Write It, Publish It, and Read It @ the Library!


By Jimmie Epling
Darlington County Library System

Calling on all aspiring and novice writers! The Darlington County Library System, with the help of the South Carolina State Library, has now made it possible for you to avoid countless hours of searching for a publisher to print your book, the thousands of dollars needed to get your book in print, and the trauma of multiple rejection letters. South Carolina is the first state in the nation to give its authors an opportunity to publish their writings electronically and make them available for all to read FREE! Together with the South Carolina State Library, we are offering Self-e, an electronic publishing system to writers, and the Indie South Carolina Online Library, the place to find the writings of new and aspiring South Carolina writers.

In the past, libraries offered only works available from a traditional publisher. A few years back the rage among some very large libraries was to buy a big press that cost over $50,000 to offer their customers the chance to publish their book in the traditional way. For the library, this was an expensive service. For the library’s customer, it was not quite as expensive as a vanity press, but still costly. In this age of e-books, a budding writer can go through Amazon.com to publish. Amazon is happy to offer your work, for a price. It makes millions of dollars off ambitious new writers eager to sell their book through the publishing service it offers.

Get your work published free electronically through the SELF-e system and have it included in a special collection of South Carolina authors! The South Carolina State Library is the first state library in the country to make the SELF-e digital self-publishing platform available to all libraries and their customers in the state for free. SELF-e, a partnership between Library Journal and BiblioBoard, enables indie and aspiring authors to get published. Authors can upload their works for free to a SELF-e’s online e-book collection called Indie SC Online Library for any South Carolinian to read. By submitting your book to Indie SC, it might also be picked up by Library Journal for its SELF-e online collection, giving your work nationwide exposure.

The Library is thrilled to offer the Indie SC Online Library collection! With the launch of Indie SC, writers can now get their works out to the public through libraries across the state. South Carolina readers now have a chance to discover the state’s next great author. The Indie SC collection now has over forty books. It is divided into fiction and nonfiction. There are children’s and young adult books in the collection. Readers will find books in their favorite genres’, such as romance, mystery, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, memoirs, and poetry collections (one even includes a poem about me).

The books in the Indie SC Online Library are free to download to your computer, tablet, smartphone, or e-reader. There is no limit to the number of Indie SC books you can download. If you are worried about not having enough time to finish your Indie SC book, no problem. Indie SC books never have a due date. Just go to the Library’s website at www.darlington-lib.org to begin your search.

These two services for writers complement our ongoing series of introductory writing workshops with C. Hope Clark, a freelance writer, author of the Carolina Slade and Edisto Island mystery series, and editor of a weekly newsletter service that reaches 40,000+ writers. The workshops are held at the Darlington Branch on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. There are three upcoming workshops:

“From Cardboard Cutouts to Real People – Character Development.” March 22nd:
Discover the types of characters you need in a story besides the main character. Learn how to determine the proper point-of-view for the story, why a character arc is important, and how to define three-dimensional characters. Lastly, understand why dialogue can make or break your character, your scene, and the entire book.

“Write It…Read It…Rewrite It…Repeat! – Successful Editing.” April 26th:
Learn how to start with self-editing and then move out to peers, mentors, beta readers, and professional editors. Learn the different types of editing and how to recognize those flaws that differentiate the writings of a novice from a veteran.

“Get Your Story Out There! – Getting Published.” May 24th:
Find out why having an online presence is essential in order to be successful and get published, regardless of the route you take. There are pros and cons you need to know when it comes to choosing between indie and traditional publishing. Learn the differences between indie/self-publishing, small press traditional, larger press traditional, and hybrid.

The Darlington County Library is all about reading! We are breaking with the tradition of offering only those books that are available from conventional publishers. Offering writing classes, self-publishing, and a collection of works by novice writers is another way the Library is encouraging reading, the exchange of ideas, and the sharing of experiences in the community. Everything is in place for you as an author to write it, publish it, and read it @ the Library!

Author: Jana Pye

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