Month: June 2023

Coming soon to a park near you!

We’re getting out to our neighbourhoods these school holidays and we’d love for you to join us! 

We’re popping up in a park near you with fun and games for the whole whānau! Our friends from Sport Manawatū will be there too. 

Pop up Play @ Awapuni Park, Tuesday 4th July, 10 am – 12pm

Pop up Play @ Rangiora Reserve. Tuesday 11th July, 1pm – 3pm

Pop up Play in The Square, Thursday 6th July, 2pm – 4pm

Pop up Play @ Monrad Park, Thursday 13th July, 10am – 12pm

Keep an eye out for any weather-related updates, but a bit of drizzle won’t put us off! Have your gumboots and raincoats at the ready – if the sun isn’t shining we’ll become puddle explorers! Come on Palmy, Let’s Play!

Does my self-published book fit in the Library’s collection?

Congratulations! You’ve written a book! Not everybody can say they’ve done that!

Now you’d like the Library to buy your book. Okay, first read this article about library supply companies.

Got it? Right, now let’s have a look at what the librarian is thinking about when they’re deciding about purchasing your book.

The number one thing they’ll want to know is ‘will people who come to the Library want to read this?’ A library generally only holds onto books that people want to take home and read. So you want to make your book attractive to someone who’s browsing. Make sure it has a good cover. (You’ll find a blog post about covers here.) A snappy blurb. A great first sentence, etc.

Make sure you know what genre you’re writing in. Perhaps even go to the library to find books similar to yours. That way you can tell the librarian where you think it fits. Where it will get the most usage.

If you’ve written a thriller novel for adults but printed it in A4 size, your book will quite literally not fit in the collection. The Fiction shelves are spaced for novels of a certain size range.

If you’ve written a children’s picture book with 100 words per page, you might have written a chapter book by mistake. Again, go to the Library and see what other books are similar to yours, and how they are presented.

All set? Great. Now, read this article on how to approach the Library about your book, or go to the Local Author Resource page for more.

How to ask the Library to buy your self-published book

Firstly, congratulations on writing a book!

Next step: contact the Content Development Librarians. The City Library does not accept unsolicited materials, and we do not accept donations, so contact us first and we’ll tell you everything you need to know.

We can’t buy everything. As Lemmy from Motorhead often said: where would you put it? Content Development Librarians decide which books to buy, based on the current shape of the collection, the buzz around the book, past performance of an author, and all sorts of other factors. If there’s legitimate demand, we’ll hear about it.

Content Development Librarians are often away from their desks doing various jobs, so be sure to send an email or make an appointment to chat with us. We love talking to local authors!

Please bear in mind that a public library does not hold copies of a book forever. There is a constant rotation of stock, and when your book is removed from the collection, it is purely a practical thing and not a judgement on its quality.

Have a look at our page of advice for authors too – you may find your question already answered on there.

What to put in your email/one-sheet

Kick off with something like “New book from local author”.

Give us a quick blurb – basically the same thing you’d put on the back cover of your book.

Tell us anything unique about it – this might be your “elevator pitch“.

Attach a good quality cover image.

Tell us the price, the release date, the ISBN – all the publication details.

Make sure to include a link to where we can buy the book. Maybe from Wheelers, or a local bookshop.

It’s always good to end by thanking the recipient for their time.

When will you hear back?

Generally, with public libraries, you won’t hear anything back. They’ll either buy your book or not.

After all, you’re the one who will know when your books are sold at shops or through Wheelers, and your email is a sales advertisement not a customer query.

Since there are more and more self-published books every year, the Library receives more and more emails. It might take a few weeks to look at them and make a decision.

If you really need to know so that you can sign up for the Public Lending Right Scheme, you can always check the Library’s catalogue any time.

Listing your self-published book with Wheelers

Wheelers is a library supply company that is used by many public and school libraries in Aotearoa to purchase stock. You can list your book with them by filling in the form on this page.

They will do all the work of cataloguing, processing, invoicing libraries, etc. for you, and take a percentage of the sale price.

Why would you do this? Most public libraries have fewer backroom staff these days, and with hundreds of new books being added every year, there’s simply no time for librarians to individually buy every book from separate vendors, then create a complete catalogue record for them and process them (add protective covers and strengthening tapes). This is why the Library has a few dedicated suppliers who do a lot of that work.

Since all the backroom work must be done for every single title, it’s conceivable that even a donated book could cost the library more money than one purchased from a library supply company. (Which is one of the reasons we do not accept donations.)

Note: cheapest price is not the only consideration for libraries — supporting local authors is part of our mission! But to support local authors best, we want to see their books available in libraries all over the country, and using a library supply company is the best way to do that. If you do get your books into several NZ libraries, remember to register for the Public Lending Right scheme!

Not every library uses Wheelers, but many do. If you have a specific library you want to ask to buy your book, it’s best to contact them directly. Please see the related article ‘Does my self-published book fit in the Library’s collection?

If you’re a self-published author in the Manawatū and are having problems listing your book with Wheelers, please get in touch and we’ll see if we can help!

‘Versions’ writing project

Every year the City Library gives you the opportunity to get published!

We give you a writing prompt to get you started. Let it take you wherever it will!

Submit your finished short story, poem, play script, or song, and we’ll publish it.

Maybe you’ve never written but want to give it a try, or maybe you’ve already done a lot of writing but want something quick and fun to do. Versions is for everyone!

We’re all about celebrating the abundance of creative talent here in the Manawatū.

Keep your eye on our What’s On page for the prompt announcement each year, or contact us to learn more.

Audiobook review: ‘Tim and Tigon’ by Tim Cope

One of our wonderful Awapuni Library volunteers submitted this review.

Tim Cope, a young Australian adventurer, had a childhood dream: to replicate the journey of Genghis Khan from Mongolia to Hungary, a distance of 10,000 kilometres. With extremely limited experience in horse riding and planning the best he could he began his ride, a journey that would take him 3 years to complete. Not long into his trip he met a dog called Tigon and despite efforts to return him to his home Tigon made it clear he was coming along. Together they endured searing heat, freezing cold and long, lonely nights when wolves circled their camp. Through it all, the wild beauty of the landscape and the warm hospitality of the people they encountered, encouraged them to persevere. Few of us will go on such a wild adventure so it was a pleasure to ride with Tim and Tigon on their long journey.  This is the story of an old style adventure and of a very special friendship. It is well worth reading. 

Tim and Tigon’ is available as a book on CD, and as an e-audiobook on Borrowbox.