Libraries as part of the book industry

Australian libraries provide valuable support for Australian authors and publishers in many ways.

  • We buy millions of dollars worth of books and ebooks every year.
  • We introduce authors to book buyers – people who borrow books also buy them.
  • We help people discover and rediscover the joy of reading, creating new audiences.
  • Author talks in libraries are a useful source of income for writers and a good way to promote their work.
  • Writers and illustrators use library collections as the source for their stories and drawings.
  • Libraries make Australian books accessible to readers today and they preserve these works for future generations.

Download a factsheet about How Libraries Support the Book Industry and help celebrate writing awards with our Book Industry Awards Calendar, produced in partnership with the Australian Booksellers Association and the Australian Publishers Association.

We also promote the Australian Book Industry Awards each year.

For authors

If you have published a book and would like to donate copies to your local library, talk to the library staff. If you are looking for a wider circulation for a print, audio or ebook, you will need to talk to library suppliers about state, territory or national distribution. These vendors include companies such as 3M, ALS Library Services, Baker & Taylor, James Bennett, Bolinda Publishing, Central Book Suppliers, DLS Library Services, OverDrive, Peter Pal, Wavesound, Westbooks and Wheelers.

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a 13-digit number that is used by the publishing industry and library suppliers internationally to identify books. It is advisable to secure an ISBN number for your publication if you intend to sell copies or provide them to libraries to be included in their catalogues. The Australian ISBN agency is Thorpe-Bowker.

If your book is stocked in libraries, you might like to offer your services for an author talk. These events are popular with library users and provide an opportunity for writers to connect with their readers. Sometimes libraries are able to pay a small fee, but mostly the author donates their time free and the event is free of cost to attendees. When you approach a library, the staff will need the following information: your name, the title of your book, your CV, website, reviews, details of previous speaking experience, photograph, availability for dates and times. Once the event has been agreed, the library will promote it to the community and most often there is the opportunity to sell books to people who attend the talk on the day.

Legal deposit for publishers

Legal deposit is a requirement under the Copyright Act 1968 for publishers and self-publishing authors to deposit a copy of any print work published in Australia with the National Library and, when application, with a library in their home state. Legal deposit covers books, newsletters, annual reports, newspapers, sheet music, maps, posters, plans, charts, tables, programmes, catalogues, brochures and pamphlets. It is being extended beyond print to digital publications. For more information visit the National Library of Australia website.