Category Archives: eBook

New Self-Publishing Literary Award to Promote Diverse Books in Libraries

BCALA; SELF-e partner for new self-publishing literary award to promote diverse books in libraries

BCALA_LogoThe Black Caucus of the ALA (BCALA) and BiblioBoard announce the creation of an annual self-publishing award. Following the model of the current BCALA Literary Awards, the new award will honor the best self-published ebooks in fiction and poetry by an African American author in the U.S.

Authors who enter the contest will have the opportunity to opt into the SELF-e program and their own Indie State module, providing them with an invaluable resource for promotion and exposure of their work.  SELF-e is a partnership between BiblioBoard and the Library Journal and is aimed at finding the best self-published books and making those books seamlessly available to library patrons.

Winning authors will receive:

  • $500 Cash Prize
  • Formal recognition at the Black Caucus of ALA Literary Awards
  • BCALA Literary Award Seal to use in marketing

The BCALA Self-Publishing Literary Award will be the first presented by the Black Caucus for digital content, as well as the first recognizing self-published work. It represents an exciting new opportunity not only to recognize diverse authors and books, but also to foster successful partnerships between libraries, authors and communities.

BiblioBoard founder and Chief Business Officer Mitchell Davis is excited for the opportunities the award will create. “As publishing continues to evolve in the digital era, it is clear that self-published authors will play an ever increasing role in the literary landscape,” says Davis. “Efforts like this help authors get the recognition they deserve and help readers to find important books. It also places libraries at the center of the indie movement and insures they can positively influence book culture now and into the future.”

As an organization that is celebrating  45 years of championing African American librarians and literature, the BCALA is excited to work with SELF-e in creating new avenues to foster relationships between libraries and indie authors. “Working with SELF-e is another way for the BCALA to continue our service as advocates for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services to the nation’s African American community,” says current BCALA president Kelvin Watson.

Watson also cites the #weneeddiversebooks campaign, a new viral movement championed by librarians in pursuit of books by diverse authors for diverse audiences, as an influence. “There has been a lack of diversity and equity in literature. SELF-e is an excellent tool to assist in connecting and being more inclusive,” he added.

The submission period began May 2015 and will extend through December. Final selections will go to a BCALA-appointed panel, which will select the winners of the Best Fiction and Best Poetry awards in January. Winners will be announced in January 2016 and formally recognized at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference.  (Submission Guidelines)

The official deadline for the contest is December 18th, 2015.

About the Black Caucus of the ALA (BCALA)

Established in 1970, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association serves as an advocate for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services and resources to the nation’s African American community; and provides leadership for the recruitment and professional development of African American librarians.

About SELF-e

self-e_logoSELF-e is an online discovery tool for self-published authors created by Library Journal in collaboration with BiblioBoard. Authors that submit to SELF-e may have their work chosen by Library Journal to appear in curated collections on BiblioBoard’s award-winning PatronsFirst™ mobile platform being used in participating libraries nationwide. The multi-user, waitlist-free eBook platform provides authors with an exceptional resource for expanding readership, targeting new audiences and promoting their work.

About BiblioBoard

BiblioBoard is the PatronsFirst™ mobile library. The folks behind BiblioBoard are a powerful team based in Charleston, S.C. 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 3,000 libraries and in three statewide eBook projects, reaches 30 million patrons. BiblioBoard has won numerous design and product awards including the 2014 Modern Library Award.

Free eBooks – Great Reads Available for Download Now

There are so many free, high quality, eBooks available for immediate download, it is really quite astonishing.   One can download a free eBook and begin reading it while they are waiting for a bus or in a doctor’s office.   A computer isn’t even required; inexpensive eBook reader or even a smart phone will do.

Here I share information on several resources for learning about and downloading free eBooks.

Project Gutenberg offers over 36,000 free ebooks to download to your PC, Kindle, Android, iOS or other portable device.   The eBooks available at Project Gutenberg were previously published by bona fide publishers, and are made available for free, in the United States, because their copyright has expired.  No fee or registration is required, but they do accept donations.

A couple of terrific titles available at Project Gutenberg include:

 The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar First copyright, 1893

The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar by Paul Laurence Dunbar [Illustrated]

Booker T. Washington called Paul Laurence Dunbar the “Poet Laureate of the Negro Race”. Dunbar, the son of enslaved parents, grew up in Dayton, OH, where he was friendly with the Wright Brothers.  He had a successful high school career–founding editor of the school paper and elected class president of the predominantly white school–but upon graduation, he was forced to work as an elevator operator. His second book of poetry was praised by William Dean Howells and by age 24, he was one of the most renowned literary figures in America.

