top of page

Self-Published Selection Policy


Self Published Works



  • Self-published: a book or other media published by authors or other creators, without involvement of an established third-party publisher; the author may outsource some or all of the tasks to other people or companies.

  • Vanity press: a publishing house that publishes books at the author’s expense; there is no selection criteria.

  • Small press (independent publisher, indie publisher): an independent publishing house that publishes a small number of titles a year; it does not require any payment from an author.


For self-published books, Webster Parish Library:


1.  Accepts self-published books as gifts, catalogs them with minimal cataloging, classifies them with call number of “SELF” and shelves them separately from the regular collection.  These do not go onto the “New” books shelving.


2.  Does not order titles that are self-published (or vanity press) unless they have a published review of 4 1/2-4 stars (Publisher’s Weekly, New York Times Bestsellers, etc.) even if there are requests.  If a self-published title is ordered, there will be a note on the order slip “Self-published & reviewed.”


Publishers include:

  • AuthorHouse

  • CreateSpace

  • iUniverse


  • Xlibris


3.  Does not order titles from PW Select (independent, vanity, etc.) since there are no reviews available.


It is becoming more and more difficult to identify self-published titles, since major book vendors (including Ingram and Baker & Taylor) now provide titles from self-publishing companies.

  • Some authors with a following have been dropped by their publisher, or have dropped their publisher, and have begun to self-publish.  If we have previous titles by that author, we may or may not purchase current titles.

  • If the author of a self-published non-fiction title is an authority in the subject area for the title, then we catalog the title, assign it a Dewey number, and shelve it on the “New” books display then in the regular non-fiction collection.

  • If a title has been requested by a patron, and it can’t be readily determined that the publisher is a self publisher/vanity press, then one copy will be ordered.  Catalogers will use publication information once the title has arrived to determine whether it is “Self” or regular collection.

Board Approved January 27, 2017

bottom of page