Indie Authors: Build Your Platform at Local Libraries

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BY TYLER MOSS

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A library is more than simply a brick-and-mortar place to borrow books. It’s a community hub. A repository for stories. A portal into the imagination.

But this fall, libraries will evolve again and become something more—a vital partner to independent authors in search of a platform. October 8, 2016, is the first annual Indie Author Day, in which libraries across North America will host local events from book readings and signings to workshops and discussion panels. Then, at 2 p.m. Eastern, publishing industry experts will host a nationwide digital gathering for indie authors, offering useful tips and advice for finding success outside of the traditional path to publishing.

While libraries have been longtime advocates for writers, those who are self-published or published through a smaller press have not had the same opportunities to get their voices heard as those printed through more conventional channels. By encouraging individual libraries to bring in area writers, Indie Author Day will help such voices find an audience by facilitating events in which authors can cultivate a local readership within their own communities, while forming crucial bonds with their neighborhood libraries.

The occasion has already garnered support from partners from all walks of the publishing industry, including the Independent Book Publishers Association, Publishers Weekly’s BookLife, Library Journal’s SELF-e, Pressbooks Public, Reaching Across Illinois Library System, Massachusetts Library System, Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project, and the software e-media company BiblioLabs.

While volunteers and others associated with their local library can register to host an Indie Author Event at that library by filling out the online form, authors themselves can take action as well. First check to see if your library is already set to be an Indie Author Day host by browsing the list of participating institutions at indieauthorday.com/where. If you don’t see your library listed, fill out the author form at indieauthorday.com/author-inquiry with the name and location of the library you’d like to see involved. Then the Indie Author Day team will reach out directly to see if the institution is interested.

As indie publishing continues to grow, it’s only fitting that libraries—bastions of the written word—take part. So put Indie Author Day on your calendar now, and check out indieauthorday.com to see how you can get involved.

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