Is SELF-e Right for Me?
Submission Tips and Tricks
What Type of Author Are You?
 I’m an unknown author who has written my first book.
Congratulations on writing your first book! As many seasoned authors will tell you, the first book is the most difficult to promote since you are still building your readership. Through SELF-e, you can make your ebook available to thousands of readers via participating public libraries in your state, and have the potential to reach a national audience through Library Journal’s curated collections.
 I’ve self-published a few books and have a small following, but I want to expand my reach.
By making your ebooks accessible via public libraries, you will maximize your ability to grow your readership. SELF-e’s PatronsFirst delivery platform increases your discoverability by allowing you to offer one or more of your ebooks to library patrons for free through the web and every major device. In 2016, we will be launching dashboards to help you see exactly how well your ebooks are performing in libraries.
 I’m a traditionally published author with electronic rights to some / all of my ebooks.
By re-introducing your older works to a new audience in the public library system, you can build a new readership for your entire backlist. When your book becomes available via SELF-e, you can partner with your local library on a relaunch campaign while offering your ebook(s) to library patrons for free on any major electronic device. In addition, SELF-e’s analytic reports will allow you to see exactly how well your ebooks are performing in libraries, so you will know how many people are checking out your books.
 I am a prolific author who serializes my work.
An emerging trend has developed for authors of serialized content to make installments of their works free to readers electronically. Through this method, they build an audience and drive sales in print and for future installments of their series. Through SELF-e you will be able to further extend your reach via public libraries, while creating demand for your work in other channels. Then, you can use SELF-e’s analytic reports to show how well your ebooks are doing in libraries, so you will know exactly how many people are checking out your books.
 I want to make money selling my ebooks.
SELF-e is a discovery platform designed to expose self-published ebooks to more readers via public libraries. Distribution through SELF-e is royalty free; authors looking to sell their ebooks directly to libraries should approach SELF-e as a marketing tool to build a readership for their full body of work. If your ebooks are already generating satisfactory royalties from library sales via other channels, then SELF-e might not be a good fit for you.
Now that you’ve read about how SELF-e can work for you, check out some of these frequently asked questions to learn more or click here to get started.
Frequently Asked Questions
 How does the SELF-e platform work for authors?
SELF-e is a discovery platform designed to expose your ebook(s) to more readers via public libraries locally and nationwide.
If you have an ebook that is selected by Library Journal for inclusion in a national SELF-e Select Collection, you will receive a digital badge to promote your inclusion to potential readers. Ebooks that are not selected for the national collection will still be accessible to local library patrons through state-specific collections.
 How much does it cost for authors to participate in SELF-e?
There is no cost to authors who choose to participate.
 Do I earn royalties for sales?
Distribution via the SELF-e platform is royalty-free. SELF-e is a marketing and discovery service aimed at helping authors build an audience of readers. Check out our explainer to see if SELF-e is right for you.
 What do you do with my ebook if it is included in the SELF-e platform?
When you submit to SELF-e, you give us a non-exclusive license to make your book available to public library patrons through subscribing institutions in the public library market, including subscribing public libraries in your state. 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).
 What if my book isn’t chosen for inclusion in a SELF-e Select Collection?
Even if your ebook is not selected for Library Journal’s SELF-e Select, you can still choose to include it in a statewide collection alongside other local authors. This platform provides libraries with an opportunity to highlight the creative output of their state’s indie-published authors and to give their respective communities access to ebooks by local authors.
 What do I need to do to be a part of this program?
First, you will need to agree to the terms of the program (click-through agreement) and then submit digital files for your ebook(s) in either PDF or ePUB 2 or 3 format. We also ask for some basic metadata to aid in the curation and discovery of your ebook. While all submissions must be in English, authors outside the United States are welcome to participate. The submission process is simple and only takes about five minutes to complete.
 What happens after I submit, and when will I know whether or not my book(s) has been selected by Library Journal?
Assuming your ebook(s) is in the correct format and passes our technical requirements, they will then go through a comprehensive curation process at Library Journal. We will contact you if there are any technological issues with your ebook(s). We accept submissions year-round, and are constantly releasing and updating collections. You will be notified via email letting you know if your ebook(s) has been selected and in which collection(s) it will appear.
 How will I know if people are reading my ebook?
Initially, we will provide select authors with usage data via a Beta program that will launch in 2016, with a goal of building out a transparent system for all authors to see how many people are reading their ebooks. We will also work with the general media to spotlight SELF-e’s highest-circulated ebooks. These activities will further promote participating authors to build readership.
 What if I do not have a PDF or ePUB file for my book?
Please check out our Tips and Tricks for Submitting Your Book below for more information on turning your manuscript into an ebook.
 What are SELF-e Ambassadors, and how do I get involved?
SELF-e Ambassadors are authors who attend local events to talk about their experiences with the program. These authors are given exciting opportunities to speak and sign / sell their books at events run by libraries in their area, and get the chance to talk about why it is so important for authors to get their books into the library system. To become a SELF-e Ambassador, authors must first be chosen by Library Journal to become a part of the national SELF-e collections. Then, they must apply using the form provided in their acceptance emails. Finally, we will contact authors as events are announced in their area.
Tips and Tricks for Submitting Your Book
If you want to submit a book to SELF-e, but do not yet have ePUB or PDF files for that book, then these tips are for you.
Please note: If you have already published your book with a publishing service, you may be able to request your ePUB or PDF files from them. Check with your publishing service provider to see if this is an option.
If you’d like to submit your book to SELF-e without going through a self-publishing service, you will need to convert your book into a PDF or ePUB file. Please note: There are many advantages to using professionals to create your book, and one of the things we look for is the design and packaging of your book. A book that is well written but poorly formatted will likely not meet the acceptance criteria of SELF-e. That being said, there are certainly ways to create your own files and submit them to our program.
Microsoft Word to PDF
The quickest way to save your book in a usable format is by saving it as a PDF file. To do this, take your book’s Word document and click File > Save As… then select “PDF” from the dropdown list of format options. Voila.
Warning: This easy method comes at a price—your book will look like a Word document and will not be formatted as a traditional book or have the special eBook features associated with ePUBs.
Microsoft Word to ePUB
There are a few ways to save your book as an ePUB. Accepted as the open ebook standard, ePUB files contain embedded metadata and reflowable text, giving your book a sleek appearance on mobile devices. Below are some options for converting your Word document into an ePUB.
 Convert your book file into an ePUB online here. Simply upload your document to the website and click “Convert File.” The ePUB-formatted version will download to your computer and can then be uploaded to SELF-e. This method is fast and easy, but gives you less control over the visual aesthetics of your book, such as the cover.
 Download Calibre, an open source (aka free!) platform compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Using Calibre, you can easily upload your file, add a cover, edit the table of contents and author information, and export the book as an ePUB that can then be submitted to SELF-e.
 For Adobe fans, you can use InDesign to save your file as an ePUB. Simply open your file in InDesign, then choose “File” > “Export”. Specify your file name and location. From the “Save as Type” list, choose “ePUB” and click “Save”. This file may include a cover image of your choice, or you may rasterize the first image of your document to use as the cover. If you do not have InDesign, you can download a free trial from the Adobe website here.