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Posts Tagged ‘Arizona Daily Star’

11 ways authors can celebrate National Library Week

Even though I grew up in libraries, it wasn’t until I got my first “real” job at the Arizona Daily Star library while I was attending the University of Arizona in Tucson that I first heard of National Library Week. Observed annually in April, National Library Week is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries, librarians, and other library staff and to promote the use and support of libraries. The Arizona Daily Star library is what as known as a special library. These include corporate libraries, law libraries, medical libraries, museum libraries, and news libraries. Special libraries, sometimes known as information centers, generally are not open to the public.

This year’s theme for National Library Week is “You belong @ your library.” The goal is remind the country that the library is a place where everyone belongs. First observed in 1958, National Library Week is sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries across the country. All types of libraries – school, public, academic, and special –participate. Best-selling author Brad Meltzer is the Honorary Chair of National Library Week 2012.

In addition to being home to National Library Week, April also is School Library Month. Specific observances for National Library Week include today, April 11, which is National Bookmobile Day and tomorrow, April 12, which is Support Teen Literature Day.

Here are 11 ways authors can celebrate National Library Week:

  1. Write the story of why you belong at your library in just six words! Tweet your story using the hash tag #nlw6words for a chance to win a copy of Brad Meltzer’s DVD, “Decoded”/Season 1.
  2. Share a longer story about how the library has impacted your life.
  3. Blog about it!
  4. Get active on Twitter by following @AtYourLibrary. Use the hash tag #nlw12 to help keep it going as a trending topic.
  5. “Like” National Library Week on Facebook.
  6. Put your book cover on some blank greeting cards and send “Happy National Library Week” cards to your favorite librarians.
  7. If you don’t have a library card, get one!
  8. Take your kids to the library. Think about making a trip to the library a weekly or monthly family outing.
  9. Research ways to get your self-published book into libraries. It’s not easy, but it is possible.
  10. Most libraries have community rooms. Even if your library does not carry your book, make time this week to inquire about hosting a reading at the library – especially if your book is NOT brand new and you haven’t done much to market it in a while. What better way to get to know your local library staff and cement your presence in your community?
  11. If there’s a special library related to your genre, find it and contact the head librarian. If possible, make an appointment to stop by! Take (or send) the staff some cookies – and, of course, plenty of bookmarks, business cards, and/or postcards with your contact info on them.

If you have any other ideas, please feel free to share them in the comments section below. Even though more patrons than ever are using them, libraries are facing a huge funding challenge right now. As an author, you have a special reason to and means of promoting them this week!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Visit the Write | Market | Design Facebook page to meet other authors and aspiring authors who have a sincere interest in writing, publishing, and selling the best books they can. And if you need a self-publishing consultant in your corner for anything from advice on structure to developing a marketing strategy, drop us a note at MarcieBrock@WriteMarketDesign.com or give us a call at 602.518.5376!

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The secret to contacting a company may lie in their MEDIA ROOM.

It’s no secret that I love the Internet. I remember the days of searching the World Book Encyclopedia for info or begging my dad to take me to the library so I could do research for my term papers. When I worked at the Arizona Daily Star newspaper library in the pre-Internet days, we used to get queries from the public on all kinds of random topics:

  • How do you spell “Schwarzenegger”?
  • Is Anthony Quinn really Greek?
  • What was Mariel and Margaux Hemingway’s relationship to Ernest?
  • What are the words to “Auld Lang Syne”?
  • What are the names of the seven dwarfs?

Can you even imagine calling a newspaper library – or a library of any kind – to ask a question like that? In 2011, it seems ludicrous, but just 20 short years ago, it was actually a good idea. The #1 reason people use the Internet today is to search for information. All kinds of things, from job listings to the name of artist who wrote that song, to movie times, biographies of artists, both famous and obscure, reviews of smart phones and hundreds of thousands of other products, the number of calories burned during given activities, fast food menus, home remedies for burns, what to do when your cat keeps bringing dead birds into the house … the kinds of information you can find online are just about endless.

One excellent use for the Web is to do research on people or businesses with whom you want to connect. With the myriad social media platforms, people are slightly easier to research. Any smart, reputable company has a decent website with all manner of information about it. However, the one thing you may not be able to find on a company’s website is contact information for a particular individual, such as the PR or media relations person. Quite often, the email address available is one of those infernal info@ addresses that might occasionally be read by an intern and whose likelihood of being answered is unfortunately slim.

Say you’ve compiled an anthology of stories and witticisms from quilters of a bygone era, and you’re trying to make contact with a store like Hobby Lobby or Joanne ETC to pitch book signings and events in your area. How do you get around the gatekeeper or find contact info for a real person?

One idea is to find the company’s media room on their website. Posted there, you’re likely to find media releases the company has issued about its own news and events. And within that media release, you will likely find a nugget of gold: contact info for the company’s media relations person, usually a name, phone number, and e-mail address.

Now before you go contacting this individual, make sure you do your homework.

  • If you will make a phone call, rehearse your pitch ahead of time.
  • Be prepared to leave a message and, in the perhaps unlikely event that the person answers their phone, also be ready to speak to them live.
  • If you will send an e-mail, double check your spelling – especially of the contact person’s name!
  • Be brief and to the point in your pitch/query.
  • Make sure to position your pitch in terms of how hosting your event or working with you will benefit the company.

Realize there are NO guarantees that this person will respond to your first query. Or your follow-up query, for that matter.You might also think about tapping into your social media network, particularly LinkedIn, to attempt to find another real name inside the company to whom you can reach out.

It took Greg Godek, author of 1,001 Ways to Be Romantic, more than 10 tries before he got through to Oprah and eventually became a guest on her show. If he can succeed with the queen of all media, YOU can succeed at getting through to the right person in a national chain of craft supply stores. Be creative, be thoughtful, be direct, and be succinct. Most importantly, be determined.

Happy pitching!

Laura

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Please contact us if you’d like help putting together your media kit, media releases, or book proposal. Free 30-minute consultation when you mention this post ($99 value).

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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