and tricks on navigating the publishing world. They offer other services to authors, including the option of having your book reviewed. When you receive your review, you can keep your review private if you like. But you can also choose to publish your review on Kirkus for free where it may be discovered by publishers, agents, libraries, and your readers.


- Amazon is not your only option for self-publishing. We use Overdrive, not Amazon, for our ebook purchases.

- Cold calling your local branch / Collection Development will not ensure we will purchase your book. We are required to use County approved vendors who often cut down the expense of prepping your book so it is findable by your readers.

- Giving your local library / Collection Development a copy of your book will not get it added to the collection. Unfortunately, books given to us in this manner will be considered a donation to our book sales.

Are you ready? We are! We want people to read your book!

For more information and inspiration, join us in our #NaNoWriMo events


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