The Ohioana Book Festival–an annual spring celebration of writers linked to Ohio, put on by the Ohioana Library Association–took place this past weekend. I attended, and got to meet a number of smart, friendly authors and publishing peeps. A number of panels shared interesting tidbits:
From the CEO of Columbus Metropolitan Library, Patrick Losinski: Large urban library systems buy hundreds of copies of popular titles to fill demand across multiple branches, and libraries will usually purchase more copies of a title if the number of hold requests for a title exceeds a certain ratio (for example, 1 copy to 3 requests). Many libraries are also open to posting “buy” buttons alongside their digital catalog offerings.
Also, libraries with a social media presence often have thousands of fans; organizing a Facebook Q&A, for example, can be a great way to reach readers.
Other speakers and authors (including novelist Sharon Short, renegade parent and author Heather Shumaker, and publicist Kelsey Swindler, of the Ohio press Orange Frazer) shared advice on traditional versus self-publishing, finding an agent, writing well, and promoting books; and there were a lot of writers who needed to hear it. I missed indie author Belinda Kroll, but hopefully I’ll catch up with her soon.