Indie Author Project Expands Library eBook Distribution With “Portable Black Magic: Tales of the Afro Strange”

Cover of Ran Walker’s Portable Black Magic

Portable Black Magic: Tales of the Afro Strange will be available as an eBook exclusively in public libraries for the first three months after its release and will be included as part of the initial Indie Author Project (IAP) Select eBook collection. The collection will be available to public libraries in early October.

IAP Select will feature several hundred top indie-published books across multiple genres. The books are curated by Library Journal and library editorial boards in 14 regions across North America and were chosen by editors and librarians from over 12,000 submissions. IAP Select features NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors, numerous award winners, as well as 2019 Indie Author of the Year Ran Walker’s award-winning Daykeeper in both eBook and audiobook. All eBooks and audiobooks are circulated sustainably in an unlimited, simultaneous use model to library patrons.

Indie Author Project (IAP) is a publishing community that includes public libraries, authors, curators, and readers working together to connect library patrons with great indie published books. IAP has helped hundreds of libraries engage their local creative community and assisted in getting more than 12,000 indie-published books into local libraries. Most importantly, the project has worked with top editorial partners to identify hundreds of these as the best indie eBooks available to readers so they can be sustainably circulated to library patrons with confidence.

“We have had great demand for curated books in our collections to be available on eBook platforms other than our own,” said BiblioLabs CEO and Indie Author Project co-founder Mitchell Davis. “We understand that it is difficult for libraries to move patrons to new eBook platforms. They want to leverage our publishing and curation community to feature the best indie authors in a place where their patrons are already reading eBooks. The pilot programs with OverDrive and others over the past year were all very successful, and so expanding on our work to be a comprehensive public library distribution service for curated indie books is the next natural step. We will also be releasing the IAP Select curated books as Library Print Editions in early 2020.”

The program, which began as a non-royalty-paying discovery service for authors in 2015, will begin paying royalties to the indie authors that opt into the library eBook distribution service. Despite its success in helping authors retain agents and publishing contracts, and generally elevating the visibility of the participating authors through partnering with their local libraries, an early criticism of the program was the lack of royalties for eBook circulation in libraries. “We know the discovery this program provides for authors is already very valuable, but to close the loop on paying royalties for the authors that are being elevated by librarians really completes this program. Libraries are helping authors get their books into the world, get discovered, and can now push their local authors’ careers forward in an even more significant way,” Davis added.

Indie Author Project is also bringing to public libraries something very unusual—a public library exclusive on Ran Walker’s next eBook release.

Walker, after winning the 2019 Indie Author of the Year Award, has been in a whirlwind. He was invited onto the faculty of Writer’s Digest this summer, created a huge buzz at his 2019 American Library Association (ALA) Conference book signing, subsequently won the Black Caucus of the ALA (BCALA) Indie eBook award for Daykeeper, was invited to share the stage with Big 5 authors at the 2019 Library Journal Day of Dialog, and has set up appearances and signings across his home state of Virginia and beyond. The author of 17 books, Walker distributed his eBooks primarily on Amazon before stumbling into the Indie Author Project library eBook contest in Virginia.

“This is the first time I have actively worked beyond the Amazon ecosystem, and it has been amazing. I am deeply humbled to have the support of so many librarians, especially because libraries have been instrumental to me throughout my life, as both a reader and a writer,” Walker said.

SOURCE: PR Newswire

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