In its commitment to reading and writing, Amazon, in collaboration with the Ortega-Marañón Foundation, has established the first self-publishing library, located at the foundation's headquarters. The Ortega-Marañón Foundation is an institution specialising in social sciences and humanities, dedicated to promoting culture, education, and research.
A meeting space for self-published authors and readers
The library aims to serve as a meeting place which brings the world of self-publishing closer to all kinds of readers, and contributes to analysing the significance of this new model of creation in the Spanish literary landscape. The initial collection will include over 200 titles donated by Amazon. The essential criterion for inclusion in the library’s shelves is that the work must be an original self-published piece. Thus, successful writers who began their careers by publishing through KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), winners and finalists of past iterations of the Amazon Storyteller Literary Prize, or the highest-rated books published through KDP, will share the space.
"The creation of the first self-publishing library is an important step in demonstrating the significance of self-publishing tools for the current literary market, and the abundance of talent that we also want to support from here."
The library's inauguration event, held on 28th September 2023, also featured a panel discussion moderated by journalist and writer Marta Fernández. Participants included Federico Buyolo, Cultural Director of the Ortega-Marañón Foundation; Andrea Pasino, Head of Amazon KDP Spain; Jorge Gonzalvo, Founder & Director of Atrapavientos (an association promoting reading and writing); and Raquel Ortega, KDP author and winner of the Amazon Storyteller Literary Prize 2022. They discussed reading, literary creation, and self-publishing in Spain.
"The promotion of reading and writing must go hand in hand because they mutually reinforce each other. The fact that young writers have tools like self-publishing that allow them to see their works published serves as a motivation to start writing, which inevitably leads to reading, and vice versa."
Supporting reading and literary creation in Spain
With the opening of the library, Amazon continues its commitment to promoting new forms of literary creation in the Spanish language, making the work of emerging authors accessible to all types of readers, and increasing awareness of the possibility of self-publishing for both independent authors and Spanish readers.
The "Reading, Writing, and Literary Creation in Spain" study, conducted by Beruby for Amazon, surveyed a total of 3,000 Spaniards, with over one-third of participants (37%) claiming to include writing among their hobbies. Of these, 37% have published at some point, either on a personal blog (30%), through a traditional publisher (31%), or using a self-publishing tool (39%).
Among Spaniards familiar with self-publishing tools, one of the main advantages they recognise is the opportunity it provides for new authors to reach readers, which 40% of respondents acknowledged. Furthermore, more than one-third (35%) believe self-publishing makes it easier for readers to discover new authors.
Ten years of supporting self-publishing
The library presentation event also served to announce the names of the five finalists of this year’s Amazon Storyteller Literary Prize, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2023. Since its launch, the prize has established itself as the premier literary competition for self-published authors and has continued to grow, accumulating a catalogue of over 25,000 titles from authors representing more than 60 countries.
The prize will be awarded on 26th October at the Ortega-Marañón Foundation, as part of the Eñe Festival. The winner will receive a cash prize of €10,000 and a marketing campaign on Amazon valued at €20,000 to promote their work. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to sign a contract with Amazon Audible, to produce their book in audiobook format
"For us, it's a great joy to continue contributing year after year to promote culture and literary creation, supporting and encouraging thousands of authors to achieve their dreams with our self-publishing tool and, more specifically, with the Amazon Storyteller Literary Prize. More and more emerging writers are taking the step to publish their work, and it's satisfying to know that they trust us to do it."
All works entered into the competition are available in the Kindle Store and can be read in both print and digital formats on various devices using the free Kindle app - including iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, PC, and Mac, as well as Kindle eReaders and Fire tablets.