This post explains how to get your book reviewed by the American Library Association (ALA) and into libraries.
Q. I’ve just written/published a book. How do I get it into libraries? Doesn’t ALA tell libraries what books to get?
A. Please be aware that individual libraries are responsible for their own collections. There is no one place that distributes books to all libraries — and that includes ALA. Although, some main libraries purchase books for their branches as well as themselves. And some libraries purchase their books through such distributors as Baker & Taylor, Ingram Book Services, Emery-Pratt Company, and other book suppliers and wholesalers. At best, ALA can review your book in its publication, Booklist. For more information on telling libraries about your own book, first access the ALA Library Fact Sheet 5 – Marketing to Libraries, which lists strategies for informing the library community about your product or service. Then access the ALA Library Fact Sheet 3 – Lists of Libraries, which lists companies and groups that sell library mailing lists and mailing labels, and includes a suggestion (at the end) on how to compile a list of e-mail addresses for libraries. You might also want to contact book distributors directly to see if they would be interested in providing your book to libraries. You can find directories of library vendors, including book distributors, on the ALA Library Fact Sheet 9 – Library Products, Services and Consultants. If you are a publisher wishing to donate books to libraries, please see ALA Library Fact Sheet 12 – Sending Books to Needy Libraries: Book Donation Programs for groups and organizations that accept and distribute book donations to library and other recipients, as ALA does not provide this service.
Q. How do I submit my book to ALA’s Booklist review periodical?
A. See the Inside Booklist web page, which provides submission guidelines and contact information.