Big Talk From Small Libraries 2014: How to Make Money on the Internet For Your Library

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Information about Big Talk From Small Libraries 2014: How to Make Money on the Internet...

Published on March 4, 2014

Author: nebraskaccess



Mary Rayme, Director, Pioneer Memorial Public Library (WV)
Learn how to make money for your library by selling books on Amazon, using PayPal, writing book reviews online, and monetizing a blog. Using the Internet and social media, this is a quick guide to get started raising cash in cyberspace.

The Pioneer Memorial Public Library, Harman, 1

How to Make Money For Your Library on the Internet (or, For a Few Dollar$ More) By Mary Rayme Pioneer Memorial Public Library Randolph County, Harman, WV 2

Does your library need money? (If not, this presentation is not for you.)

• Methods we will explore today bring money into your library from your locale and (potentially) from all over the country. • With a minimum investment money can be earned for your library in continuous streams that don’t require a lot of work. Because librarians really do rule the world, that’s why.


PayPal Ever heard of it? Do you use it? 6

How secure is PayPal? 7

• Place a donation button on your website. • This allows your patrons to donate any amount that they wish via credit card. • Cash is directly deposited into your library’s bank account. “Get to know a little bit about HTML." 8


Kroger Community Rewards Fundraising Program (Or, Kroger Cares.) 10

• There are about 2,424 Kroger stores in the United States. • You can set up a gift card program that you and your patrons may use to benefit your library. 11

• Patrons purchase a Kroger gift card from the library for $5. • Every time you go to the Kroger load up the gift card with more cash at the customer service desk. • Five percent of all groceries or gas purchased goes back to the library or nonprofit of your choice. 12

• Pluses: You don’t have to do a lot. Promote the cards to your patrons. Watch the cash roll in. • Negatives: Patrons have to remember to go to the Customer Service desk to refill their cards. “Waiting in line at the customer service desk can be daunting.” 13


Better World Books - pluses • Keeps books out of dumpsters • Fairfax County, Virginia 15

• BWB resells books for you on 50+ Internet outlets “That’s creative book recycling, Better World Books.” 16

• Your library gets 15%, plus 5% donated to a charity. (BWB has 8 literacy charities from which you may choose.) • BWB pays for your books to be shipped: at least 6 boxes, and up to 25. Zero startup cost for the library. (They even send you the boxes.) 17

Better World Books - minuses • You don’t get as much profit as if you sold yourself on Amazon or • You have to pack up books and call UPS for pickup. 18

blog 19

Google Adsense – Using Blogs • Start a blog for your library • is a great place to start and it is free “WordPress is a good place to blog, too.” • Rural Librarian 20

Link to your blog on your library website Pioneer Memorial Public Library Harman, West Virginia 21

Post blog entry links on your library’s FaceBook page. (and/or Twitter, etc.) “Use social media to promote your blog!” (And remember: Blogs also have nonmonetary value in that they help communicate with your patrons, and promote your library.) 22

Google AdSense • Apply for a Google Adsense account once you have a handful of blog entries. • By linking Google AdSense to your blog, Google places ads on your blog pages. • If and when someone clicks on an ad from your page and buys something, your library gets a cut. 23

• You can edit the content of your ads. So, for example, I have removed all ads for dating and alcohol from my library’s AdSense account. • Write your blog entries with a meaningful link, source materials, and good SEO. 24

What is SEO? • Search Engine Optimization is all about getting Google to rank your pages better • The better your page ranking, the closer to the top of a Google search your review will go. (which means more pages hits) • Learning to write with good SEO is all about understanding how people search the Internet 25

What is SEO? “Search Every Octopus?” 26

More Blog Ideas • Amazon Associates • Become an Amazon Associate by reviewing books with embedded links. • Every time someone buys a book from your link your library gets a share of the profit. • Patrons or friends may write book reviews for the library. • Use good SEO to write your reviews. 27

Develop Backlinks to your Blog • Find websites that might be interested in linking to your blog. • The number of backlinks that lead to your blog give you a higher Google ranking, and hopefully, more page hits • This also brings more people to your blog, which brings more people to your library. 28

Bored Yet? Hope not. Sometimes if you want to see a change for the better, you have to take things into your own hands. ~ Clint Eastwood 29

Using SEO – An Example • If you are writing a book review of Janet Evanovich book you will want to include phrases like: • American mystery writer • Funny mysteries • Good beach read • Even using a keyword with a misspelling may yield page hits, such as “Evanovitch” 30

Google Analytics • Google Analytics won’t garner any income but it can show you which blog entries are the most popular. • Use Google analytics to track your blog traffic including page hits and bounce rate. • Analyzing these stats may help you become a better blog writer, which in turn, could generate more income and page hits. 31

Google Analytics 32

Sell Books on Amazon • Books that are donated that you don’t want to add to your collection • Books that are weeded out of your collection but are still in Good condition 33

Selling on Amazon • How to get started • Invest in bulk bubble mailers. • Seller obligations – Mail sales quickly, within 1-2 days – Mail via Media Mail – Get delivery confirmation for books sold over $40 or so… • Tweak inventory once a week or once a month 34

Selling on Amazon - Pluses • Reimbursed $4 for shipping • Profit goes right into bank account • Keeps books out of dumpsters “I would never have been able to pass the Bill Clinton-Gary Hart test. No one short of Mother Teresa could pass.” 35

Selling on Amazon - Minuses • Amazon take a 20-30% cut • Customers may be unaware they are not buying direct from Amazon and are more likely to ask for returns • Have to go to Post Office regularly. • Book inventory takes up space and has to be managed well. 36

Other Selling Venues • is another place to sell books online • makes a much smaller cut than Amazon. The catch is that they are not as a big a name and therefore you are less likely to sell here. 37

Feeling Lucky? • You can list the same books on both Amazon &, you just have to be vigilant about deleting sold inventory. 38

Tips for selling books online • Most books have little to no resale value. • It can take years to hone your book buying and book selling skills. • Nonfiction generally sells better than fiction • Bestsellers usually have little or no resale value • Small press/academic press books may sell better • Textbooks that are more than a year or two old probably have no resale value • Don’t sell large, heavy books. You lose money in shipping. • Don’t sell books that are marked in or are in questionable condition. 39

One Fiscal Year – Pioneer Library • Amazon (selling used books) = $1,000 • PayPal = $0 – easy to set up a donation button • Kroger = $500 – easiest method • Google Adsense via library blog = $8 • Amazon Associate = the more reviews you have the more income potential you have. Volunteers can write reviews for cash, engagement, and free PR. $ 40

Create Products for Sale • is a great place to create items for sale. You create merchandise. • People buy library-themed or region-themed merchandise directly from • As they are ordered, CafePress creates the products and mails them. 41

• Your library gets a chunk of change. • You don’t need space for inventory, CafePress does this for you. 42

The Last Word There are many other ways to set up revenue sources using the Internet. Be creative with ways that you use to promote your library and make money all at the same time. The work you spend may be well worth it… for a few dollar$ more. 43

Website Resources Kroger Cares Buy bubble mailers More about selling on Amazon Rural Librarian Blog Any questions? Please feel free to email me at Please ‘Like’ us on FaceBook! 44

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