September 29, 2022
Bibliophiles, self-published authors, and avid readers of all ages likely have one common problem: where to store self-published books. We tuck them into the few, spare inches of crowded bookshelves, stack them perilously on nightstands or even use a few copies to lift a knickknack on display. But these are not long-term solutions for storing volumes of books safely or for any length of time. So how can you store self-published books properly to preserve them for future use or sale?
Your house may feel more like a warehouse somedays if you have recently self-published a book. Finding a way to secure them for the future is a good idea so your investment and hard work won’t end up crinkled, damp or dirty when the sales begin. But whether you have 10 or 10,000 copies on your hands, preserving your books so they stay clean, dry and pest-free is key to their longevity. So let’s take a look at the top tips to follow to keep your books in excellent condition, no matter how long you need your book storage to last.
The look of a library is unmistakable with the spines of books of all sizes lined up neatly on sturdy shelves. But there is a reason beyond the aesthetics why libraries store books this way: it is the safest book storage method. While stacking some books horizontally to intersperse with vertical, spine-outward books may look gorgeous on a bookshelf, books that are laid flat and stacked atop another over time will become damaged. And for self-publishing authors, book storage of unsold copies should be all about safekeeping practices. A book’s safest storage style is vertically to take advantage of the spine and cover’s built-in strength. No matter where the books are kept, keep them upright and secured so they will not fall or slide when possible.
UV rays are damaging to our skin and books alike. Direct sunlight, made up of UV rays, can fade bright colors on a book’s cover and impact how the ink looks on a book’s page. Damaging rays can also discolor book pages and make them turn brittle over time as well as impact the strength of glue used to bind book covers. So choose a book storage location that is out of direct light to preserve your books’ fresh, new appearance so it is ready to be delivered to their reader at any time.
The location that you pick to store self-published books should not be high in humidity. So rooms nearby water sources like bathrooms or laundry areas typically have more moisture and are not good choices for keeping books in pristine condition. Damp basements or garages are not good locations for keeping books dry either, as spaces with a close air conditioning vent may increase the room’s moisture when in use. Ideally, books should be held in a room no warmer than 75 degrees, but watch out for the relative humidity in a room of any temperature to protect your books best.
Keeping a large quantity on bookshelves is not possible for most people, even though the airflow on shelves provide the best way to keep books dry and mold-free. But using a storage container is a great solution when shelf space isn’t available. But don’t just toss your pristine books into any old container you have lying around. Instead, choose a safe book storage container so you can be confident that your books will look just as good when you retrieve them as they did when you first placed them inside.
It’s easy to imagine that books can become damaged during storage by being exposed to dampness, falling or slipping over or experiencing damaging UV rays in direct sunlight. But books can also become damaged or even destroyed by bugs or animals while they are tucked away in a box, container or on the shelf in an out-of-the-way location. Small critters like mice can feast on the pages of stored books and moths and other insects can infest containers or storage areas that are dark and infrequently disturbed like garages or basements. But authors who have large quantities of books to store can apply a few tricks to their chosen storage area to discourage these unwelcome pests from ruining copies of their latest book.
Whether you already have a bundle of books to take care of or you are just planning where to put the extra copies of the book you are planning to write, knowing the proper way to store self-published books will ensure that you can enjoy them at any time or you will be able to send them off to their new homes in perfect condition.
And authors who work with quality printers like Publishing Xpress already know that the quality of their books will stand the test of time if they take good care of them whether they are kept on the shelf or in a container in safe conditions. So when your home feels more like a home office with boxes of books and orders to fulfill, remember to keep your extra copies in a cool, dry, darkened place when you are not shipping off new copies to your readers. All of the hard work it took to turn your dreams into a published book doesn’t have to be ruined when you remember to store your books safely right from the start.
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