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Anne R. Allen's Blog


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Anne writes funny mysteries and how-to-books for writers. She also writes poetry and short stories on occasion. Oh, yes, and she blogs. She's a contributor to Writer's Digest and the Novel and Short Story Writer's Market for 2016. 

Her bestselling Camilla Randall Mystery Series features perennially down-on-her-luck former socialite Camilla Randall—who is a magnet for murder, mayhem and Mr. Wrong, but always solves the mystery in her quirky, but oh-so-polite way.

Anne lives on the Central Coast of California, near San Luis Obispo, the town Oprah called "The Happiest City in America."

Anne blogs at Anne R. Allen's Blog...with Ruth Harris 
and at Anne R. Allen's Books

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Indie Authors: How to Get Visible in Libraries

We're jazzed to have a visit this week from one of the most respected journalists in the publishing industry. Porter Anderson's resumé includes CNN, The Dallas Times Herald, and the Village Voice. He also writes for online biggies like Writer Unboxed, ThoughtCatalog, and FutureBook. He visits most of the major publishing industry conferences worldwide and reports on them in his newsletter, Porter Alerts.

As regular readers know, I urge new writers to enter writing contests to beef up credits, boost your cred and get some positive feedback while you're building your career. (And maybe even win some cash!) 

I list a few free and affordable contests each week in the "opportunity alerts" section at the bottom of each post. I  look for established contests with an entry fee under $20. I make exceptions if there's an edit or critique offered for each entry, because that's usually worth a slightly higher-priced entry fee. 

But as Porter warns, not all contests are created equal. Many are bogus and charge huge fees, especially the ones for self-published books (indies are popular prey for scammers these days.) So check this post by Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware before entering any indie novel contests. 

But the new SELF-E Library Journal contest is different. For one thing, it's FREE to enter. The monetary prizes are modest ($1000 grand prize in each category). But a win or honorable mention gets you a major amount of discoverability through the Library Journal and distribution to libraries.

Compare that with the cost of a one-day Bookbub ad for a freebie book, and it looks like a very good deal to me.

Superstar indie author Hugh Howey thinks so too. He says:

"Librarians can be a powerful marketing force for emerging authors....The SELF-e approach will encourage books to be discovered and even go viral."...Hugh Howey

Since it's quite different from other contests, I figured SELF-e deserved its own post, and I've invited Porter to tell us all about it....Anne

The SELF-e Contest: Your Chance to Get the Attention of Librarians

by Porter Anderson / @Porter_Anderson

Like trying to flag down triathletes in mid-event, getting the attention of librarians as a self-publishing author these days? — not easy.

After all, our library systems are in heavy competition, themselves. They're running a mean race against the digital dynamic to find their place in a world that once saw the reference department Xerox machine as the highest tech in the building.

If they can get together, self-publishing authors and libraries have a lot to offer each other.

Libraries need e-content for their patrons, preferably of the kind that can be checked out by multiple readers at once, an unlimited number of times, no waiting for available ebook copies.

And self-publishing writers need to have their ebooks discovered by readers: America's libraries have some 299.9 million of them.

As my colleague at The Bookseller in London, Philip Jones, has pointed out, "Self-publishing may still feel marginal in terms of overall business right now, but in certain genres it is already highly visible and highly influential."

So "highly visible and highly influential" is some self-published genre work, in fact, that librarians are eager to have it in their collections for library patrons to check out and read. The problem for them is the marathon they're running in their own e-evolution: librarians, themselves, have no time to find or read self-published ebooks.

That's why, until the arrival of Library Journal's SELF-e program, so many librarians haven't been able to acquire more self-published work. If estimates are right that as many as 600,000 or more titles are being self-published annually in the States alone, librarians can't even hope to see and evaluate even a fraction of it.

So let me say a special thanks today to my longtime friend and colleague Anne R. Allen for this chance to tell you about SELF-e. It's an important development on the self-publishing scene, and one that many indies are studying carefully and using, for its ability to get them into librarians' consideration.

I'll make it clear, as I do in each piece I write about SELF-e, that Library Journal is a client of Porter Anderson Media, my consultancy. This means that I am promoting it to authors' attention as a paid professional consultant. And I've taken on this client because I think that SELF-e is a significant new channel to potential discoverability for many independent writers, a channel that is free to writers.

