David H. Hendrickson's first novel, Cracking the Ice, was praised by Booklist as "a gripping account of a courageous young man rising above evil." He has since published six additional novels. Both Cracking the Ice and Offside have been adopted for high school student required reading.

His short fiction has appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Pulphouse, and Fiction River. He is a multi-finalist for the Derringer Award and was honored with the 2018 Derringer for Best Long Story. He has released four short story collections.

How to Get Your Book Into Schools by David H. Hendrickson

Have you ever dreamed of an entire school reading your book? Would you like to double (or more!) your writing income? This book shows you how.

Drawing from his own first-hand experience, David H. Hendrickson leads you through every step of the process. He highlights the critical pitfalls to avoid, and points out ways to maximize your profit when a school adopts your book.

With advice and insights that are adaptable to getting your book in front of audiences ranging from middle grade to high school to college, and even to corporations, this book is for you!


Bestselling award-winning writer David Hendrickson got frustrated with his traditional publisher who refused to market his YA books to schools. So Dave got his rights back and published the books himself. And then he marketed the books to schools—and learned a lot in the process. He shares that learning in this excellent little book. Open a market you haven't dreamed of before. Get your books to the next generation of readers—with Dave's help. – Kristine Kathryn Rusch



  • "If you have a book you want to get into K-12 schools and sell in the thousands, you MUST read this book. With a friendly voice and an easy-to-read style, Hendrickson shares his journey with his own books as he steps you through the entire process from getting the book on the recommended reading list to the campaign and how to manage the publishing flow when requests land on your desk. Highly Recommended!"

    – Maggie Lynch, bestselling author Career Author Secrets series
  • "How To Get Your Book Into Schools is such a useful book! The flow reads quickly and the language is easy to understand. The unique insights Hendrickson provides into the entire process of selling a book into a school system are invaluable. Not only does he discuss the strategy involved but he explains the business side of the numbers in a way writers can understand."

    – Tonya D. Price, author, Business Books For Writers
  • "I learned a ton about how to manage cash flow and what I need to do to get my books into schools. This book is terrific not just for high school-based writers, but for colleges, too! Read it and learn what might make sense for your author career."

    – Johanna Rothman, author and consultant
  • "The value of this book is a mindset change. Authors need to look at schools as a market for bulk sales, and market their books that way, instead of focusing on the individual teacher. While the teacher is a great market, if you stop there, you're neglecting a large potential market."

    – Darcy Pattison, author, MimsHouse.com, IndieKidsBooks.com
  • "Clear and concise! Tons of great information here that will prove to be invaluable for writers trying to bring their books to schools."

    – Rigel Ailur, author, Tales of Mimion




The thunderous applause from the assembled high school students washed over me. Off to my left, as I stood at the lectern waiting to speak, a boisterous group of boys began chanting the name of my novel: "Offside! Offside! Offside!" The applause began to fade, then built back up to a roar. In all, it lasted for almost a full minute.

It felt like a lifetime.

The students of Lynn English High School had read my novel as their assigned summer reading. And they'd loved it!

I would have been happy with any reception short of rotten tomatoes, but this took my breath away. Thoughts of all the struggles and frustrations—decades of form-letter rejections, the all-too-believable possibility that I just…did…not…have…any…talent—made this moment all the sweeter.

After my two talks, one for the freshmen and sophomores and another for the juniors and seniors, because the auditorium could not accommodate the entire student body of over sixteen hundred, I signed hundreds and hundreds of copies of the book. And for those who had forgotten their copy, I signed Post-it Notes to put inside as a substitute. I signed agenda books, backpacks, and with a Sharpie, over a dozen—I kid you not—outstretched bare arms.

Over a dozen students wanted my signature…on their arms!

I felt like a rock star.

I will always be grateful to those students of Lynn English High School for how wonderfully they treated me that day. From the girls in the front row who whispered to me before the event began, "Mr. Hendrickson, I loved your book!"…to those boys who chanted its title…to all those proffered arms, backpacks, and books for me to sign.

Other than family events, it was the greatest day of my life. A day I would wish for every writer.

This book can't promise you a day like the one I experienced. In fact, if you're as introverted as many of my writer friends are, the very thought of such a day—speaking to more than sixteen hundred students and their teachers!—might send your heart into palpitations. If so, no one is going to drag you to any podium. You can just "settle" for having all those students read your book.

Whatever the case, this book makes no absolute promises. Every situation and opportunity is unique to some degree. There may be some element of luck to your pursuit of getting your book into the hands of students. That said, a major component of luck is putting yourself into the best possible position for success. This book will try to do that for you.

It will refer to novels, because they are the most typical candidate for adoption, but there's no reason you can't apply it to your nonfiction book or other project. In fact, you can use much of the advice here to get your nonfiction book into corporations. (Don't be surprised if I release a follow-up title targeted on that specific goal.)

That said, the focus here will be on getting your book into high schools, because that is where my own experience lies, and where I believe the most fertile opportunity exists. Once again, however, there's no reason you can't use the suggestions found here to pursue students in colleges and universities, junior high schools, and even middle grades. In fact, one of the resources I describe is available for elementary schools. I'll use examples that are specific to the United States, but the ideas apply pretty much everywhere.

I'll also refer to students reading your book in the summer, because that's the typical high school assignment. However, that doesn't have to be the case. In fact, as I write this, two of my books are under consideration for adoption at a year-round school. If that happens, the book selected will become part of the basic curriculum. More often than not, though, summer reading is your optimal target and that's what I'll focus on here.

Finally, I've approached this book as a "hybrid" writer, one who pursues traditional publishing for some projects and indie publishing with others. For my short fiction, I remain in the traditional camp, where I've appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and numerous anthologies. In recent years, however, I've switched to indie publishing for my novels (for reasons that would fill a book or two all by themselves).

I do speak a bit more directly to those of you who have indie published your novel. (I'll default to trade paperbacks at CreateSpace in my examples, but will bring in IngramSpark and Lightning Source where appropriate, and I'll also discuss hardcovers.) As an indie writer, you'll have more flexibility to implement some of my suggestions, but you'll also have more work to do. I'll lay out those tasks.

If, on the other hand, you're a traditionally published writer, you can still make full use of this book. Some chapters won't apply to you, and you won't have as much direct control as an indie writer, but you can still use the techniques I describe in the upcoming chapters.

Whatever your background, I hope you all soon find your books in the hands of eager students.