By Porter Anderson / @Porter_Anderson
‘We’re Eager To Get Everybody We Can’ Into SELF-e
“A lot of our authors are just like me — we have full-time jobs — and so part of what we actually do is a lot of the marketing for those writers, about a third of that work.”
And in an innovative approach, Bourgeois has been making submissions of the ebooks of Texas Authors members to SELF-e for them: it’s one of the most recently added services he offers to his membership of around 200 writers.
Bourgeois says that he and some of his colleagues were at the American Library Association’s Midwinter conference in Boston and learned about SELF-e there.
But when he let the membership in Texas know about SELF-e, “We were running into some fear issues,” he says, on the part of some of his writer-members.
Despite the very quick (as in minutes) process of submitting ebooks to SELF-e’s library-system discovery platform, “we had some older members,” Bourgeois says, “who didn’t want to learn” the procedure. (If you’re interested in submitting, the simple, step-by-step process of submission is here.)
If anything, Bourgeois says, the busy lives that so many authors are leading means that “I have a lot of work to do to get the authors to look at the marketing value of this program.”
Bourgeois familiarized himself with SELF-e by submitting his own ebooks first. “And then I reached out to the group.”
Many of the Texas Authors membership, he says, had tried without much success to work with local libraries. “It can be like pulling teeth to get busy librarians’ attention,” he says. “And I get that they’re inundated by authors.”
This is why, he says, the arrival of SELF-e is such a boon.
And in the process, he says, working to get the membership’s work into SELF-e begins to create more of the relationship with libraries that writer-members have needed. “It’s hard for the big libraries to look at everything,” he points out. “We get better response from the smaller ones, and we’re members of the Texas Library Association. It helps to get to know them better.”
At the point we spoke with Bourgeois, he had already uploaded more than 60 Texas Authors titles to SELF-e. Doing so many of his members’ uploads, he says with a laugh, has probably made him one of the most experienced authors around at how the process works.
“It’s not too labor-intensive,” he finds, by spacing out the sessions he spends uploading members’ ebooks.
“Turns out, the easiest thing was for me to just say, ‘Send me the info, and I’ll do the submissions for you.'”
And he’s hoping to encourage more of the membership to get involved.
“We’re eager to get everybody we can in there,” Bourgeois says.