Thursday, May 23, 2013

Do School Library Visits Benefit Authors?

Well, duh, you might be saying. Most of us get paid to do school visits. But beyond that, do author visits create new readers? Do they sell books?

Me (Mike Mullin) at a school in Columbus, OH.
Below I've listed the top titles in circulation at a few school libraries I visited this year. Note that if you made a list like this nationally, none of my books would show up in the top ten. (They've sold very well, but not THAT well.)

Northwestern Middle and Senior High School:

1. Ashfall by Mike Mullin
2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
3. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
4. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
5. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
5. (tie) Matched by Ally Condie

Rossville Consolidated (serves 6th through 12th grade):

1. Maximum Ride, the manga by NaRae Lee
2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
3. Cabin Fever: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
4. A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
5. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
6. Ashfall by Mike Mullin
7. Matched by Allie Condie
8. Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel
9. The Last Thing I Remember by Andrew Klavan
10. The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Adams Central:

1.  Ashfall by Mike Mullin
2.  Child Called It by Dave Pelzer
3.  Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
4.  The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
5.  Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin
6.  Maze Runner by James Dashner

Lakeland Leading Edge High School:

1.    Ashfall by Mike Mullin
2.       Amy & Rober’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
3.       Hold Me Closer Necromancer by Lish McBride
4.       The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
5.       Ship Breaker by Paulo Bacigalupi
6.       The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
7.       Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
8.       Coming Back Stronger by Drew Brees
9.       The Last Thing I Remember by Andrew Klavan
10.   Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

So, yes, you can create new readers and fans with school visits. These are circulation lists, not sales, but higher circulation numbers lead to higher sales. Books wear out, libraries order more so their hold lists won't be so long, and new fans often buy the books they love and convince others to buy as well. This is one reason I've intentionally kept my fee for school visits very low--they're probably the best marketing I do. If you'd like more information, click here.