In fact, $4,000 in prize money is being offered at this point by Library Journal to winners in four genres of its 2015 Self-Published eBook Awards. If you're writing in romance, mystery, science fiction, or fantasy, when you submit a book or books to SELF-e, you can enter the competition. The winner in each of the four genres gets $1,000. Those winners and two runners-up in each genre also get: 

  • A full Library Journal review, publishing in print and online (these reviews are used by librarians in choosing acquisitions) 
  • Presence in a promotional ad featuring all award winners' books in Library Journal's December "Best of Books" issue 
  • Recognition at Library Journal's Self-Published eBook Awards Reception during the American Library Association's huge Midwinter Meeting in Boston 

These are extremely valuable prizes —
each a way to flag down those librarians and have them see your work. And, as such, this is a singular competition, one that probably is unlike any other being conducted right now. What's why Anne and I are interested in making sure you have the information you need about this.

Before moving into some detail, let's get that all-important deadline down: 31 August — 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern time.

When Contests Matter

As we talked about this piece, Anne asked me about competitions that could really mean something to a career. That's exactly the right thing to ask.

Just last week, I was writing up the excellent work that Writer Beware's Victoria Strauss has been doing on warning authors against wasting time and money on "awards profiteers."

If you keep an eye on Strauss' updates at Writer Beware, you can stay abreast of a lot of scams that can get hooks into unwary writers in this age of "author services" on every corner. And among those scams, you'll find her alerting you to "awards profiteers" at work. She lists here a series of red flags to look out for, including solicitation (usually by email, of course), high entry fees, dozens or scores of entry categories, anonymous judging, "non-prize prizes," and opportunities to spend more money.

Another important reference for self-publishing authors on all author services is the Alliance of Independent Authors' (ALLi) Choosing a Self-Publishing Service. In it, you'll find independent evaluations of products and services for writers, a big help in a marketplace that sees indie writers as ready customers.

The SELF-e competition I'm bringing to your attention here is totally free to enter, as is SELF-e submission of your ebook for libraries. There are just four categories (the four genres eligible). And here are some of the judging team members announced so far:
  • Stephanie Chase, Director, Hillsboro PL, Oregon 
  • Stephanie Anderson, Head of Readers’ Advisory, Darien Library, CT 
  • Robin Nesbitt, Manager, Hilliard Branch, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., OH 
  • Robin Bradford, Collection Development Specialist, Timberland Regional Library 
  • Corinne Hill, Director, Chattanooga PL, TN 

So as you think about the contest, let's go over SELF-e itself and get a fix on why it's a pivotal arrival on the scene for authors.

  • What can you submit: your ebooks. 
  • Who can submit ebooks: Any writer who holds her or his ebook rights to the material. 
  • Which librarians see them? 
  • (a) You can select to be included in your Statewide Indie Anthology for all the librarians in your state to peruse, and 
  • (b) You can select to be considered by Library Journal evaluators for inclusion in SELF-e Select, a curated collection for libraries at the national level. 
  • What do you pay? Nothing. Submission is entirely free. 
  • Do you assign your digital rights over? No, you retain your rights. You grant Library Journal a license to offer your ebooks to libraries (only) for their collections. 
  • Can you get out of it? Yes, and you can get your ebooks back out, and your rights are still intact as yours. 
  • What are you paid? Nothing. SELF-e is a discoverability play, giving you a chance to leverage the massive "prime readership" of libraries. It's not an author-revenue program. 

Where is SELF-e operating now? Have a look at this map and hang on for a minute when you get there — it renders an up-to-date view as you wait. It's being refreshed by Library Journal's partner in SELF-e, BiblioBoard, so that you can tell where in the country authors are submitting work (all but six states on the mainland); where Statewide Indie Anthologies have already begun releasing to their libraries; and where Statewide Indie Anthologies are coming next. 

What's ahead? As the SELF-e team continues building out the program, dashboards will be created for authors — I'm told before the end of the year — which will tell you where your books are being entered in library collections and what level of readership they're getting from patrons.

The Controversy of the Moment

As Library Journal's SELF-e has been rolled out, there's been a lot of talk about the fact that it does not pay royalties to authors whose ebooks are entered in library collections and checked out by patrons. 

The way the program is paid for is that libraries subscribe to Library Journal's SELF-e Select curated collections. (They also are able to use SELF-e's submission system as a way for their local authors to offer their books to their regional libraries.) So the costs of the program are covered by the business relationships that Library Journal and BiblioBoard have with libraries and library systems.