The Marrow of Tradition by Charles W. Chesnutt

One of the most significant novels in American literature, Chesnutt ‘s The Marrow of Tradition is based on the Wilmington, North Carolina, Massacre of 1898. Called a “race riot” by the inflammatory Southern press and engineered by white Democrats who had seen their political [power] slip into the hands of Republicans, many of whom were black, it was in fact a coup that restored power to the Democrats by subverting the principles of free democratic election. Some of Charles Chestnutt’s relatives lived through the violence, and their accounts inspired this powerful and passionate novel.


Free eBooks are not just limited to the old classic titles.  There are many new works available for free download. 

You can always find free, or really inexpensive, Kindle ebooks on  Here is a link:  There you’ll find titles which include:

Irresistible Forces by Brenda Jackson

The Kindle Fire

The Kindle Fire

Brenda Jackson has written more romance novels than I can count.  She was the first African-American author to have a novel published as part of the Silhouette Desire line, and has seen many of her novels reach the & USAToday Bestseller lists.

You may as well check out Amazon’s new eBook Reader, the Kindle Fire.  The Kindle Fire sports a vibrant color touchscreen with extra-wide viewing angle. It also provides 18 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, and books, the Amazon Appstore – thousands of popular apps and games, free cloud storage for all your Amazon content . The reader is provides accelerated web browsing via Amazon Silk Cloud-Accelerated “Split Browser” — all for only $199!


You can also find a large selection of free eBooks made available by the authors themselves. 

For example, the critically acclaimed novelist Leonce Gaiter, has made his latest novel, The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang available for free eBook download

I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang Ebook By Leonce Gaiter This eBook is available in all the popular formats. The promotion ends October 6th.  You must use coupon code WB45M at check out.

Leonce is a excellent writer and has crafted a thoroughly researched novel about little known chapter in American history.

One of my most critical reviewers described Leonce’s novel “Bourbon Street” this way:

“It has been a long while since I read a book as complex and gorgeous as Bourbon Street written by Leonce Gaiter. A novel which explores the spectrum of inner naked essence of human nature, Bourbon Street was a sheer joy to read from beginning to end.”

To find more deals like this you can subscribe to the eNewsletter we share information about free eBooks.  Authors can also share information about free eBooks on our discussion boards.  In fact authors are encourage to share information on any aspect of their work (see note below).


Stages: A Handbook on Men and RelationshipsMany authors are using free eBooks to promote their work, in creative ways, and expand their audience.

Christopher D. Burns, makes his book Stages: A Handbook on Men and Relationships available to read for free ( but you’ll have to download each chapter individually.

After reading a few chapters, for free, you may decide pay for the full download.  This gives readers an opportunity to discover a new author or interesting book without any financial risk.

Increasingly eBooks may even be borrowed from libraries.  This is just some of the way one can begin to enjoy the wonderful world of literature.  The only investment required is time

Remember, it does not hurt to “read more”

Note: helps share information about books:

Libraries are also a good source of free ebooks. “Nationwide, 82 percent of public libraries across the country offered e-books in 2011” (Check out an article on the subject on

Authors, publicists, publishers, book lovers, check out the revamped Discussion boards. you can post information about your books or books you enjoy, post reviews, book trailers, excepts and more.

You should also take advantage of events calendar ( to post information about your book signings or book related events.

You may share information posted on our discussion boards with your followers on Twitter and Facebook.  I also review content their to include in my eNewsletter (  Our highly regarded eNewsletter, has been published continuously for over 12 years.  It is emailed to almost 20,000 subscribers. discussion board have been on-line for almost 14 years.

Both are free resources.




Bestselling eBooks for 2010

Check Out’s bestselling eBooks for all of 2010.

This our first eBook bestsellers list was derived from Kindle eBook sales, generated on, for the 2010 calendar year.

I did not break this list out by genre or any other category.  I simply ran a report to retrieve all of the eBooks sold in 2010, sorted the list by quantity sold and create this web page.

eBooks make it very easy to discover new books and authors.  One of our top selling eBooks,  cost less than a dollar and you don’t even have to get up out of your chair to buy it and start reading.


The Two Most Popular eBook Readers
Which one is best?