Most writers dream of being published, and with the rise of self-publishing platforms, more people than ever before are seeing their book come to life in print or online.Now some public libraries are joining the self-publishing world by participating in a free self-publishing platform called Self-e, a collaboration between Library Journal and BiblioBoard.
“Libraries are adjusting to the changing publishing industry,” said Jennifer Ashby, director of the Asotin County Library in Clarkston, which will feature Self-e Saturday at its Indie Author Day. “So many things are being self-published.”
This is how it works. Write a book and submit it to Self-e. The book is translated to e-book form and is shared for free with patrons at participating libraries in the author’s state. It is also submitted for review to the Library Journal. If selected by the journal, e-books are made available alongside other indie reads to participating libraries across the U.S. and Canada. Self-e also offers options to print books.
That’s the gist of it. More details, instructions and inspiration from local indie authors will be provided at Indie Author Day Saturday at the downtown Clarkston branch of the library.
The big issue with self-published books is that most are poorly edited or appeal to a limited number of people. That doesn’t stop people from publishing them, but it has made librarians hesitant to put them on shelves. Self-e is one way libraries can meet the needs of readers and writers, Ashby said. It gives self-published writers an audience, but it also provides some vetting. Library Journal was founded by Melvil Dewey, inventor of the Dewey decimal system, and is the leading source of book news for librarians across the country. If the journal gives its seal of approval to a locally published e-book, it will be set before a national audience. However, authors shouldn’t expect to make money through Self-e, as distribution is royalty-free. It’s more of a marketing tool.
“It’s a way for us to get more materials to people and an opportunity for writers to get their stuff out there,” Ashby said.
A panel discussion Saturday will feature authors talking about the writing process, marketing and publishing. The library will show videos on how to use Self-e, and there will be an open mic for people to read their work. If there is interest, Ashby said, the library will form a writers’ group in preparation for November’s National Novel Writing Month.
Authors taking part in the panel discussion are Steve Branting of Lewiston; and Brian Knight, Misty Rego and Rebecca Nourse, all of Clarkston.
If You Go
WHAT: Indie Author Day
WHEN: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14
WHERE: Asotin County Library, 417 Sycamore St., Clarkston
OF NOTE: The event will feature a panel discussion by indie authors and an introduction to Self-e, a self-publishing platform.