Victoria Noe:

One of the self-published authors who was early to investigate the program is Chicago-based Victoria Noe. Her series of "Friend Grief" nonfiction books is a growing collection of highly specified considerations of grief experienced by people who lose friends and co-workers but don't have access to the typical grief processes of family members. Noe's fifth installment of the series comes out later this week, she tells me.

Noe's four first volumes are all in SELF-e Select for librarians, nationwide, to consider adding to their collections for ebook patrons to check out.

And I've found that Noe is quick to say she understands, but disagrees, with those who feel that the no-royalty aspect of SELF-e is a problem. In comments at Jane Friedman's site on my recent article there about SELF-e, she writes:

"So, yes, the 'I'm not going to make a dime from this' is something that gives all of us pause. But I'm in now, so here's why I submitted:

Libraries are obviously a huge market and a gateway to book sales: either by the library, the patrons themselves, or the possibility of the library inviting you to speak to their patrons. (God knows I'm not shy about getting up in front of an audience.)"

What Noe values the most in the SELF-e program is its curation, the preparation of vetted, evaluated ebooks for librarians, not just a vast list that no one has time to sift through.

"The issue for self-published authors has always been curating. Libraries (public, school, etc.) tend to go by reviews. And many review sites were off-limits or prohibitively expensive for us. But otherwise it's damn hard to get noticed in the sea of self-published books. So being included in the Illinois and national collections is, for me, an important way into that market that had eluded me for some time. I've done a couple local author fairs at public libraries, but this will be the kind of validation I need to get into more (not just in Illinois, hopefully)."

And not for nothing may it be easier for Noe to see how SELF-e may raise her visibility in meaningful ways — it turns out that she has seen library acquisition at close range:

"I learned a long time ago when I was selling children's books to school librarians that everyone likes a free book. At library conferences I would offer 'buy 3 get the 4th one free'. Librarians would stand in my booth with the one book in hand that they planned to buy and say 'I have to pick 3 more!'. That’s called up-selling and I was shameless. I think of this program the same way, though I guess my ebooks are technically loss leaders....When librarians see (fingers crossed) a lot of interest in my ebooks, they're going to at least consider buying the paperbacks. They're going to consider bringing me in to talk about them. And if not for this, they probably wouldn't know I'm alive."

And that's the challenge for every self-publishing author today. How can you get any part of the market to even "know you're alive" when millions of self-published books already are out there and hundreds of thousands more are coming into play each year?

Library Journal and BiblioBoard think they have one answer, a new curated way into the system for self-publishing authors. The practicalities of how library acquisitions work and what librarians need to find and consider your book are the currency here.

Some indies may not feel that this is the right answer for them. 

Perhaps they don't agree that exposure to such a realm of readers is worth it; they may feel that only a royalty fee for a checkout by a patron will do. That's perfectly fine. Each writer must make up his or her mind independently. And only that writer knows what's right for her or him. 

Your decision is the best decision for you, every time. And it doesn't have to be permanent, either. If you get into SELF-e and it doesn't work for you, you can get back out and your books will be removed from library circulation. You're not stuck in anything; the rights to your work have never left you, they're yours.

Should I be able to help with any questions, please feel free to drop a comment here. And, thanking Anne again, I'll leave you with a couple more lines from Noe about how SELF-e works out for her:

"This is marketing for me. In the long run, I'd rather do this than pay for an ad or booth space. Those have their advantages, especially the booth. But it still means my work isn't curated. And while there may no longer be gatekeepers to publishing, on some level we will always need gatekeepers for discoverability."

What about you, scriveners? Do you have a self-published book you'd like to get into libraries? Do you have any questions for Porter? How about other contests? Have you ever felt ripped off by a contest? Has a contest win made a difference in your career? 


photo by Bob Timpson
Porter Anderson (@Porter_Anderson) is a journalist and consultant in publishing. He's The Bookseller's (London) Associate Editor in charge of The FutureBook. He's a featured writer with Thought Catalog (New York), which carries his reports, commentary, and frequent Music for Writers interviews with composers and musicians. And he's a regular contributor of "Provocations in Publishing" with Writer Unboxed.

