What do you think are the best ways to market your library's fiction collection?
Showcasing the fiction collection is extremely important in public libraries. Marketing can take place inside the library with in-person and passive readers' advisory and outside of the library through the library website and social media like Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat and Instagram.
One of the best ways to highlight the collection is to use book displays. These can be placed in high-traffic areas that people must either pass to get to material or upon entering the library. The library system I work in has "New" fiction right inside the door. Many times patrons do not get much farther than the new book section. Book displays can highlight different genres and/or authors. It is really important to change displays every two to three weeks with a new display in order to grasp readers' attention. If books are not being selected, then displays should be changed sooner. The goal is to attract readers to books. Simple displays are always effective, which is good because I am not always very creative at making an elaborate display.
Book Lists and Bookmarks
Having bookmarks and book lists located at various spots around the library is a good use of passive readers' advisory techniques. Bookmarks can list a few titles or author read-alikes while book lists are longer versions of these. Both bookmarks and book lists can also be utilized on the library website to market books. Newsletters can be e-mailed to patrons which can contain lists of books. My library uses Library Aware, which patrons can sign-up to receive newsletters of book lists on various genres that are of interest to them. The staff at my library (myself included) create monthly book lists of new books in specific genres that have been recently acquired by the library. I make a newsletter of new cozy mysteries each month, usually about four or five new titles. I also make suggestions for old favorites or other titles that patrons might have missed in the Library Aware newsletter.
Book trailers are a great way to promote new titles or older titles that have been missed. Book trailers can be used both at the library, on the library website and through social media platforms. Our library system has just recently started using digital signage to advertise events, programs and services. Book trailers could be a natural extension of using this wonderful marketing tool in the library. Book trailers could be created by staff to promote titles and hidden gems in the fiction collection. Book trailers can also be included on the library website and social media which would link to the book in order for patrons to put a hold on a book or read it instantly with an e-book.