So, you want to host an author — either in person or virtually — at your library. Where do you start? When do you start? And what do you say in the dreaded pitch email?
Library marketing contacts at each publishing house are happy to work with you to arrange author visits, but it helps to be prepared. We spoke to several publisher marketing reps and asked how library workers can make their requests stand out from the pack. Here's what they said.
Also, scroll down for a helpful directory of publisher contacts.
Ask for the specific author you want
You might think you’re making a marketing rep’s job easier by being flexible, but asking, “which authors do you have?” is not their preferred approach. A specific ask is more productive and more likely to get a timely reply.
Give plenty of lead time
Your request is likely to get a better result if you send it far in advance of your target date. Marketing reps recommend contacting them at least four to six months ahead of time.
Write a thorough pitch
You can waste lots of time writing back and forth with a marketing rep — time that they could be spending lining up your speaker. To avoid this, include all the information you have up front.
Your contact will want to know what event format you are envisioning (Q&A or panel? In-person or virtual?), who the bookseller will be at the event, and the approximate number of attendees you expect. Also include whether you are able to offer an honorarium and/or expense coverage. While these are not necessary, know that most author events take place while the author is touring with their most recent book — unless the library is able to cover travel costs.
Finally, if you can, include a list of authors you’ve hosted previously, along with attendance numbers and the total books sold. If you don’t have this information at the ready, start collecting it for future pitches.
A carefully crafted pitch won’t do any good if it winds up in an abandoned email inbox. The final — and perhaps most important — step is getting your email into the right hands.
To help, we compiled the below contact list for publishing companies and their many imprints. Some publishers have library marketing reps listed on their contact pages; for others, look for publicity contacts. If a website offers neither of these, email the general email address.
Imprints: Abrams Appleseed, Abrams Books for Young Readers, Amulet Books, Magic Cat
Contact: ABRAMS Children’s Books 
Contact: Blackstone Publishing 
Contact: Candlewick Press 
Contact: Chelsea Green Publishing 
Imprints: Image Comics, Ablaze, A Wave Blue World, AfterShock Comics, AWA, Ahoy Comics, Albatross Funnybooks, Dynamite Entertainment, Green Ronin, Heavy Metal, Image Comics, Manga Classics, Paizo, Storm King Productions, Tokyopop, Udon Entertainment, Valiant, Vault Comics, Zenescope Entertainment
Contact: Diamond Book Distributors 
Contact: Disney Publishing Worldwide 
Contact: DK 
Contact: Feeding Minds Press 
Contact: Gibson House Press 
Contact: Hachette Book Group 
Imprints: Amistad, Broadside, Custom House, Dey Street Books, Ecco, Harper, Harper 360, Harper Business, HarperCollins Español, Harper Design, HarperOne, Harper Perennial, HarperVia, Harper Voyager, Harper Wave, William Morrow
Contact: HarperCollins Publishers 
Imprints: Bebop Books, Children's Book Press, Lee & Low Books, Shen's Books, Tu Books
Contact: Lee & Low Books 
Contact: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 
Contact: Macmillan Publishers 
Imprints: Countryman Press, Liveright, Norton Young Readers. Distributors for: Abbeville, Fantagraphics, Kales Press, New Directions, Penzler Publishers, Persea Books, Pushcart Press, Thames & Hudson, Tilbury House, Tin House, Well-Trained Mind Press.
Contact: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 
Contact: Norwood House Press 
Contact: Other Press 
Contact: Penguin Random House Library Marketing 
Contact: Penguin Young Readers Group 
Contact: Quirk Books 
Contact: Random House Children's Books 
Children's Imprints: Aladdin, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Beach Lane Books, Little Simon, Margaret K. McElderberry Books, Paula Wiseman Books, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Simon Spotlight
Adult Imprints: Adams Media, Atria Books, Avid Reader Press, Gallery Books Group (includes Scout Press and Saga), Howard, One Signal, Scribner, Simon & Schuster, Tiller
Contact: Simon & Schuster 
Imprints: Soho Crime, Soho Press, Soho Teen
Contact: Soho Press 
Imprints: Sourcebooks Explore, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, Sourcebooks Fire, Sourcebooks Wonderland, Sourcebooks Young Readers, Simple Truth, Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Landmark, Sourcebooks Casablanca, Poisoned Pen Press, Dawn Publisher, Cumberland, Little Pickle Press, Sphinx Publishing, Prufrock Press (distribution client)
Contact: Tor/Forge Books 
Imprints: Algonquin, Algonquin Young Readers, Artisan, duopress, Erewhon, The Experiment, Familius, Storey, Timber, Workman
Contact: Workman Publishing Company