Recently I received an email politely requesting me to send paperback copies of my books for the British Library. It’s actually a legal deposit, a requirement, but the email forewarned that I’d receive similar requests from the big five libraries: Bodleian Library Oxford University, the Cambridge University Library, National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales and Trinity College Dublin. Sure enough, an email rocked up from a handling company asking for five copies of my books, asap. And these are copies I’m to send free of charge, for the good of our cultural heritage. It’s costing me almost £60.
Now, I’ve heard some some authors whine about this – it’s too expensive, what’s the point etc. But moi? I’m a tad excited. I mean #Forfeit and Nearly Almost Somebody are going to live in this library…
Who cares what it’s costing me? My books are going to sit on those shelves. That’s dream-making. To have my words, paperback to paperback with Virginia Woolf, Jilly Cooper and… wait, does this actually happen?
Okay, these big libraries have a long-standing dream to store a copy of every book ever printed and that’s a noble aim, right? But seriously, will my books be on those hallowed shelves, or is there some corrugated warehouse out the back for all the non-Booker Prize-winning modern crap?
I’d love to know.
If you’re ever in one of the Big Five Libraries, go ask a shushing librarian if they have a copy of #Forfeit by Caroline Batten. And if you find it on one of those fancy shelves, or on any shelf anywhere, please, please take a selfie of you and my book. I shall shower you with rewards!