Does your state have a library?
It might be worth finding out.
I recently received an email from the Arkansas State Library. They are making a poster to take to the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. in September, and they are putting my book on it. They asked for my permission to do so.
The reason they even know I exist is because I mailed them a copy of my book when it came out so they would have one for the state library. I never heard anything back and never knew how my book was received. Well, I guess.
After I got the email, I Google "Arkansas State Library." They have an awesome website with contact information to book clubs, festivals, librarians, etc. So here are some reasons to check out your state library:
9) Center for the Book. This campaign was started by the Library of Congress. My state library runs its own version on a smaller, local scale. They provide book club suggestions and support to libraries across Arkansas.
8) Free promotion. The state library sponsors a book club called "If all Arkansas read the same book." It chooses 10-12 Arkansas writers and encourages every book club in Arkansas to read that book. How totally awesome if mine gets chosen!
7) Letters from kids. The library holds a competition every year where it encourages grade-school students to write a letter to an Arkansas author whose work inspired them.
6) Information on local conferences. Want to overload your year with conference events? The state library probably has links to them. All of them. So have fun!
5) List of state libraries. Instead of looking up every city in your state and Googling their library, you can just go down the list on your state library website and find every library you want.
4) Book awards. The library sponsors awards for children and young adult literature and allows (begs!) people to recommend books for the reading list. Nominees' books will be read by teens and librarians across the state.
3) Newsletter. Many state libraries send out a monthly newsletters with information about the library, books, contests, awards, and conferences.
2) Local author promotion. They might have a "native author" campaign. Arkansas does. It's called Arkansas Gems, and they feature about ten new books on a poster and bookmarks.
1) Recognition and publicity--for FREE. Posters and bookmarks are distributed across the state. They are given to schools and libraries as "ideas" so they will know what to order to support native writers.
Do you have any experience with your state library? What programs do they offer?