Getting Self-Published Books Into Libraries

Libraries and self-publishers

by Dick Thomas / Flickr

Over the last year, there’s been much more discussion of how self-published authors can get their books into library systems. Partly, I think that’s a function of new services and distribution agreements (such as SELF-e), but it’s also one of the last remaining channels that remains fairly difficult for an indie author to access.

In my latest column at Publishers Weekly, I address what independent authors need to know about getting their book into the library market. I start by saying:

While indie authors can gain some access to libraries by making their books available through major library distributors, that doesn’t mean that those books will be purchased. In many ways, getting self-published titles into libraries hasn’t changed since the e-book revolution: authors still have to prove that they have quality products that fit the collection. And, unfortunately, authors still face the stigma of self-publishing: there’s a long history of patrons offering to donate handwritten poetry collections or memoirs to their libraries.

Click here to read the full column.

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Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors.

In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. She also has a book forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, The Business of Being a Writer (March 2018).

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

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[…] Accessing the library market remains difficult for self-publishing authors, especially those with just one or two titles and a limited visibility.  […]


[…] (Still on the topic of accessing libraries, publishing commentator and lecturer Jane Friedman this week addressed the difficulties in general for indie authors in this informative post). […]


[…] recently as last October, one of the most savvy folks on the book-beat said  that libraries are “…one of the last remaining channels that remains fairly […]