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Vancouver Indie Authors Collection

Vancouver Indie Authors Collection


As part of our commitment to helping residents share their own stories, Vancouver Public Library is creating a collection of self-published books by local authors. The goal of this collection is to promote local books that might not be available through traditional channels, both to increase exposure for local writers and to increase the selection for local readers. We welcome both print books and eBooks.

Eligibility & Selection Criteria

We're looking for books in print or EPUB format for an audience of any age that meet all of the following criteria:

  • The author resides in Vancouver or is a member of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, or the book is about Vancouver.
  • The book meets basic formatting requirements. (See submission form, Section 2 & 3.)
  • The book was published in the past two years and is not already in the library’s collection.
  • The book fits VPL’s Collection Development Policy.
  • The book does not contravene Canadian law.

Defining ‘Vancouver/Local Author’
The primary objective of this collection is to highlight authors who reside in the City of Vancouver or are members of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

Neighbouring Municipalities
Staff may also consider authors from neighbouring municipalities for the collection, evaluating based on expectation of local interest and the criteria above.

Before You Submit

Before submitting, we encourage you to get an ISBN for your book and to validate your EPUB file if you are submitting an eBook. Both steps can be done free of charge.

Getting an ISBN for your book
We do not require an ISBN, but there are several advantages to having one. For instance, having an ISBN might make you eligible to receive annual payments under the Public Lending Right Program as compensation for free access to your book in Canadian public libraries. It also makes it easier for the library to acquire additional copies for the collection. If you want an ISBN for your book, we encourage you to acquire it before submitting this form. Please visit Library and Archives Canada for details.

Validating your EPUB file (eBook submission only)
In order for library patrons to read and enjoy your book, it is critical that your EPUB file work on whatever make and model of eReader they are using. (Imagine the frustration of getting halfway through a book, and then discovering that the remaining pages cannot be turned.) For this reason, testing your eBook on your own personal device is not sufficient; you should also run your eBook through a file validator to make sure that there are no hidden errors in the file. There are several free online tools which will analyze your EPUB file and identify errors in the formatting. See, for instance, EPUB Validator at http://validator.idpf.org/.

Submission Form

Before starting to fill out the submission form below, please read through the entire form to make sure that you have all the materials ready and properly formatted. The form is lengthy and if you have to stop partway through in order to gather information, you may end up having to enter the same information a second time.

Click here to submit online

Or click here for downloadable submission form


Will I get paid for my work?
Yes. The library will purchase your book at the listed retail price. If you apply for the Public Lending Right Program, you may also be eligible to receive annual payments for public use. (See ‘Getting an ISBN’ above.)

Will you accept my self-published book for your collection if I don’t live in Vancouver and it isn’t about Vancouver?
We will consider it if it meets our Collection Development Policy, staff believe that it will be of interest to our audience, and it meets the other criteria for formatting, publication date, and being compliant with Canadian law. Please include reviews along with information about your book. If we accept it, it will be a part of the library’s main collection and not a part of the Vancouver Indie Authors collection and promotion.

What if my book is in a language other than English?
VPL accepts books in all languages the library collects, providing the book meets the criteria detailed above and our staff is able to verify this in a reasonable manner.

What if my book is a translation?
We will consider print books or eBooks in translation if the author is the translator of their own work or if the purchase agreement can be made with both the author and translator.

How long will my book be kept in the collection?
Books will generally remain in the collection for a minimum of one year. Based on usage, we will periodically remove older books to make room for new titles.

Why didn’t you add my book to the collection?
As with any library collection, there are more books produced each year than the library can accommodate and we must be selective about which books we include in our collection. This is why we have a Collection Development Policy that guides our selection process. We are most likely to include self-published books that have a uniquely local perspective or significance. We also take into account media attention and local demand.

Who can borrow my book?
All VPL patrons with active library cards will have access to the collection. This includes residents from most neighbouring municipalities, provided they have a VPL card.

Can people copy or pirate my eBook?
You will have the option to apply a digital lock to your eBook when you submit it. Copyright law applies to copying of material in the library’s collection.

Will I be notified whether my book has been added to the collection?
If the library is purchasing your book, you will receive payment from us, and this will tell you that it’s being added to the collection. Please check our online catalogue to check whether your book is ready to borrow.

Other questions?
We will be adding to this FAQ as the collection takes shape. If you have pressing questions that aren’t addressed here, please contact us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).