Through his consultancy, Porter Anderson Media, Porter covers, programs, and speaks at publishing conferences and other events in Europe and the US, and works with various players in publishing, such as Library Journal's SELF-e, Frankfurt Book Fair's Business Club, and authors. You can follow his editorial output at Porter Anderson Media, and via this RSS link.

Porter will be presenting SELF-e at Writer's Digest's Annual Conference (#WDC15) in August and at Novelists Inc.'s conference (#NINC15) in October.

Click here for more about upcoming conferences (and sign up for Porter Alerts.)


Chanel and Gatsby 

Anne and Ruth BOGO!

Buy the boxed set and get another FREE ebook (you choose).

Buy a copy of the boxed set of Ruth Harris's The Chanel Caper and Anne R. Allen's The Gatsby Game for $2.99 (or your country's equivalent) and you can choose a FREE ebook from either Ruth's or Anne's catalog. That's right: 3 books for $1 each. You can choose any single title from the sidebar (& find more on Ruth's book page and Anne's book page)

Just forward the confirmation email you get for the purchase, with the title you'd like free to the author of your choice and we'll gift it to you. (Make sure to let us know if  you want the Kindle or E-Pub version.) Link to our contact emails in the sidebar.

You can read a great interview with Ruth Harris by Debbie A. McClure at You Read it Here First. Find out what's next for Ruth! 


BARTLEBY SNOPES CONTEST   $10 FOR UNLIMITED ENTRIES. Compose a short story entirely of dialogue. Must be under 2,000 words. Your entry cannot use any narration (this includes tag lines such as he said, she said, etc.). These are the only rules. 5 finalists will also appear in Issue 15 of the magazine. Last year they awarded $2,380 in prize money. Deadline September 15.

CRAZYHORSE SHORT-SHORT FICTION AWARD $15 Entry fee.  $1,000 and publication. Three runners-up. All entries considered for publication. Submit one to three short-shorts of up to 500 words each. Deadline July 31.

DIABOLICAL PLOTS  A new online journal that publishes original fiction, one story per month. Genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror (everything must have speculative element, even horror). 2000 word limit. Pays .06 cents/word. Deadline July 31.

Rattle Poetry Prize The annual Rattle Poetry Prize offers $10,000 for a single poem to be published in the winter issue of the magazine. Each entry can contain up to 4 poems. 10 finalists will also receive $200 each and publication, and be eligible for the $2,000 Readers’ Choice Award, to be selected by subscriber and entrant vote. Entry fee $20 (includes subscription) Deadline July 15.

Golden Quill Awards Writing Contest: Flash, Poetry, and Short fiction categories. Entry fee $20 for stories and poetry, $15 for flash fiction. The theme is TRANSFORMATION. Deadline July 15.

Glamour Magazine Essay contest.  FREE! Theme: "My Real Life Story". Prize is $5,000 and possible publication in Glamour Magazine for personal essays by women, between 2,500-3,500 words. Enter online or by mail. Open to US residents aged 18+.Deadline July 15.

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Blogger Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I read about SELF-e recently. (Probably on Elizabeth's site.) With the contest, this could be a great opportunity for self-published authors to get their works out to a larger readership.

July 12, 2015 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Linda Maye Adams said...

My concern is that the default seems to be that the writer should give away their work for nothing. I get market listings all the time, and more than 75% are unusable because they don't pay the writer, and moreover, many don't see what's wrong with that.

As for contests, I wouldn't go for any that required an entry fee. I don't see the point in essentially paying someone to read what I wrote, only to give me a form rejection. I've submitted to Alfred Hitchcock and Writers of the Future, neither of which charge anything.

July 12, 2015 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Wm. L. Hahn said...

Welcome Porter, and thanks for this valuable opportunity to consider. I'm going to bring this up with my publisher and see what she thinks too.
Maybe an update to your map- I've reloaded it and it still shows six continental states out of the program (not 4), including, of COURSE... my state Delaware and my birth-land in Vermont. Argh, typical. But I'd certainly look into it, library exposure is well worth the freebie listing.
And one more thing you can get into the local library: yourself. I've had a blast going to author-group seminars and presenting on ways for newbies to get started.

July 12, 2015 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Porter—Thank you for the detailed and invaluable explanation of SELF-e and how it works. Thanks, especially, for laying out the pros and cons so that each writer has the knowledge to make up his or her mind independently.

Anne—Thanks for featuring our BOGO offer. Hope that lots of readers will take advantage! :-)

July 12, 2015 at 10:47 AM  
Blogger Porter Anderson said...

