It seems to be a common practice for authors of self-published books to send free copies of their books to libraries and in my role as a librarian I regularly receive these kinds of books. I am unsure why they think this is a good marketing ploy. Libraries are not so desperate for new books that they automatically add these books to their collections. All books have to meet the collection criteria of the particular library and generally speaking self-published books do not. If the book isn’t attractive to a publisher than it is probably not going to interest a library. There are two exceptions: one is if the book contains material of interest to the local area and two is if the author is known to the librarian, or known in the area.

Furthermore librarians are notorious bad at publicity so if the author is hoping for some free publicity for their book, they are going to be disappointed. The truth is most self-published books sent to (Australian) libraries will end up in the rubbish bin.

During the week I received a free copy of ,The Six Ways of Atheism : new logical disproofs of the existence of God, self-published by Geoffrey Berg. Apparently he is sending one to every traceable public library in countries where English is the main language. As a librarian, I find this marketing exercise totally pointless. However before throwing out my copy I did have a quick look. I was grateful for the three page summary at the end, it saved me having to read much of it. Geoffrey Berg’s concept of God, like many atheists, was so small to begin with; it wasn’t hard for him to prove (to himself) there is no God. If one’s concept of God is no bigger than what you can logically work out yourself, than he isn’t much of a God and certainly not worth worshipping. Fortunately I don’t believe this to be the case. The God I believe in is far greater than anything I can fathom.

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