Borrow This Book
As any author will tell you, it's nice to be read.
That same author will tell you that writing a book can be the easy part. Getting it into people's hands is the hard part unless you've got a knack for writing best sellers.
Teddy Angert's book - The Commonsense Guide To Everyday Poisons - will never be a best seller. But if it prevents even one accidental poisoning she will be satisfied.
To find more readers Angert is adding another step to the traditional marketing structure for non fiction books like her's. She's giving it away. She's arranged to put a small number of her books into local Little Free Libraries, of which there are at least two dozen in SW Portland.
"I love the whole concept of neighbors sharing books this way," she said in an e mail. "I had borrowed from them before but I don't think I'd ever contributed any."
Now she has. "As an independent author without any corporate backing, I'm really relying on word of mouth to get things going," she explains.
Ideally, someone here in SW Portland will pick up her book at a little library, read it and then write a review for Powells.com or on Amazon, she says.
It made sense to Angert to turn to those ubiquitous little lending libraries where anyone can take out a book with the unwritten understanding that you will in turn leave a book.
"I think the first one I ever saw was the one near SW Spring Garden and I was delighted. It was cute and weatherproof and there was usually something interesting to discover," she recalled recently.
There are a minimum of 24 Little Free Libraries scattered around SW Portland. An exact count is difficult because not all the libraries are chartered with the international Little Free Library
organization. As of August 2018, there are 75,000 little libraries in all 50 states and 88 countries.
Angert admits that her book "isn't exactly a beach read" but is helpful. "It describes typical ingredients found in household products and explains what they are. It addresses questions people have about household products in a way that's meant to reassure rather than frighten,"
she wrote in an e mail.
Before turning to little free libraries she contacted the big library about her book. "I had offered to donate books to the Multnomah County Library but they said it was easier for them to order through their
usual vendor, which they have done,"
Little Free Libraries are located in all 50 states and 88 countries. This website had a map of where they can be found in SW Portland. https://littlefreelibrary.org/