SELF-E for Libraries, 11/02/2015, on The Hummingbird Place on BlogTalk Radio

SELF-E, Connecting Indie Books, Libraries and Readers

Libraries are driving a new era of ebook discovery for indie authors and small presses. SELF-e helps develop robust local writing communities and keeps libraries at the center of the indie book movement. SELF-E is found at http://self-e.libraryjournal.com/

Tonight, November 2, 2015, is my second special report about what I learned at the Novelists Inc. Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida in early October of this year.

Novelists Inc, or NINC, is the international organization of multi-published authors. It is THE professional network for career novelists.

This week, I’m talking about SELF-E. That’s S E L F dash E.

To tell you what I learned about SELF-E at the Novelists Inc. Writers’ Conference, I must tell you a little bit about the man who spoke about it: Porter Anderson is a career journalist whose venues have included three of Time Warner’s CNN networks, the Village Voice, Thought Catalog, the Bookseller, Publishing Perspectives, the Dallas Times Herald, Dallas Observer, D Magazine, the Tampa Tribune, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and other media.

Porter wears many hats. Just some of them are:

Associate Editor curating TheFutureBook.net
Works with The Bookseller.
#FutureChat live discussions on Twitter, each week
“Writing on the Ether” columns — which were originally created for JaneFriedman.com — at ThoughtCatalog.com in New York.
Music for Writers columns,
SELF-e
Frankfurt Book Fair’s terrific Business Club
Master Class series of the all-new Business Club offering at Frankfurt Book Fair’s Halle 4,
Authoright
and many, many more.

At the NINC conference and at many other venues, Porter has been introducing to authors the Library Journal and BiblioBoard program SELF-e.

@LibrarySELF-e, as it’s handled on Twitter, gives independent authors — and traditionally published authors who have the e-rights to their backlists — a chance to submit their ebooks for presentation to their states’ libraries, and to the United States’ library system in a way that assists harried librarians who are all but overwhelmed by new levels of digitally-enabled publishing.

So indie and traditionally published authors alike may be asking, but Mallory? Porter? Why would I want my books in libraries? Well, authors. Would it surprise you to know that readers already know the answer to this question? And if you think just a moment, you’ll figure it out too. But listen up children, because I’m about to tell you.

Just about Everyone now realizes that Self-publishing is a valid and important option for many authors. Whether aiming to produce a bestseller, distribute information or preserve a personal history, each author is contributing to the community in a significant way and deserves access to patrons across the nation.

“Over 50 percent of all library users go on to purchase ebooks by an author they were introduced to in the library.”
Library Journal’s Patron Profiles: Understanding the behavior and preferences of U.S. public library

With state collections, the national SELF-e Select Collections and SELF-E’s ongoing contests, there are many ways for authors to get recognized in their local communities and beyond.

“The number one challenge any author has is building an audience. Once they have an audience, they have an opportunity to grow their work professionally. Librarians can be a powerful marketing force for emerging authors, especially if they can promote the books without fear of success. The SELF-e approach to curation (or ‘oversight’) combined with simultaneous user-access will encourage books to be discovered and even go viral.”
–Hugh Howey, Best-selling self-published author, 2 million plus books sold

“Libraries are all about readers and writers connecting. Since so many of my new readers discover my books via their local libraries, it’s vital that all my books, whether traditionally published or self-published, be easily accessible to library patrons. The SELF-E program helps librarians to better serve readers and authors to grow their audience, creating a perfect synergy of benefit to all book-lovers.”
CJ Lyons, Best-selling self-published author
2 million plus books sold

So in a greatly condensed form, there you have a few good reasons to pursue the option of submitting your ebooks for presentation to your states’ libraries, and to the United States’ library system.

The website is http://self-e.libraryjournal.com/#authors

I would encourage authors to check out this free opportunity. And Yes, I said FREE. Like many other programs that were spotlighted and discussed at NINC, the SELF-E program is free. But, you might say, I can’t make any money by submitting my books to libraries.

No. SELF-E is not an income stream. However, it very will might be an all-important step in obtaining that maximum visibility and discoverability that most of us are wishing for.

As a matter of disclosure, let me state that I have no connection with, vested interest in or collaboration with SELF-E or Porter Anderson. I’m just letting folks know about some of the things I learned from the Novelists Inc Conference I attended in early October of this year.

Mallory Kane