Self-Published

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Submission Guidelines

In order to support and showcase the creative work of our community members, the Des Moines Public Library will consider author and patron donations of self-published books on an individual basis. These works will be evaluated by a team of professional and experienced librarians for inclusion into the DMPL collection.

The new self-published collection will endeavor to promote local material and bolster the independent and creative writing process. Though the collection will primarily incorporate adult fictional titles, nonfiction works such as poetry, autobiographies, and cookbooks will be evaluated and considered for addition.

The library will not acknowledge the receipt of the work or of our final decision. If the work is accepted, the title will appear in the library catalog within approximately 60 days. Acceptance of previous title does not guarantee acceptance of future titles. The library only accepts physical versions of an author's work. We will not accept books in any electronic format.

Materials that are donated become the property of the Des Moines Public Library and as such cannot be returned to the donor.The donor of any materials should understand that the library reserves the right to assign a title wherever it is most appropriate or to dispose of the title if it is not needed.

Preference will be given to books that meet the following criteria:

  • The book has been written by a local author or has an Iowa connection
  • The work is suitable for circulation and is professionally bound
  • The work has positive reviews in professional journals

Authors who would like their work considered for the collection should provide a copy of their book with as much of the following information as possible in order to assist in the library's decision:

  • Brief description of the book and its intended audience
  • Reviews
  • Awards
  • Publicity materials

Due to staffing and time restraints, librarians are not able to meet with authors on an individual basis.

For inquiries or questions, please contact: reference@dmpl.org

Please send submissions to:
Special Collections Project
1000 Grand Ave
Des Moines, IA 50309

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Help others improve their work. Writers should bring an open mind and anything from family stories or fiction to children's stories and poetry!