Indie Authors: Build Your Platform at Local Libraries - Writer's Digest

Indie Authors: Build Your Platform at Local Libraries

Publish date:


Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 9.17.09 AM

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 If you don’t see your library listed, fill out the author form at 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 to see how you can get involved.

Grinnell_Literary Techniques

Using Literary Techniques in Narrative Journalism

In this article, author Dustin Grinnell examines Jon Franklin’s award-winning article Mrs. Kelly’s Monster to help writers master the use of literary techniques in narrative journalism.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 545

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a cleaning poem.


New Agent Alert: Amy Collins of Talcott Notch Literary Services

New literary agent alerts (with this spotlight featuring Amy Collins of Talcott Notch Literary Services) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.


5 Tips for Writing Scary Stories and Horror Novels

Bestselling and award-winning author Simone St. James shares five tips for writing scary stories and horror novels that readers will love to fear.


On vs. Upon vs. Up On (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use on vs. upon vs. up on with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.


7 Very Specific Reasons Why I’m Excited for the 2020 WD Conferences

WD Editor-in-Chief Amy Jones explains why she's excited for the 2020 Writer's Digest Conferences, which are happening virtually November 5-7, 2020.


Sierra Magazine: Market Spotlight

For this week's market spotlight, we look at Sierra Magazine, the bimonthly print and online environmental publication of the Sierra Club.


Jonelle Patrick: Writing Edgier Than Bookshops and Cats

Novelist Jonelle Patrick discusses writing about a country she loves and the importance of both readers and editors.