Bibliotech is an all digital public library currently serving the new West and East sides of town.
Bibliotech, Bexar County's all-digital public library, is looking for independently published Texas authors of adult and young-adult fiction. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Bexar County’s BiblioTech is launching a contest designed to reward the best independently published authors in the state. The Texas Author Project is sponsored by the mobile library BiblioBoard and the Library Journal.

The project is supposed to help indie-published authors grow their visibility and readership. It will also give librarians throughout the state a platform to promote new works of literature.

If local librarians were aware of local authors, they would be more likely to recommend them, said Laura Cole, the director of BiblioTech, which is the county’s all-digital library.

“We don’t necessarily know who in our community is writing,” she said, “so if we can bring those works into our library, we can help promote them to our other patrons.”

Cole especially calls on those still undecided to take a shot at the contest: “I encourage anybody who is still on the fence saying, ‘I’ve got the great American novel in my head, but never dared to submit it to a publisher.’ This is a good opportunity for that.”

Winning authors in both adult and young-adult fiction will get a $500 cash prize from BiblioBoard, be added to the Indie Texas collection of local authors, and be honored at the 2020 Public Library Association Conference in Nashville as well as receive national promotion opportunities.

To compete in the contest, authors must submit a book that was independently published, is categorized as adult or young-adult fiction and is available in either PDF or ePUB format. Only Texas residents are allowed to enter the contest.
Books may be submitted until May 31 on BiblioTech’s website.

The winners will be announced in October, just in time for the Texas Book Festival.

The promotion of local authors has been a focus for BiblioTech even before the contest. Readers curious to discover current literary works from their neighborhoods can find them online in the Indie Texas library.

Valérie Eiseler is an intern at The Rivard Report. She's looking to get to know San Antonio before heading back to her hometown of Darmstadt, Germany.