New Library Service Helps “Indie” Authors Reach New Readers

Two web-based services offer writers opportunity, and readers variety.

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Countless self-published e-books are created every day. Countless readers are looking for the next great book. But how do authors and readers find each other without the marketing campaigns of commercial publishing companies? Enter the web-based platforms, SELF-e and BiblioBoard.

Like other libraries around the country, the Timberland Regional Library (TRL) has just launched SELF-e  and BiblioBoard on its website. The goal is to help independent authors reach more readers.

When authors submit their e-books to SELF-e, those books become available to patrons of participating public libraries within each state. There is no editorial “weed-out” process except to ensure compliance with state and federal laws concerning hate speech, plagiarism, and slander.  If a work is judged to have broader appeal, it will go to an editorial board for possible inclusion in the national collection.

Library readers find these books through the companion platform, BiblioBoard. Readers can search for and read e-books from their library’s website or, through the downloadable application (app). E-books can be read on any electronic device – no checkouts, no returns and no waiting. Authors receive no royalties. Readers read for free.

To be clear, libraries that host these services are conduits only, offering exposure and distribution for independently published books. They have no editorial role. Decisions about which works will become part of the national collection are made by editors from the publication “Library Journal” and BiblioBoard.