New SELF-e Helps Authors Reach Library Market

Library Journal’’s SELF-e curation service will place self-published books into the following library systems: Los Angeles Public Library, San Diego County Public Library, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Arizona State Library through Reading Arizona; and statewide in Massachusetts through the Massachusetts eBook Project.

Using the SELF-e submission portal at BiblioBoard, authors in the beta libraries’ communities can submit their self-published ebook(s) for display and patron access across that state. Additionally, they have the opportunity to opt-in to allow LJ to evaluate and select titles for inclusion in curated genre collections. SELF-e submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis, with the first collections set to be released later this year.

Since this is a “royalty-free service” (no payment is made to authors), the major appeal will be as a way to make library patrons more aware of a writer’s self-published work. Authors submitting work give SELF-e a non-exclusive license to make the submitted title available to public library patrons via subscribing institutions in the public library market. Authors and their publishing service providers/future publishers are not restricted in any manner from promoting and selling their ebooks to any market (including the public library market via other vendors), according to website’s FAQs.

“”We’ve been assessing the self-published title landscape for the past three years, and it has been frustrating to see the gap remain unbridged between self-published authors, public libraries, and their patrons,”” said Ian Singer, publisher at Library Journal. ““LJ’s unsurpassed expertise in reviewing titles—w hich is critical for library book selection— coupled with the BiblioBoard platform is a compelling solution to unite all three.””

SELF-e was inspired in part by Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL), one of the libraries now previewing the feature. CCPL librarian Sari Feldman, president-elect of the American Library Association, stated: “”As libraries evolve in the 21st century, we recognize the increasingly important role that libraries must play in advancing both reading and writing communities. CCPL is delighted to participate in the SELF-e beta program because we have been searching for an effective tool to support self-published authors as well as the community of readers who want to connect with new work.””