Now that Random House is the only publisher of the Big Six that sells ebooks to libraries without restrictions (HarperCollins limits the number of circulations to 26), we thought it was a good idea to check in with them, to see if they are standing firm.
In response to our inquiry, spokesperson Stuart Applebaum replied, “Random House, Inc. is maintaining our current position regarding digital sales of our books to libraries while actively reviewing our position.”
Now is a good time to show library support for RH titles. Early reactions about galleys can be a critical element in developing buzz. Publishers regularly hear from booksellers (particularly via the IndieNext program), but less so from librarians.
Here’s what you can do:
Get to know which titles RH is working to build buzz for. Read Random Revelations, the RH Library Marketing catalog and the Random Revelations blog. Pay particular attention to the debuts, such a Chris Pavone’s The Expats (Crown, March) or Thomas Mallon’s Watergate (Delacorte, Feb; more about it here; Digital review copies available from Edelweiss), and titles positioned as breakouts, like Defending Jacob, by William Landay (Delacorte, Jan; more about it here; Digital ARC on Edelweiss).
Let RH know what you think of specific titles, via comments on the blog, or by writing directly to the RH Library Marketing staff (firstname.lastname@example.org). Tell them if reading a galley made you decide to order more copies, what audience you envision for particular titles, which ones you plan to use with reading groups. Give them quotes they can use in promo copy. This information is particularly helpful in the critical time before a book is published, the earlier, the better.
Random House, Inc. is a big company with many imprints and divisions. Get to know the players by studying the list on the RH site, which provides descriptions of each division and imprint, with links to their home pages.
Taking these steps will reinforce the point that libraries are key to building readership for books.