These are repsonses from Virginia librarians regarding independent author submissions.  If answers were the same, I didn't write them twice. I will update as I receive more responses.

  1. I sent a survey to several Virginia libraries. Here are some of the responses:

  2. Where do you purchase your books?  

    1. Ingram

    2. Baker & Taylor

    3. Thorndike Press (Large Print)

    4. Cengage

    5. Center Press Publishing

    6. Amazon   or Amazon occasionally

    7. Pennworthy

    8. Junior Library Guild

    9. Other established reputable book vendors.

    10. Sometimes from Barnes & Noble

    11. Generally from library vendors

    12. From vendors that are city-approved contracts, such as Baker and Taylor and Ingram.

  3. Do you purchase directly from bookstores? 

    1. Very Rarely

    2. Occasionally

    3. No (II)

    4. Almost never, No bookstores in our county

    5. Not usually

    6. Sometimes from local independent bookstore, generally if we are hosting an author

  4. Do you welcome solicitations from independent authors?

    1. We are happy to consider books from independent authors but they must be professionally reviewed and meet our collection policy criteria

    2. I always read the emails. Sometimes they compel to go look for more info. I do NOT appreciate people coming in unannounced and expecting to buy on the spot

    3. Yes

    4. Sure. Good to know what else is out there.

    5. Yes

    6. Local authors (RVA and surrounding counties) may donate copies of their books for consideration. More information on our local author page.

    7. Yes, though normally specifically local authors.

  5. What types of books do you normally look for?

    1. Books that would interest our library patrons that have good peer reviews

    2. Popular titles, best sellers, core collection titles

    3. I buy for all ages from birth through Teen. I prefer library bound and hardback. I tend to avoid paperbacks especially stapled bindings.

    4. Read the collection policy

    5. We try to create a balanced collection that offers both educational and entertaining materials.  STEM and DEI have been recent areas of focus.

    6. All types, juvenile to adult, fiction and non-fiction 

    7. Books that would be of interest to our patrons

    8. Fiction and non-fiction in adult, teen and children’s’ books.

  6. Would you purchase books from an author that provided a one-time program in return?

    1. We could consider a proposal from the author

    2. A purchase is not a guarantee of a program and vice versa. I want to know the story is quality, the images are quality, and the binding is going to hold up to library wear and tear. I want to know a program is going to catch the interest of my patrons. There is work involved in setting up and advertising a program. The quality of the presenter and the message has to be worth the effort.

    3. No

    4. Possibly.  It would depend on the book.  I wouldn’t buy the book just to get the program. 

    5. Possibly

    6. Yes we have done that, again usually with local authors.

  7. Would you allow an author to host a book launch party in your library?

    1. I have only done this for authors with whom I already had a working relationship such as a local teacher.

    2. We could consider a proposal from an author

    3. No, We do not sponsor author talks or book sales

    4. Potentially. Books would typically not be allowed to be sold unless partnered with the Friends of the Library as per “14.No financial transactions may take place in the rooms or the Library. No products may be sold or promoted. The Friends of the Waynesboro Library and the Waynesboro Library Board of Trustees events are the exempt.” 

    5. Again, possibly.  It would depend on the book and whether we thought there would be local interest.  Programming currently on hold due to pandemic flare-up.

    6. We have allowed book/author meet and greet, however our meeting room policy does not allow sales including book sales.

    7. No. Local authors may schedule lobby space to sign and sell copies of their books. (see Richmond author page  Please note: lobby visits are currently suspended.

    8. We have two annual literary festivals for independent and local authors instead of this—Fresh Ink and Black Ink.

  8. Do you Schedule Author visits?

    1. Yes

    2. Yes, on a strictly non-profit basis. No sales allowed

    3. Not lately due to the pandemic.  Have done them in the past.  Our County is pretty far off the beaten track for most authors. 

    4. We sometimes have an “Authors’ Night” event with various authors in which we do allow book sales. We haven’t had this since the pandemic.

    5. We do literary festivals instead

  9. Do you shelve donated books?

    1. We review donated books for the collection and sell the ones we don’t select

    2. Shelve? If you mean do we add them to the collection, we do on occasion. The item would have to meet our criteria laid out in the collection development policy as it costs time/money to catalog items and prepare them for library use. The majority of donations go to the Friends of the Library Book sale.

    3. We evaluate all donations for potential inclusion in the collection.  Donations are often good sources for well-loved titles that we need to replace.

    4. Yes

    5. If donated books meet out collection development criteria.

    6. Yes, some are put in the collection.  The majority of our donated books go to our book sales.

  10. What determines where you will put donated books?

    1. Collection policy, professional reviews

    2. Reviews, quality of binding, overall condition of the book, quality of the story, quality of the images.

    3. We try to keep the stock of books in the book sale area fresh and appealing.   After a few months on the shelf without selling, items are donated to other organizations. 

    4. Quality, topic, potential to circulate.

    5. Standard cataloging practices

    6. Condition, our collection development policy, and how many copies we already have.  

  11. Do you have any other feedback regarding the purchase of books from independent authors?

    1. We rely on professional reviews as a starting point for selections for the collections

    2. Hardback is always better than paperback. Get the title of the book on the spine. Titles on spines make a book findable by a patron. Books without titles on spines don’t get checked out by the browsing patron.

    3. Collection development policy + local interest + costs of original cataloging & item preparation.

    4. The most effective way to get books purchased by libraries to have them sold via a major jobber like Baker & Taylor, Ingram, etc.

    5. The discovery and purchasing aspects are key.  I have a very small staff – 9 full-time employees for 3 branches.  Finding and selecting books to purchase is one of the many duties they perform.  So it needs to be easy and efficient.  We have accounts with the distributors who also process the books for us to make them shelf-ready.  This streamlines the acquisition process.  Getting into that chain will make it easier for authors to sell books.  We read the book review publications like Booklist, Library Journal, etc.  Getting mentioned there also helps as you well know.

    6. Library card holders have access to Pressbooks to create and edit print-ready and eBooks, which can be submitted to Indie Author project.  More information here 

    7. We have a section in our main branch dedicated to our local authors. Authors send us a copy, which our selectors check to make sure it fits our policy, and then we add it to this collection.