Tag Archives: journalists

Another Library Heard From!

lib congress logohgtn library logoPPL LIBRARY LOGO

Now on the shelf in the Peabody Public Library: Irish Firebrands….

The PPL is a member of the Indiana State Library system. The Evergreen Indiana catalog makes Irish Firebrands available for circulation at more than 100 libraries throughout the state.

Catalog - Irish firebrands _ a novel_Page_1

Click image to see full catalog entry.

Authors: Here are a few things that may help independently published books to get into libraries:

  1. Meaningful back matter. Even writing fiction requires research. Document it in a bibliography, using a standard format (APA, MLA, Chicago). Non-fiction should be indexed, and appendices can add value.
  2. Registered copyright. In the United States, this gives the Library of Congress the option of adding the book to their permanent collection. (Books with bibliographies, appendices, and indices may have an advantage, here.) A book that is retained by the Library of Congress will have cataloging information added to its record, which may help simplify a busy local librarian’s work.
  3. “Extended” or library distribution included when publishing, because libraries are often restricted to purchasing via these channels.*
  4. The work is relevant. There should be a credible reason for a library to consider adding the work: Local author; state-resident author; “native of” author (even if no longer a resident, if the author spent “formative years” there); alumnus-author (for school libraries); or for a special collection (such as an ethnic or other topical interest).
  5. Word-of-mouth. The request or recommendation of a library patron can be influential.

*Are your books available to libraries (distribution through Ingram and/or Baker & Taylor for paperbacks, and OverDrive for e-books)? The remuneration system may favor long books (like mine), but I think the exposure to library patrons is worth the small amount a shorter book may garner from a library purchase. But if a library distribution channel wouldn’t pay at all, a copy donated directly to a library is more likely to find a reader (even if the book goes into the Friends of the Library Sale) than the indiscriminate freebie download days promoted by A Major Online Retailer. Downloaders don’t necessarily become readers. And when you come down to it, why do we write? To be read.

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Inconvenient Facts: Reading Current Events.

One of the main characters in Irish Firebrands is a political journalist, who writes newspaper columns, and reports on television, too. The story doesn’t go into his writing, but the Muses left hints about his career that make me wonder about their plans for yet another book in the saga. I guess the Muses want job security, too! Knowing how to read current events may help novelists to write plausibly about fictional reporters on their beats….

The Passions of Patriots: A Novel ~ Christine Plouvier, Indie Author

2005_Spanish_Levantine_warfare_in_Parker-Pearson 3 Click on the page image to read article.

“Never let the facts get in the way of a good story” has been variously attributed (Twain? Hemingway?), but it accurately describes the dilemma of reading about current events, especially during wartime. Apparently artists have been among army camp followers ever since cave walls served as the Neolithic hunter-gatherer’s news feed, pictured at left.

Napoleon’s motives for carrying a printing press on campaign may have included not only a need to control scuttlebutt amongst the troops, but also to help manage the spin that local rags might have put on his image.

Battle of Waterloo A contemporary sketch of the Battle of Waterloo, 1815.

The American Civil War was documented extensively in battlefield reporting art, but it was also the conflict during which photojournalism got its start: even the battlefield artist had his picture taken. (Click on images to enlarge.)

Pennsylvania,_Gettysburg._The_Home_of_a_Rebel_Sharpshooter_-_NARA_-_533315.tif

The advent of battlefield…

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