What is WorldCat? It's the world's largest network of library content and services, and it can be found at http://www.worldcat.org/ . Many libraries in the US make their card catalogs available to the WorldCat search engine, so someone looking for a book can find out what libraries have copies and work out an inter-library loan agreement with their local library to obtain a copy to check out.
Now, how is WorldCat useful to authors? We can use it to see how many libraries have copies of our books in stock, which gives us an idea of our library sales. Not ALL libraries participate, but enough do to make the search worthwhile, especially for authors whose publishers focus on library sales, like Five Star Publishing does. When I searched for my book, A Real Basket Case, today, I found that 46 library systems have copies and some of those have multiple copies. I consider this to be good news, given that my book was only released on March 21st.
And an update from January, 2009 is that 357 library systems on WorldCat have copies of the hardcover and/or large-print editions of A Real Basket Case. Many have multiple copies, and some total over 20. I consider the fact that libraries are retaining those copies even though the book was published almost two years ago to be even better news, because that means readers are checking out those copies and reading them to keep them in circulation.
I'd used Worldcat previously, but not in that manner - clever girl!
L. Diane Wolfe
I hadn't heard of Worldcat. Thanks for sharing the information.
Like Shari I haven't heard of Worldcat either but can't wait to check it out. Thanks.
Jane Kennedy Sutton
Too bad my local library isn't a part of this. We only have a state-wide search.
Loved the information and the creative use of it!
I'll have to remember that. Thanks for the info.
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