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Note: As of March 2005, the Mind Like Water-Follett 
Library Initiative is temporarily closed to new participants.

Greetings eBook Authors and Publishers,

In 2003, Mind Like Water made a commitment to find a way for you to sell your ebooks to libraries across the United States. Early on, we recognized that libraries were eventually going to embrace ebooks in a big way, and we wanted to find a simple way for libraries to discover the thousands of ebook authors out there. 

In fact, record ebook retail sales were set in the first quarter in 2004. eBook units sold during that quarter were up 46% and ebook revenues were up 28% over the same quarter in 2003. According to Open eBook Forum President Steve Potash, "eBooks represent the fastest growing segment of the publishing industry.

We discovered fairly quickly that the journey was not going to be easy. When you start something new you often must find your own path, and our library initiative was certainly no exception. Along the way we tried everything, including face-to-face meetings with library managers, mass mailings to libraries, and a newsletter tailored specifically to libraries. Nothing seemed to work. The hard lesson we learned is that libraries are only willing to work with large ebook vendors like Follett, Baker & Taylor, and netLibrary.

Still, we never gave up. In the end, our perseverance and search engine knowledge is what made the difference. After more than a year of hard work trying to market your ebooks to libraries, Follett contacted us to inquire about our company and ebook directory. Follett, a highly respected company that has been in business for 130 years, impacts education in schools and libraries throughout the United States and the world. Based on our website and high search engine rankings for many popular keywords, Follett recognized the importance of Mind Like Water's ebook directory and our commitment to the ebook market.

What Follett wanted was to make the ebook titles in Mind Like Water's online directory available to the thousands of public libraries and school libraries that Follett already works with in the following company divisions:

  • BWI (Book Wholesalers, Inc.), a full-service book vendor to public libraries. This division's book catalogue, called TitleTales, is made available for free to the 16,421 public libraries that are in the United States.
  • Follett Library Resources, the largest supplier of books to K-12 schools. This division's book catalogue, called TitleWave, also is free to the 93,861 school libraries in the United States.
All of these libraries want diverse ebook content, and Follett recognized that Mind Like Water's directory provides a way to deliver what their clients are demanding.

Recognizing the importance of this opportunity, Mind Like Water set up an arrangement whereby authors will have the opportunity to sell their ebooks to public and school libraries, while maintaining ownership of their ebooks and a large percentage of the royalties of each ebook sale.

Follett made it clear from the beginning that their clients do not want to work with individual authors. This is the same story we heard multiple times in conversations with librarians and others. Libraries do not have the staff to keep track of thousands of authors. Instead, Follett is asking Mind Like Water to make arrangements with individual authors so that Follett can provide ebooks to their clients through their catalogues TitleWave and TitleTales.

Follett has asked that Mind Like Water be responsible for tracking individual authors' ebook submittals. This includes making sure all ebooks are provided to Follett in the proper format with the necessary associated metadata, maintaining individual author accounts, and compensating authors for ebooks sold.

In exchange for including the ebooks we submit in Follett's catalogues, Follett receives 50 percent of the list price of each ebook sold. After much thought, Mind Like Water decided that the remaining 50 percent of any ebook sold through Follett's catalogues should go directly to you. In addition to managing an ebook directory, we are also ebook authors. By giving 50 percent of all ebook sales directly to you, we feel you are getting a fair percentage of the profits.

After signing a contract and discussing final arrangements with Follett, here are the details of how you can get started selling your ebooks to 16,421 public libraries and 93,861 school libraries.

Click on the link at the bottom of this page and you will be directed to an order form. On this page, you will be informed about the minimum requirements for submitting ebooks to Follett. After placing your order, you will be directed to a page where you can fill in the information we need to submit your ebooks to Follett and to build your profile page for our eBook Catalog. This ebook catalog is on Mind Like Water's website, which receives over 1,000 unique visitors each day. The catalog is ranked 3d on Google for "ebook catalog," right after Microsoft and netLibrary. Your profile page, which we will optimize for search engines, will help create awareness for your ebooks. Once your profile page is complete, you will be provided with information about the process for submitting your ebook files.

More detailed information regarding digital rights management, marketing, list price, etc. can be found on our FAQ page. It is recommended that you read through this information.

So, how much will it cost to submit your ebooks?

Managing ebook submittals and accounts for thousands of authors is a large undertaking for any company. However, for $97 a year per ebook, we are prepared to do the following:

  • Create, host and optimize for search engines a web page in our online eBook Catalog that profiles you and your ebooks.
  • Submit your ebooks to Follett, ensuring submittals are in the proper format with the necessary associated metadata.
  • Manage your account, including compensation of royalties from any ebook sales.
  • Through the Mind Like Water Monthly, provide you with the information you need to help libraries select your ebooks once they are in Follett's catalogues.

This $97 is a flat rate, regardless of whether you sell 100s or 1000s of ebooks through Follett. This represents only $8.00 a month to get your ebooks in front of 110,282 libraries.

If you have multiple titles you would like for us to submit to Follett, we offer the following group discounts: up to 3 ebooks for $197 per year; and up to 7 ebooks for $297 per year. (If you have more than 7 titles that you would like to submit, please contact me at dino@mind-like-water.com for large ebook submittal discounts.)

This is a risk-free offer. Based on conversations with Follett, it is our understanding that they will accept all titles for their catalogues unless they have a moral or ethical reason not to. However, for any ebooks that are not accepted by Follett, we will promptly refund your money.

We are not aware of any other company offering a chance for individual authors to sell their ebooks to thousands of public and school libraries. We are excited about this opportunity. For many authors, this will open up a large and entirely new market for your ebooks.

Click on the link below to sell your ebooks to 16,421 public libraries and 93,861 school libraries! 

We wish you success,

Diane Faile




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