Hi, Alex,

And glad that the SELF-e program sounds good to you. I was delighted to have a chance to talk about it over at Elizabeth Spann Craig's site ( http://bit.ly/1eTD5BY ) and super of you to have picked up on it.

All the best with your work!

On Twitter: @Porter_Anderson

July 12, 2015 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Porter Anderson said...

Hi, Linda Maye, and thanks for your comment.

I do understand your concern about the no-royalties factor, and I don't think that this is the correct "default" at all, in general.

In the specific case of SELF-e, however, the financial model is devised as it is because of the nature of the library world's needs and the nature of the service as it's been developed. I'll have more about this on Tuesday (14th) over at JaneFriedman.com, drop by if you can.

And I agree with you that contests without entry fees are the best. As Anne writes, if there's any fee beyond a very modest one that clearly covers only the administrative costs of entry intake, then a contest is likely not the one to enter. And, as I said, that's one plus for the (free) SELF-e contest, in my mind.

Thanks again and all the best,

On Twitter: @Porter-Anderson

July 12, 2015 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger Porter Anderson said...

Hey, William!

Good to hear that SELF-e sounds interesting to you. Since you have a publisher, do be aware that you need to have your e-rights under your own control to be able to submit. That may be the case (perhaps your publisher has print rights and you have digital rights?), but it's a good thing to keep in mind. The author submitting needs to have his or her ebook rights.

And thanks for the sharp-eyed catch! You're exactly right on the six, not four states) -- I'd looked at another reference while writing -- and Anne will be helping us get that updated any time now.

Love your point about the local library and its activities. So true. If you can come by Jane Friedman's site on Tuesday (14th), in fact, I'll be there with a piece in which we mention the local-library inception of the SELF-e concept -- your thinking is perfectly aligned with that.

Thanks again!

On Twitter: @Porter_Anderson

July 12, 2015 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Anne Gallagher said...

As a self-published author of ten Regency romances (series), I was absolutely floored when they were bought by several libraries through Smashwords. I think libraries can be a really good stepping stone through which to get noticed, and ultimately bought by consumers. Personally, when I find a good book at a library, I always try and go buy it for my own library. (And also to support fellow authors).

Thanks, Porter, for the Self-e opportunity.

Thanks, Anne!

July 12, 2015 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger CS Perryess said...

Fascinating stuff. Thanks for your work toward getting indie authors a little action.

July 12, 2015 at 11:21 AM  
Blogger Porter Anderson said...

My pleasure, Ruth!

Delighted to be here on the site and in touch with so many of your and Anne's good readers.

And you're right on the money about the individual decision each author needs to make with SELF-e (and any author services, really). There are cases in which one or more elements of SELF-e will be perfect for a writer, and other cases in which it's just not a good fit. And that's great. My own role as consultant is in getting the word out, not ramming it down anybody's throat, and there's no connection between how many authors decide to use SELF-e and how I'm compensated. So, happily, while I think SELF-e is a significant development that should be great for many writers, I don't need to push and shove about it.

Super to be here, and good look with the BOGO offer, too, looks good -


On Twitter: @Porter_Anderson

July 12, 2015 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger Porter Anderson said...

Anne, congratulations!

What a great thing to get 10 of your romances picked up by libraries. Mark Coker's approach to libraries with Smashwords books was one of the first big steps in that direction, and he deserves a lot of credit for moving toward the libraries at a time when a lot of publishers were running the other direction, too.

So glad, too, that you agree on the principle of library exposure leading to sales. I think it definitely does, especially when I think of how many of my own favorite writers I discovered through libraries, myself -- and now buy. I'm like you, find a good one, go get it, either as a gift or for my own collection.

If you have a chance, Anne, I'd love to know of any observations you have on the compensation factor. Have you been paid for check-outs of your books (or for initial acquisition)? And if so, has it been lucrative? No actual numbers needed, of course. Just asking for some perspective -- I think many of us are looking for helpful ways to weigh whether the no-royalty aspect of SELF-e is an acceptable element of the the program as it exists now. (Ultimately up to each author to decide, of course.)

Thanks again and congrats!

On Twitter: @Porter_Anderson

July 12, 2015 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger Porter Anderson said...

Hi there.

