Since 2015, Multnomah County Library has been soliciting submissions of self-published e-books from the community through the Library Writers Project; since then, the library has added over 100 titles to its collection. Unlike physical books, which an author could donate to the library, e-books have to be available in OverDrive, the library’s primary e-book vendor, to be eligible for the collection. The Library Writers Project offers a path for local authors to get their e-books in the library collection.
To submit a title for consideration, an author publishes their work on one of the self-publishing platforms that contracts its content with OverDrive; then, they complete the library’s submission form. Each submission is reviewed by two library staff members and rated based on artistic merit, technical readability, and the likelihood of recommending it to patrons. The titles that receive the highest ratings are added to the library’s e-book collection in OverDrive and Libby.
In 2018, the library signed an agreement with Ooligan Press (based out of Portland State University) where Ooligan would publish in print one of the e-books and market and promote it like any of their other titles, and the library would also then carry the print copies. To date, Ooligan has published three Library Writers Project titles: The Gifts We Keep by Katie Grindeland, Iditarod Nights by Cindy Hiday (an Indies Award finalist!), and Finding the Vein by Jennifer Hanlon Wilde (pub. April 20, 2021); previously published as A Heritage of Death).
Authors are invited to submit their titles for the current submission period. The library has broadened the submission categories and is now accepting short stories, essays, novels, memoirs, and, for the first time, any genre in Spanish.
Read more details and submission requirements. The current submission period is open through May 14, 2021.
Information written and gathered by Kady Ferris, Electronic Content Librarian