BiblioBoard today announced that they have signed on partner authors and literary agents to launch a groundbreaking product for libraries that includes 18 New York Times bestselling books in addition to 30 award-winning novels and numerous other bestsellers from USA Today, Boston Globe and other media sources. The Indie Rock Stars module will launch at the ALA Mid-Winter Conference in Chicago on January 30, 2015 and is being added to a growing BiblioBoard unlimited multi-user content collection that now includes over 600 publishers.
Hugh Howey, a champion of indie publishing, is included among the participants. Howey's Wool landed him on the New York Times bestsellers' list, and his previous and subsequent books now have an audience of millions. He readily admits this was made possible thanks to his avid fan base. "The number one challenge any author has is building an audience," says Howey. "Once they have an audience, they have an opportunity to grow their work professionally. Librarians can be a powerful marketing force for authors, especially if they can promote authors they love."
Literary agent Kristin Nelson represents Howey and other top indie publishing superstars. "Libraries and librarians are key players in the battle for discoverability. When authors are in front of more readers, good things happen," says Nelson. "Self publishing authors didn't have an easy way to reach this critical market, which is why NLA Digital chose to partner with BiblioBoard and their innovative mode. Now librarians have access to great titles and can truly evangelize and promote books they think are great."
Nelson prioritizes building a fan base for all of her authors. "I manage writing careers, not books, and those first fans are the hardest to establish. BiblioBoard presents a way for librarians to share books and get more people hooked on these great writers."
BiblioBoard's collection represents a direct answer to libraries' demand for wider access to high-demand content in better patron access models. "Libraries have been asking for reasonably priced access to bestselling books they can make available to patrons in an elegant way," says Mitchell Davis, founder and Chief Business Officer of BiblioBoard. "There is nothing less elegant than one-user-at-a-time checkouts, waitlists or asking patrons to race and finish a book before it disappears from their bookshelf. Our model solves that problem, and at the same time, it does not have the libraries carrying the fear of success that can come from per-use-based payment models."
Davis says the authors, agents and publishers working with BiblioBoard understand that offering their books in this way creates a culture of cooperation that is vital to publishers and librarians as they try to create an increased audience for their offerings in the digital future. He also points out that the indie movement is no longer on the fringes but is clearly mainstream. "There are 280 books in this collection that have sold more than 17 million copies in the past few years. That is a batting average that big 5 publishers would kill for. This whole Indie Rock Star category has as much cultural influence as any of the big 5 and, in essence, has become a big 6. Patrons want these books, and now, they are available without all the hassle of a 1990s user experience."
Participating authors have included items to create a closer author-fan relationship, like interviews, fan art, short stories and video and audio of authors reading their works. Barbara Freethy, the bestselling Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing author of all time, is also part of the initial collection and created book club guides to be used by patrons reading her books. "I decided to be smart and take control of my own career," says Freethy, "and it is precisely this kind of project that rewards my decision. I look forward to being a leader in connecting my books with library patrons in a brand new way and developing a new community around my writing."
BiblioBoard is the PatronsFirst mobile library. BiblioLabs, the folks behind BiblioBoard are a powerful team based in Charleston, SC. They aim to transform access to information by providing a world-class user experience that thrills library patrons and is profitable for publishers. BiblioBoard is moving library content delivery into the future in a sustainable way. BiblioBoard, used by nearly 2,000 libraries and in three statewide eBook projects, reaches 15 million patrons. BiblioLabs is also a proud member of the Charleston Digital Corridor. To learn more, visit www.biblioboard.com.