Good news for crime and saga authors, crime fiction and sagas are the most popular library books

Figures from Nielsen's library book loan tracking service LibScan on the first year of its operation show library goers favour crime and saga authors more than any other books, which is good news for me and my crime novels. And good news for  saga writers.  (I wrote three saga novels some years ago, which aren't published - maybe I should resurrect them!) 

My marine mystery crime novels and thrillers are available to borrow not only in UK libraries but also in libraries in the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Not sure what library borrowers prefer in those countries, or if there are figures to track loans but I suspect the pattern would be similar.  Library loans are often different to book sales because libraries stock a vast range of books (currently under threat because of government cut backs as are libraries), and libraries also stock a great backlist of titles, so if you discover an author you like you can usually get access to his or her previous novels.

Libraries are also a good place to try out new authors to see if you like them. Rather than buying the book you can borrow it saving yourself a few pounds. Librarians and reading groups in libraries also offer word of mouth and personal recommendations, which is a valuable source of marketing for an author building his or her name.

Tony Durcan, head of Newcastle libraries, said that one reason for the difference between the figures from libraries and booksales is because libraries provide and promote less well-known authors and carry a range of stock that is out of print.

LibScan rankings are derived from a panel comprising around 10% of all UK public libraries, which are then collated by Nielsen based in Woking. This is its first year of operation, so I say Happy Birthday LibScan, look forward to reading more on this in the years to come.


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