Glad you came by and I'm grateful to Ms. Allen for a bit of her real estate today to get the word out about SELF-e. I have to give all the credit to Library Journal and BiblioBoard, I'm but the messenger. But it's a pleasure to have something to offer indies for their consideration that might help with discoverability, the factor just about everybody needs most these days.

Thanks again, and all the best,

On Twitter: @Porter_Anderson

July 12, 2015 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Phyllis Humphrey said...

Thanks, Anne and Porter for this "heads up." I plan to enter. In my years of writing, I entered many contests, but won (or finaled) in very few. My first romance novel was published because it won a contest, and years later I finaled in a very prestigious contest which looks good on my resume and may have had a lot to do with an editor agreeing to look at my work - and then accept it..

July 12, 2015 at 12:51 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Here's a comment that came via email from Mark Williams. Unfortunately, Blogger doesn't accept his African IP address.

"Anne, Porter, thanks so much for this.

I’ve long been submitting my books to libraries free of charge where possible. Not so much as a long-term marketing ploy, rather simply because libraries are so important.

Many libraries only exist today because of acts of philanthropy in the past to bring reading to the masses, and while there is certainly money to be made from libraries, free digital submission enables us all to be philanthropists on a micro-scale while simultaneously finding new readers for ourselves and freeing up libraries’ scarce financial resources for investment in the hardware and software they need to ensure libraries remain meaningful in the digital age.

We are witnesses to, and party to, a global New Renaissance quite unprecedented in human history, driven by digital, hindered by limited content distribution.

I would love to see this idea rolled out globally.

Two quick questions.

First, is the submission open to non-US residents?

Second, are the four submission categories adult-specific or do they include children’s and YA?

--Mark Williams

July 12, 2015 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger Porter Anderson said...

Great, Phyllis,

Thanks for your note, and hope you'll have a good experience with SELF-e, appreciate the note!


On Twitter: @Porter_Anderson

July 12, 2015 at 1:53 PM  
Blogger Sherrey Meyer said...

Anne and Porter, thanks for the info on SELF-e. I was pleased to find the Portland Public Library on the map. Hoping the library love spreads. I truly fear the day when libraries aren't committed to the Indie authors because perhaps many aren't willing to pass on the royalties to enjoy a little marketing ability without payment. Libraries have been my reading foundation since age 6 and I want to see them continuing to thrive into our digital world. This seems like a win-win for the Indie author and the library.

July 12, 2015 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Porter Anderson said...

Hi, Mark (and thanks, Anne, for relaying Mark's comment).

This is an interesting point you make about submitting one's ebooks as a philanthropic gesture toward libraries. Certainly, I think some writers would agree with you on that idea, and many would agree on the importance of libraries remaining meaningful in digital times, as you say.

As for your questions:

(1) Yes, authors from outside the US are welcome to submit to SELF-e. When making a submission -- on this page http://bit.ly/1M08O1B -- you're asked for a state and there's a drop-down box. Just scroll to the bottom of that drop-down and you'll see "Outside the US." This is the selection for you. By submitting through the "Outside the US" choice, you'll be able to have your ebook(s) become part of the anthology of international ebooks entering the system for librarians to consider. Note the one constraint that all entries must be ebooks written in English.

(2) The four categories for contest entry are currently for adult readers. However, you may submit any type of ebook to SELF-e (the contest doesn't cover everything, needless to say). And if you have something, even for young adults, that classifies as primarily mystery, romance, science-fiction or fantasy, I'd say go ahead and submit it as a contest entry, too. One of the things our friends at Nielsen have recently revealed to us is that an amazing 80 percent of YA material in the US is read by adults. I think the SELF-e judges will be able to quickly parse whether an entry is right for their consideration, and I think it's find for you to offer it to them while submitting.

All the best and thanks again,

On Twitter: @Porter_Anderson

July 12, 2015 at 2:05 PM  
Blogger Barry Knister said...

Anne and Porter--
I am assuming that the SELF-e program is off limits to those signed up for Amazon's KDP 90-day exclusive deal. If not, please advise. And thanks for another useful, relevant post.

July 12, 2015 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Here's another comment that came via email:

Anne and Porter:

Great post. I have already downloaded my collection of short stories into SELF-e. I also have two copies of my book at my local library. One is shelved under local author.

And the other is in the large fiction collection. Works for me.

Elizabeth A. Havey.

