Publishing at the Public Library: Become a Community Publishing Portal

Public libraries have always been in a unique position to help local writers connect with readers in their communities. The advent of self-publishing platforms presents libraries with a new resource to enhance that connection and reinforce their place at the center of community cultural life.

In 2012, the Los Gatos (Calif.) Library began a partnership with e-book self-publishing company Smashwords to offer a three-part series of e-book self-publishing seminars. This partnership has grown to include a co-branded publishing portal managed by Smashwords. Linked from the library website, the portal enables local authors to publish and distribute e-books at no cost and allows them to "Publish to the Library" if the library chooses to purchase their work. Find out how Los Gatos Library developed this partnership and how your library can easily do the same.

Originally presented June 18, 2013.


At the conclusion of this on-demand webinar, participants will:

  • Better understand the role of self-published e-books within the library lending model;
  • Be able to help local authors take advantage of free self-publishing tools; and
  • Know how to form a public library e-book self-publishing partnership.

Additional Resources

Who Should Attend

Library directors and administrators, as well as key collection development staff.


Henry BankheadHenry Bankhead is currently the interim town librarian at the Los Gatos (Calif.) Library. A librarian for nearly ten years, Bankhead is active in ALA and reviews literary fiction and e-only release romance for Library Journal. In addition to an MLIS he has an MFA in painting. His passion for e-books is rivaled only by his obsession with open-source, his addiction to fiction, and his quest to provide unparalleled customer service.

Mark CokerMark Coker is the founder of Smashwords, an e-book publishing and distribution platform. He’s also an author, entrepreneur, angel investor and advisor to technology startups. Mark and his wife Lesleyann co-authored Boob Tube, a novel that explores the wacky world of daytime television soap operas. Their book was rejected by every major New York publisher of commercial women’s fiction, despite representation by a top NYC literary agency. The experience inspired him to start Smashwords, a free publishing platform that allows authors to instantly publish their work online. Today, Smashwords is the world's largest distributor of self-published e-books. The company has helped over 60,000 authors around the world publish and distribute over 200,000 e-books to major retailers such as the Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, and Kobo, and to public libraries. Smashwords titles will soon be available through Overdrive and 3M Cloud Library, and are currently available through Baker & Taylor Axis360, and in the independently hosted Douglas County and Califa e-book platforms.



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