Skip to main content

Indie Authors: Build Your Platform at Local Libraries

BY TYLER MOSS

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 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.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Having an Online Presence

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Having an Online Presence

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is not having an online presence.

Shirlene Obuobi: On Writing From Experience

Shirlene Obuobi: On Writing From Experience

Physician, cartoonist, and author Shirlene Obuobi discusses the writerly advice that led to writing her new coming-of-age novel, On Rotation.

WD Poetic Form Challenge

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Kimo Winner

Learn the winner and Top 10 list for the Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge for the kimo.

8 Things Writers Should Know About Tattoos

8 Things Writers Should Know About Tattoos

Tattoos and their artists can reveal interesting details about your characters and offer historical context. Here, author June Gervais shares 8 things writers should know about tattoos.

Tyler Moss | Reporting Through Lens of Social Justice

Writing Through the Lens of Social Justice

WD Editor-at-Large Tyler Moss makes the case for reporting on issues of social justice in freelance writing—no matter the topic in this article from the July/August 2021 issue of Writer's Digest.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Intentional Trail

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Intentional Trail

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character leave clues for people to find them.

Sharon Maas: On Books Finding the Right Time

Sharon Maas: On Books Finding the Right Time

Author Sharon Maas discusses the 20-year process of writing and publishing her new historical fiction novel, The Girl from Jonestown.

6 Steps to Becoming a Good Literary Citizen

6 Steps to Becoming a Good Literary Citizen

While the writing process may be an independent venture, the literary community at large is full of writers who need and want your support as much as you need and want theirs. Here, author Aileen Weintraub shares 6 steps in becoming a good literary citizen.

Daniel Paisner: On the Pursuit of a Creative Life

Daniel Paisner: On the Pursuit of a Creative Life

Journalist and author Daniel Paisner discusses the process of writing his new literary fiction novel, Balloon Dog.