We are excited to tell you a little about the Indie Author Project, which culminates in the 5th annual celebration of Indie Author Day on November 7, 2020. The Indie Author Project is a collaborative community of librarians, authors, and readers working to help connect indie authors with readers through the public library.  

We all know that publishing is changing, and that more and more authors are finding audiences through non-traditional routes. The addition of ebooks to the equation especially changes the gate-keeping rules which have sustained traditional publishing. The Indie Author Project offers a mechanism for authors to submit ebooks directly to their local public library to then be vetted by a group of industry professionals across North America. 

Why might your library be interested in investing in indie-published titles? 

  • Helping under-represented voices find a broader audience. The lack of diversity within traditional publishing has been gaining more and more notice over the last several years. One avenue toward correcting the imbalance of representation is to support the authors who have found other routes to publication. 
  • COVID-19 and importance of digital materials. At this time in particular, libraries are considering ways in which to invest in their digital collections, but the number of independently published is growing, and it can be difficult to find unbiased indicators of quality to help libraries spend their funds wisely. 
  • Connecting with your community. Many libraries are contacted by local authors asking to have their books included in the library’s collection. Libraries have different policies around these requests, but the Indie Author Project offers a path and resources to help you identify the best authors to include.

How can the Indie Author Project and NoveList help you discover new indie titles for your library? 

  • Your library can participate in facilitating an Indie Author Project Contest, which are already ongoing in various regions. The Project supplies many support materials, including press releases, contest logos, author flyers, judging committee handouts, and website / social media graphics.  
  • For LibraryAware customers, we have a variety of ready-to-go templates to help you participate. Just search "Indie Author Day"!
  • The Indie Author Project Select collection offers a set of ~450 ebooks available to be circulated in an unlimited, simultaneous use model to library patrons. The collection includes NY Times and USA Today best-selling authors, award-winning titles, and others felt worthy of special promotion by the IAP editorial board. If you want to get a better sense of what books are included in the IAP Select collection, do a search in NoveList for GN Indie Author Select and check out the results! 
  • Use story elements to find read-alikes across indie and traditional titles.

Download flyer here

Victoria Caplinger Frederick is the Director of Book Discovery at NoveList.