Publishing, especially self-publishing, is changing with advances in technology including print on demand and electronic publishing. Community-based authors are taking advantage of these advances and are seeking new venues to publish their works. Recently, the focus has been on the innovative libraries that are stepping in to support these publications such as the ones featured at the Preconference. Yet, little is known about these community-based authors themselves. What do authors working outside of traditional publishing know about crafting a quality book and what experience do they bring to the table? What are their plans for marketing their work? What motivates them to write and to seek publication in the first place? This session will report on a series of surveys of publishing-workshop participants carried out at the Woodneath Public Library, part of Kansas City’s Mid-Continent Public Library System. Survey questions address the questions listed above and more. After presenting the findings from these surveys, the presenters will analyze the results, helping ultimately to situate this group of authors and their needs in the current publishing landscape. Throughout the session, audience members will share their ideas by answering online survey questions, and presenters will post the results of the questions in real time as a way of furthering the conversation. Issues such as the role of the library in publishing and the overall quality of self-published works have been known to invite polemics, and the rich reactions of attendees through short polls will add an additional dimension to the content being presented. Besides learning about the motivation, knowledge, and expectations of community-based authors and seeing the reactions of their peers, attendees can also expect to learn about this particular case study: the initiatives of the innovative Woodneath Story Center along with the Woodneath Press.
This poster was also prepared by Heather Lea Moulaison, Assistant Professor at University of Missouri's iSchool, who is unable to attend the conference.