SELF-e Gets Indie eBooks Into Library Catalogs

Image - iStockphoto: toxawww
Image – iStockphoto: toxawww


SELF-e main logoThe American Library Association’s (ALA) 2015 Annual Conference & Exhibition opened Thursday (25th June, #alaac15), in San Francisco with something unprecedented being offered at this year’s gathering: Library SELF-e’s first-ever national curated collection is now ready, an array of 200 indie ebooks that librarians can peruse and consider carrying for their patrons to check out and read.

Big thanks to Elizabeth for letting me jump onto her blog today to tell you about it.

As originally endorsed by indie bestsellers Hugh Howey and CJ Lyons, Library SELF-e is one of the breakthroughs many independent authors have hoped to see.

Until now, self-publishers have been generally stymied in trying to get their work into libraries. And that’s not because librarians weren’t interested in self-published work. No, it’s because there’s so much of it. My Bookseller colleagues and I in London recently estimated that the US alone is producing between 450,000 and 600,000+ new indie titles annually. Do you have time to read all those books? Neither do librarians.

What SELF-e does is give interested indie authors a way to cut through that fog of words and offer their books directly to library collections — at no cost to the author. I’ve agreed to work with Library SELF-e to get the word out to writers for exactly that reason: Here is a new, national-class service that promotes authors at no cost to them and in a critical forum formerly out of reach to indies — our libraries. One key criterion for me: This is available not only to US authors but to anyone, anywhere, writing in English.

The big moment being celebrated by SELF-e co-producers Library Journal and BiblioLabs’ BiblioBoard this weekend in San Francisco is the arrival of the first Library Journal SELF-e Select. This is the curated collection of some 200 indie ebooks that the nation’s librarians now can consider adding to their collections for patrons to check out — without limits: no maximum numbers of checkouts.

Cozies, She Wrote

I now can reveal to you that Elizabeth Spann Craig is one of the best-represented authors in the new collection: no fewer than six of her cozies are there — congratulations, Ms. C! (My favorite title in this group: A Body at Book Club.

Here are the six Elizabeth Spann Craig tittles included in Library Journal's first SELF-e Select national curated collection of self-published works for librarians.
Here are the six Elizabeth Spann Craig titles included in Library Journal’s first SELF-e Select national curated collection of self-published works for librarians.

Very quickly, here is how Library SELF-e works. (There’s much more material at the site, of course, including this excellent page of questions to use in deciding whether SELF-e is right for you.)

(1) When you submit your ebook to the SELF-e system(it’s quick and easy), a team of editors at Library Journalevaluates it.

(2) You can choose to have it automatically included in your state’s anthology for local librarians to discover and consider offering. That one is guaranteed: everybody gets in, and that anthology is provided free of charge top your local libraries.

(3) If you’re not based in the United States, SELF-e and our US librarians still want to know about your work: you simply submit your ebooks and choose the “Outside of US” option as your “state.” (Yes, we’ve basically created the 51st state in the union and it’s all about books. I have no problem with that, do you?)

(4) The big goal is to be selected by Library Journal’s evaluators for its SELF-e Selectcollection — this is the best of the best submitted. Libraries will be subscribing for the chance to see just which authors and which books are being put forward this way for their special consideration. That’s how the program is paid for: libraries pay to gain access to these curated collections.

(5) There’s currently a competition on, too, that might be something you want to consider: If you’re writing romance, mystery, science-fiction or fantasy, you can note as you submit that you’d like to be entered for a $1,000 prize in your genre ($4,000 total for the four genres), and the deadline is August 31. Here are complete details.

(Note: If you’ve already submitted to SELF-e and would like to be considered for a prize, let me know and I can get the word over to the SELF-e team.)

Read More

There’s more: Read the full story at Elizabeth Spann Craig’s site

By Porter Ander­son

Writing on the Ether: SELF-e Gets Indie Books Into Library Catalogs

Originally published by Thought Catalog at



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