July 12, 2015 at 4:11 PM  
Blogger Porter Anderson said...

Hi, Sherrey,

Good to hear from you and very glad about Portland's participation, indeed.

I think that one of the most educational elements of this for me has been finding out how eager librarians are to engage with their local self-publishing authors. The real foundation of the program, it turns out, was this need for them to be able to handle self-published ebooks. There simply wasn't a mechanism, nor was there the curatorial capacity to evaluate them. These are points that SELF-e -- still a very new program, of course -- aims to address. And we'll have more about the details of its structure and inception on Tuesday at Jane Friedman's site if you'd like to look in.

Meanwhile yes, me, too, on that childhood experience of books through libraries. so many of us started there. It's good to see SELF-e, I think, as one new instrument of exploration in terms of understanding how electronic library materials can have the same good influence on us today that print library materials had on us when we were kids -- a few years ago. :)

Thanks again, great to have you,

On Twitter: @Porter_Anderson

July 12, 2015 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Porter Anderson said...

Thanks, Barry,

Good to hear from you and I'm actually hoping for some clarification on the very question you're asking. I'm getting in touch with Seattle to see if we can get a clear sense for whether KDP Select exclusivity would include this non-revenue-generating submission of ebooks. It's such a specialized situation that I think it bears a specific check. I'll hope to have some input for you very soon.

Thanks again, best from here,

On Twitter: @Porter_Anderson

July 12, 2015 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger Porter Anderson said...

Thanks for relaying this, Anne, and Hi there, Elizabeth,

I'm glad to hear of your engagement with SELF-e -- hope it goes very well for you -- and congratulations on having what sounds like a good working relationship with your local library. Sounds as if you're doing some good work in making healthy connections with your librarians, great to hear.

Thanks again, best with your titles,

On Twitter: @Porter_Anderson

July 12, 2015 at 8:01 PM  
Blogger Tam Francis said...

You're the BEST! Thanks for this great opportunity. Thank you Mr. Porter and Anne. AND irrespective of the contest you can submit your books or collections those four genres. I submitted my Ghostoria: Vintage Romantic Tales! I hope I get in! I'm very excited by this. I also noticed they will link to your paperback, or at least that's what the sign-up form let me to believe! Totally Awesome!

~ Tam Francis ~

July 13, 2015 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger Vicky Savage said...

Porter (and Anne) -
Thanks for the wonderful article and information on this fascinating opportunity for indie authors. All of my books are in the Kindle Select program and I, like Barry, am very interested in Amazon's position on this issue. Please let me know when you receive an answer. I personally do not mind the "no compensation" component of the program. I'm looking for exposure and have given hundreds of books away to libraries and individuals who have requested them. Sounds like a worthwhile program!
Vicky Savage

July 13, 2015 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Porter Anderson said...

Congratulations on submitting, Tam, very glad to hear that, and all the best with the submission, fingers crossed! "Ghostoria," nice title. :)

All the best, and thanks so much for reading us here -- Anne is a great host!


On Twitter: @Porter_Anderson

July 14, 2015 at 6:42 AM  
Blogger Porter Anderson said...

Thank you, Vicky,

Hoping to have some input soon from Amazon to share with you on the Select question.

Sounds to me as if you understand the value of the exposure proposition here very well, that's terrific. For many authors, that's indeed the key advantage of a program like this, glad it seems a good fit for you.

More as we get word, and thanks again.

On Twitter: @Porter_Anderson

July 14, 2015 at 6:44 AM  
Blogger Porter Anderson said...

Hello again, Vicky -

We do have word now from Amazon KDP Select, and unfortunately it appears that the two programs -- Select and SELF-e -- are incompatible. KDP Select would require your withdrawal of a book from its program in order to offer it via SELF-e to libraries.

I do appreciate your interest in exposure and wish you all the best with your books!


On Twitter: @Porter_Anderson

July 23, 2015 at 3:05 AM  
Blogger Porter Anderson said...

Hi again, Barry -- as mentioned at another venue (just making my rounds here) -- we do have word now from Amazon KDP Select, and unfortunately it appears that the two programs -- Select and SELF-e -- are incompatible. KDP Select's message to me reads, in part: "making the eBook available for free someplace else would require the author/publisher to remove it from KDP Select."

As you assumed, then, and thanks for the good question!

On Twitter: @Porter_Anderson

July 23, 2015 at 3:12 AM  

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