E-book platform BiblioBoard and Publishers Weekly have announced a partnership to create BookLife Elite, a new program that for a set subscription fee will offer public libraries access to a curated collection of unlimited, simultaneous-use indie e-books, meaning library readers can access the books instantly—no holds lists.
The BookLife Elite program will draw from titles featured in PW’s BookLife, a platform dedicated to indie authors and self-published works. To qualify for the BookLife Elite collection, a book must have earned a PW starred review, been designated a BookLife Reviews editors' pick, or scored highly in the judging for PW’s BookLife Prize. Authors must opt their books into the BookLife Elite collection, and those who do will earn royalties for their library reads.
“For years, BookLife has been finding and elevating the best indie-published books with libraries via our trusted review and award programs,” said BookLife president Carl Prizkat. “We are happy to be partnering with BiblioBoard to let the best of these indie authors opt into a discovery and royalty-paying program that elevates their books via their own local libraries.”
The BookLife Elite program builds on the success of BiblioBoard’s Indie Author Project (IAP) which has for the last seven years worked with libraries and indie authors across the country to identify and elevate the best locally published indie e-books. The program has seen over 14,000 submissions to the program so far.
“The teams at BookLife and Publishers Weekly have been valuable collaborators for years and it feels great to partner with them in a way that will benefit authors and public libraries for years to come,” said BiblioBoard CEO Mitchell Davis. “We are creating incremental discovery of indie e-books by tens of thousands of patrons every month—and creating a sustainable e-book business model that does not force libraries to purchase additional copies or pay per download when they succeed at their mission of getting people to read e-books.”
Already, the BookLife Elite collection is being offered in California through the state library's e-book program, with titles being made available on the enkiGeo and SimplyE platforms, an effort led by Califa, a nonprofit library consortium of libraries across California.
"To have partners like BookLife help us find the best indie published books to be made available through libraries for readers increases the unique value proposition of the public library," said Califa executive director Paula MacKinnon. "Over the past few years indie authors have made incredible strides in helping libraries deliver a more sustainable and simple library e-book experience. And to help our local California authors earn more royalties from library sales means libraries are directly impacting the local economy.”
Authors also value the opportunity to get their works before library readers. "It's hard for independent authors like me to get their books into libraries," said Tim Westover, an award-winning indie author whose novel The Winter Sisters is part of the BookLife Elite collection. "But the BookLife Elite program gives professional assurance that indie-published books are equal in quality to traditionally published books."
The BookLife Elite collection is available today on OverDrive and will be available on most major e-b platforms including cloudLibrary, Axis 360, and DPLA Exchange later this year. Libraries looking for more information can contact BiblioBoard's Roy Serrao.