Check Yourself Out at the Library!

How’d you like to go to the San Diego County Library and check yourself out?

If you’re a local author of eBooks, the County Library and the Library Journal have a new program that might put your self-published works into the hands of readers in local libraries and possibly libraries across the country.

“The Library Journal contacted us and asked if we would beta test this new program,” said Jennifer Lawson, technical services manager for the San Diego County Library. “We were their national library of the year in 2012 so they thought we would be a good partner.

“We also like to encourage local authors and let them know there’s a place for them in our libraries.”

Lawson said there’s been considerable growth in readers checking out eBooks. The library’s seen a 59 percent increase in eBook circulation in the last year.

Romance novels are the most popular genre for eBooks, followed by mysteries, thrillers and young adult literature.

The County Library has always accepted local authors’ works for possible inclusion in their collection, but this new program gives writers access to a potential national audience.

The Library Journal reviews materials for libraries across the nation and makes recommendations on what they should add to their catalogs. They recently decided to start reviewing materials from the booming self-publishing market.

“A local writer can submit work to the Library Journal through this program and the Journal staff will review the work and decide if they want to add it to their collection of self-published materials they market to libraries across the country,” said Lawson.

Even if a local author isn’t selected to be marketed nationally, they can still be added to the collection at the County Library. Lawson said they get up to 20 submissions a month from local authors and almost everything is added to the collection as long as there are no copyright violations or other legal issues.

Local authors who want their eBooks considered for inclusion in the new program should submit their work to the library’s SELF-e site for review and curation by the Library Journal.

If you’ve been toying with the idea of writing and publishing your own eBook, the library also has a program for you this Saturday at the Poway Library.

Write and Publish Your Own eBook starts at 11 a.m.  and is presented by Andrea Glass, the owner of WritersWay and an award-winning ghostwriter and copy editor. She’s written or edited more than 100 eBooks and has taught writing and marketing courses for MiraCosta College, UCSD Extension and Cal State San Marcos.

The program covers:

·         what eBooks are

·         what you need to know to write and publish your own eBook

·         selecting the best subject and audience

·         creating a winning title and cover

·         how to build a team, publish and ultimately sell your eBook

Tom Christensen is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact