What is the Little Free Library?
One of our biggest goals in writing the book was to get it out to the public. I suppose that for most authors, that goes without saying, but for me it was particularly important because there aren’t very many kids books with LGBTQ characters in them. And while we wouldn’t be opposed to making a little bit of money from sales, really we just wanted people to have access to it. In thinking about how to get the word out about the book, I remembered the organization Little Free Library. I originally heard about it through Kickstarter - I actually donated to their campaign because I thought it was pretty cool. If you haven’t heard of them, Little Free Libraries are kind of like big birdhouses, but instead of birdseed, people put books in them! They are for the community, and kind of a “give one, get one” sort of thing. So maybe you are out walking in your neighborhood one day, and come across one. You can peruse the books, and if you find one you like, take it. No payment necessary. Maybe if you have a book that you are done with, you put it in the LFL the next time you go by it. In this way, the community is keeping the library stocked, and community members have access to books that they might not otherwise have. It’s such a fun idea, and I thought that it would be a great way to get our book out to readers all over the country.
Getting our book into the Little Free Library
I posted about the LFL in a facebook page group that I belong to called Queer Mamas*, asking if anyone knew about them, or had one in their area. I got an overwhelming response and contacted about 5 members directly to ask if I could send a book for them to put in their local LFL. In doing so, I was able to get books from Vancouver, Wa to San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Houston, Chicago, Syracuse and Los Angeles, and all it cost me was shipping (well, and the price of the book). Laura and I also made some stickers to put into the inside of our books, thanking people for reading, and asking them to put the book back so that others could read it as well. That’s not usually part of the deal with the LFL - if you take it, it’s totally fine to keep it. But we were hoping that if we asked nicely, and offered a 15% discount for readers to purchase their own copy, they would put it back. And really, if they love it so much that they can’t bear the thought of returning it, well then, that’s ok too :) Either way, we’ve gained readers, and gotten our book into the hands of kids and grownups who wouldn’t have seen it otherwise. Mission accomplished.
Keep your eyes open for your local Little Free Library - the next time you come across one, check to see if our book is in there! Also, in the future when you are cleaning out your bookshelves you might consider taking your extra books to a LFL. I will definitely be doing that next time!