February 20, 2024

Auto-Graphics Adds Self-Publishing Tool to Library Software


Self-publishing via libraries is a hot topic these days. Califa is partnering with Smashwords to allow

its patrons to self-publish. A few public libraries have brought in Espresso Book Machines and seen the demand for self-publishing dwarf print-on-demand. Jamie LaRue and David Weinberger call on libraries to be a platform for self-published content as well as collecting it. But for a library that doesn’t have a major technology budget or staff, that has not always been so easy to do.

Now, Auto-Graphics is rolling self-publishing software from FastPencil into its library management platform. It can be integrated into Auto-Graphics’ VERSO ILS, SHAREit ILL solution, or SEARCHit search product. Or for libraries that don’t use any of those, it will also be available as a standalone.

“We are excited about the prospect of changing the way people view the role of their libraries and we believe that self-publishing presents just that opportunity,” said Robert Brown, EVP of Auto-Graphics.

“Formal pricing has not been released, but will be based affordable for small to large libraries based on the total number of project (books) managed within the system,” Kim Masterson, marketing manager of Auto-Graphics, told LJ. “As a standalone module from Auto-Graphics it will be provided initially as a SaaS service.”

The ability to help patrons write, design, publish, and sell books in both print and digital formats will be offered first to statewide library customers who have expressed interest in a single service available to all members of a consortium. However, “In the next 30 to 60 days we will announce key customers and immediate availability.” Masterson said.

The software offers collaboration tools, version tracking online or from any device, custom widgets, and a royalty dashboard. (The royalty rate is 80 percent, according to Masterson.) Initially, ePUB and PDF formats are supported.

According to Masterson, there will be no cost for a patron to create an account in the library. To publish an ebook costs $99; $199 for an ebook with ISBN; $249 for an eBook with ISBN and distribution in estore; and $299 for ebook with one copy of a hard cover book. Estores authors can distribute to include Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Ingram, as well as their own storefronts.

For those who want more than one hard copy, a per unit charge will be added for further printing based on the total quantity of copies requested by the author. “Authors will have access to a vetted collection of printers available (and chosen) by the library which are managed by Auto-Graphics and FastPencil,” added Masterson.

Libraries can also choose to collect the content they’re producing: “based on the copyright and DRM mandated by the author, digital copies can be lent alongside current books or using traditional ILL back ends,” Masterson said.

Meredith Schwartz About Meredith Schwartz

Meredith Schwartz (mschwartz@mediasourceinc.com) is Senior Editor, News and Features of Library Journal.


  1. Or libraries could spend $49.95 on The Librarian’s Guide to Micropublishing (by Walt Crawford, published by Information Today, Inc., 2012) and make it easy for their patrons to self-publish through Lulu or CreateSpace, with $0 cost for ebook publishing or print book publishing.