Guest Post by David Dodd,

Sonoma County Library Collections Manager

(note: David Dodd told me that Thursday’s post generated “quite a bit of interest” from local authors wishing to learn more about donating ebooks to the Sonoma County Library. He’s been kind enough to put together a FAQ item for those who want to learn more.)

FAQ For Local Sonoma County Authors Wishing to Donate e-Books to the Sonoma County Library

Who can participate, and how do I get started?

 First, we need to include you in our local authors database: ( A “local author” is anyone who either resides in, or has in the past resided inSonomaCounty. We will need a brief profile of yourself, and a digital photo at least 200 x 200 pixels.

 How can I get my e-book(s) on your Local Authors Community site?

 To host your e-books on our own site, we need your agreement that it is ok for us to host in a DRM-free environment. (DRM is digital rights management.) You can give us this agreement by including a statement to that effect in an email. We can host most any file format, and your book will be linked from your local author profile page, and searchable only within the Local Author Community database.

If your book is sold via Amazon, you may want to check to see if they have restrictions on your making the book available through our site for free. It could also affect the pricing structure for your work through Amazon.

How can I get my e-book(s) on your OverDrive downloads site?

 Our third-party e-book vendor, OverDrive, will allow local libraries to upload e-books for which they have permission from the rights-holders. Unfortunately, they do not accept all file formats. But they do apply DRM (digital rights management) so that only one person at a time will be able to check out your book, and once it is returned, it will be erased from the readers’ devices.

File formats currently accepted by OverDrive include Adobe PDF or Open PDF.

Where do I send my e-book files when I’m ready to donate?

Please send your e-book files as attachments to In the body of the email, be sure you indicate that you are the owner of the rights and that you give permission as applicable, whether for our hosting via the Local Authors community site (DRM-free), or via the DRM-enable OverDrive downloads site.

What else should I include when I send my files?

Besides the file(s) itself, we need a description: title, genre, a brief summary, and a picture of the cover or a pointer to a source where we can get that information.

Can I have my e-book(s) included on both the Local Authors Community and OverDrive sites?

Yes, just tell us when you send the files.

What about Smashwords?

We can link from your local author profile to your Smashwords-hosted titles, also. Just tell us that’s what you’d like to have us do—either instead of, or in addition to our hosting your book or putting in up on OverDrive.