Libraries Now Offer Tools to Create and Share Ebooks
Minnesota Libraries are now offering a new suite of resources – collectively called MN Writes MN Reads – to help local authors connect with local readers, and potentially with readers across the country. MN Writes MN Reads consists of three resources that allow authors and readers to create, share, and read ebooks. These resources, Pressbooks, SELF-e, and Biblioboard, are free to members of the community via the MN Writes MN Reads website – www.MNWritesMNReads.org.
Pressbooks enables writers to convert their manuscripts into a variety of ebook formats, including ePub, MOBI, and PDF. Pressbooks helps writers format their books with professional design templates and includes tools to assist with book organization. After converting their book into ebook format, authors can distribute their book however they choose. One free option is SELF-e.
SELF-e is portal for sharing ebooks. Titles submitted to SELF-e undergo a basic screening process and then are added to the statewide MN Writes MN Reads collection. In addition, titles submitted are screened by staff from Library Journal. Library Journal selects a limited number of titles (at this time only fiction) to make available to readers across the country. Authors retain all rights to books submitted to SELF-e.
BiblioBoard is the place where readers find this content. This easy-to-use platform features work from a wide variety of genres, including comics, history, art, graphic novels, young adult novels, and romance. There are an unlimited number of checkouts, meaning that readers never have to wait for a book to be available. In addition, there are no return periods (and therefore never any late fees!).
“Leading indie authors agree that building an audience of readers is the biggest challenge they face. This program marries a great ebook experience with the validation of the most respected library review resource in the world. The result is a program that enables writers to share their work with their local communities and with libraries around the country,” says Mitchell Davis, founder and Chief Business Officer of BiblioBoard, the vendor behind these three resources.
Funding for these services comes from libraries from across the state. As the Metropolitan Library Service Agency Executive Director Ken Behringer explains, “Writers in Minnesota will be able to create content in a variety of ebook formats, and the state’s readers will be able to find that content in a special online collection highlighting those self-published authors.”
Libraries are increasingly places of content creation, in addition to content consumption, and MN Writes MN Reads offers tools to help writers create and share their work. Minnesota Libraries are excited to offer MN Writes MN Reads, which will enable the sharing of a wide and diverse array of local stories. These resources will give local writers broader exposure and give readers access to locally-produced content.
Visit MNWritesMNReads.org for more information.