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What Does The Extra Squeeze Team Think About SELF-e?

November 30, 2017 by in category The Extra Squeeze by The Extra Squeeze Team tagged as , , ,
The Extra Squeeze | A Slice of Orange

Question for the Extra Squeeze Team: I started to enroll to SELF-e to get my Ebooks into libraries. When I started to fill out the Agreement Form, I wondered if it’s a good idea. They want the right to copy, change, etc. material from the book. In lawyer’s terms, it states about preventing distribution of the books to libraries. I thought the idea of SELF-e was to get the Ebooks into libraries. Should I bow out or continue?

The article on SELF-e is in April 2017 Romantic Writers Report on page 18. It sounds good in the report. It says you can get out of it after you’re in SELF-e and says to write to the following address in the Agreement but then gives no address.

So, what does the Extra Squeeze Team think about SELF-e?

Rebecca Forster | Extra Squeeze

Rebecca Forster 

USA Today Bestselling author of 35 books, including the Witness series and the new Finn O’Brien series.


I knew very little about Self-e until this question arose and now I’m very curious about it. I will probably submit some of my books.

I actually contacted my distributor because I was under the impression that OverDrive took care of distribution to libraries. I was advised that it is very difficult to find indie books on OverDrive (who knew) and that my best bet would be to visit all the libraries in a ten mile radius of my home and introduce myself.

I think a Self-e submission sounds a lot more efficient. So, while I can’t recommend it because I haven’t used the service, I am personally going to be looking into it because libraries remain an important fact of a writer’s life.

Robin Blakely | The Extra Squeeze Team | A Slice of Orange

Robin Blakely

PR/Business Development coach for writers and artists; CEO, Creative Center of America; member, Forbes Coaches Council.


I think that the most important thing about Self-e to understand first is less about Self-e and more about your goals and aspirations as a business professional in the writing community.

  • What financial goals have you set for yourself?
  • How many books do you plan to sell this year, this month, this week?
  • Is your book a product or is your book a marketing tool for you, the brand?
  • How important is it to your strategic goals to gain access to the target market known as library patrons?

Self-e is one way to gain access to library patrons.  This is an innovative way to elevate your brand through the library.  Your particular strategy is what matters here. When you know what you want to do, you will know what will work for you. I love libraries and I am a big fan of the innovative services they offer.

However,  I do not have any clients who have elected to used Self-e….yet.

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H.O. Charles

Cover designer and author of the fantasy series, The Fireblade Array


I’ll preface this by saying it’s a bit unfair for me to comment, since I haven’t used Self-e and therefore cannot properly measure the impact of exposure on a platform like that (which seems to be their selling point, since they take all income for themselves).

What I CAN say is that library sales have never figured that prominently in the years I’ve been selling my books online. Almost all my sales occur via B&N, Apple and Amazon.

I distribute through Smashwords to the first two, and SW give me a 45% cut after sales to Overdrive, but the proportion of sales (in terms of units distributed) I get from libraries overall is teeny tiny compared to the major book retailers.

I’m happy to continue distributing to library services, as subscription model libraries may one day be the norm for readers, but until they occupy a larger block in my annual sales reports, I see no reason to feature the rest of my work for free (my first book is already free!) with something like Self-e .

Jenny Jensen | A Slice of Orange

Jenny Jensen

Developmental editor who has worked for twenty plus years with new and established authors of both fiction and non-fiction, traditional and indie.

My radically unqualified legal opinion: I don’t see anything in the agreement document of self-eLibraryJournal.com that signs over the right to change any material submitted. What I do see is that by agreeing to their terms the author grants self-eLibraryServices the royalty-free right to distribute your content to libraries, so you won’t be paid even if 500 libraries accept your book for their e-book list. I do see that by agreeing you grant them the right to copy bits to include an abstract, or description of the content. And they do provide an address you can write to, and your work will be taken off the system within 180 days of receipt.

Library Journal ATTN: LEGAL DEPT
7858 Industrial Parkway
Plain City, OH 43064

Library Journal is the leading publication in the library market and their e-book service – pretty new, it was beta tested in 2015 – provides a fantastic opportunity for indie writers. This is a curated program, so your work has to pass the smell test. But it provides a grand platform for an indie writer to grow their audience and fan base. How many authors have you first met at the library and then sought their work in the bookstore?

If your work meets the quality standards of Library Journal, then it receives distribution among participating libraries nationwide. If not, you have options:

Option 1 – hire a good developmental editor to bring the work to its most fragrant state and resubmit the improved version. (There is a reason the work didn’t pass muster, and you’ll do yourself a favor to find and correct that.)


Option 2 – use self -e.libraryjournal’s ability to put your book in your state’s participating library system which probably reaches a wide local audience. (Be mindful here of why Library Journal did not accept it for wider distribution.) It feels like a win-win to me.

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Libraries pay for every book that isn’t a donation. LibraryJournal.com does not appear to compensate authors who have agreed to allow them to act as distributor. There may be no monetary profit, but the reward is exposure, and every indie writer knows that discoverability is huge – how else can you build a readership? I, for one, am so glad to see librarians pick up the gauntlet of the digital book world and begin to offer this invaluable, public service to the indie writing world. Library Journal is not the only forum. There are several sites that work with indie authors to distribute their work to libraries: ebooksareforever and Overdrive.

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Each month The Extra Squeeze features a fresh topic related to books and publishing.

Amazon mover and shaker Rebecca Forster and her handpicked team of book professionals offer frank responses from the POV of each of their specialties — Writing, Editing, PR/Biz Development, and Cover Design.

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