Is Your Self-Published Ebook in the Library? SELF-e Is Ready To Help

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Hear that cheer from the Left Coast?

That might just be librarians gathered for the American Library Association’s (ALA) big Annual Conference & Exhibition. It opens today, Thursday (25th June) in San Francisco.

And among the news you may hear coming out of the gathering, one of the most upbeat announcements is that the all-newLibrary Journal’s SELF-e Select is being launched. That means that close to 200 self-published ebooks are in this curated collection, vetted and ready for the nation’s librarians to consider offering to patrons.

My thanks to Shari at Where Writers Win for this chance to tell you about Library SELF-e, a free-to-authors program I’m working with as a client in my Porter Anderson Mediaconsultancy: my role is to help get the word out to indie authors.

If you’ve been in books and publishing for long, you’ll know that one of the main discoverability routes that’s been hardest for indies to crack is the public library. That’s pretty ironic because most of us first became hooked on books and reading at the library, right? So what’s the problem? — it’s that “tsunami of content” you hear people talk about. With an estimated 450,000 to 600,000 or more indie titles being published annually in the US alone, librarians simply can’t hope to find and preview the best material.

So Library Journal and BiblioBoard have teamed up to create a way that indie authors can submit their ebooks to librarians’ attention — free of charge.

Library SELF-e works this way:

  1. As long as you hold the rights to your ebook, you can submit it to SELF-e using this quick submissions portal. The process is quick and self-explanatory.
  2. SELF-e is open to English-language submissions from anywhere in the world. If you’re not in the United States, choose the “Outside the US” option rather than a state.
  3. You have the option to be included in your state library system’s Indie Anthology, a guaranteed placement that will give librarians in your state a chance to preview and consider your work. (Librarians all over the States will be able to see the “Outside the US” submissions.)
  4. If selected by Library Journal’s evaluators, your book will be included as a highlighted work in the Library Journal SELF-e Select, that curated collection of the best submissions, offered to librarians nationwide.

LJ Self-Published eBook AwardsAnd there’s extra incentive this summer to submit your ebook: Library Journal will award $1,000 each to writers of the submitted ebooks in mystery, romance, science fiction, and fantasy. The deadline for the competition is 31 August 2015, and each genre category will have one winner and two honorable mentions. Here are details on the contest.

Note that SELF-e isn’t for every author.

  • You can only participate in the program if you have control of your book’s digital rights. But that doesn’t have to mean your ebook is new work; this could include a backlist, of course, to which your ebook rights have reverted to you from a publisher.
  • That “e” is important, too: this program is for ebooks, not for print.
  • And authors are not paid a royalty payment when a library patron checks out their ebooks with SELF-e. The way this free-to-authors program’s costs are covered is through subscriptions that libraries pay to Library Journal in order to have access to these curated collections of pre-evaluated indie ebooks.One of the advantages of this royalty-free setup is that a SELF-e ebook offered by a library to its patrons can be checked out as many times and by as many people as the traffic will bear — there are no limitations placed on the amount of success that a SELF-e title might have in the library online setting.

This page is designed to help you decide whether SELF-e is right for you.

Lisa J. Yarde
Lisa J. Yarde
And let me introduce you an indie author who’s one of the lucky writers represented in the inaugural Library Journal SELF-e Select curated collection.

In fact, Lisa J. Yarde, who blogs here, has four ebooks of her Sultana series in the new collection. The first of the series, Sultana: A Novel of Moorish Spain, has been specially honored as a SELF-e Select highlight.

“As a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors (Alli),” Yarde tells me, “I had seen information about Library SELF-e posted to the group’s Facebook page in April.” And that’s the indie authors’ grapevine at work: there was a presentation about SELF-e at Alli’s IndieReCon event at Foyle’s flagship bookstore in Charing Cross Road in London on the 17th of April.

Yarde picked up on it quickly. “I decided to submit the four available titles in my historical fiction series,” she says.

Read More

There’s more: Read the full story at Where Writers Win

By Porter Ander­son

Writing on the Ether: Is Your Self-Published Ebook in the Library? SELF-e Is Ready To Help

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