The Story Center has been publishing titles through Mid-Continent Public Library's publishing imprint, Woodneath Press, since 2014.
Woodneath Press serves the greater metropolitan area of Kansas City, Missouri, and publishes scholarly, literary, and general interest books on many subjects and in various genres.
Library-as-Publisher: A Unique Model
Woodneath Press is the publishing imprint of Mid-Continent Public Library’s Story Center which focuses on local authors and local content. Woodneath Press operates as a library-as-publisher model, allowing authors to work directly with a nationally-renowned library system during the publishing process. In addition to working with our award-winning publishing team, this unique opportunity provides the authors:
- inclusion in the Library's collection
- book group opportunities throughout the Library's 32 branches spanning 3 counties
- book launch at Woodneath Library Center
- programmatic opportunities with the Library system and partner organizations
- access to SquareOne Small Business professionals and expertise
- national and international distribution via our partner organizations
- opportunity to work with a graphic designer to develop the book cover
- quarterly royalty payments
The mission of Woodneath Press is to publish quality work in a variety of genres created by authors a) in the greater Kansas City area or b) about the greater Kansas City area. Submission preference is given to participants (past or present) in The Storytelling Certificate Program.
Due to our unique library-as-publisher structure, Woodneath Press follows an independent publishing model as opposed to a traditional publishing model. As such, Woodneath Press does not provide in-house editing. We do, however, have a growing database of freelance editors and other fee-based services on our website listed under Local Author Resources.
*Mid-Continent Public Library nor The Story Center specifically endorses any of the individuals and/or resources provided.
In order to be considered for publication with Woodneath Press, at least one of two geographic criteria must be met. Either:
- Local Author: The author must reside in one of MCPL’s reciprocal public library systems.
- Local Content: If the author resides outside of this, Woodneath Press would consider submissions regarding content within the Kansas City metro area.
Woodneath Press does not accept submissions for work previously published through a traditional publisher. Woodneath Press does accept submissions for previously self-published works.
Note: Individuals currently employed by the Mid-Continent Public Library (MCPL) are not eligible to be published by the Woodneath Press imprint due to conflicts of interest. Former MCPL employees are eligible to be considered for publication by the Woodneath Press imprint one year after employment with MCPL has ended, provided they meet all other eligibility criteria as listed above. Current and former MCPL employees may still use the Story Center printing services which is not considered publication by the Woodneath Press imprint.
Please review the Woodneath Press Submittable form for required content.
*Submitting a work to the Library for publication does not guarantee it will be published by the Library or its imprint.
Additionally, supporting documentation must be submitted for consideration and may include (but is not limited to):
- Licensing for photos, images, illustrations, etc.
- Permissions for written excerpts (including but not limited to newspaper/magazine articles)
- Support from a recognized historical organization speaking to the accuracy of the work
- Anything further Woodneath Press deems necessary to assist in the publishing decision
Order of Preference
Woodneath Press will receive submissions from one of three sources (listed below). In the case of multiple submissions, preference will be given in the following order:
- Story Center Certificate participant
- In conjunction with a partner organization
- Unsolicited submissions (first MCPL service area, then greater Kansas City metro region)
Woodneath Press will accept submissions on a quarterly basis. Final decisions will be made, and authors notified no later than two months following:
- Q1: Submission accepted July 1 – September 30
Authors notified no later than December 1
- Q2: Submissions accepted October 1 – December 31
Authors notified no later than March 1
- Q3: Submissions accepted January 1 – March 31
Authors notified no later than June 1
- Q4: Submissions accepted April 1 – June 30
Authors notified no later than September 1
A maximum of three submissions will be accepted for review each quarter. A maximum of one submission will be published each quarter. If two or more submissions are deemed acceptable within a given quarter, the top submission based on order of preference will be accepted within that quarter and the additional manuscript(s) will be placed on the next quarter’s publication cycle and so on.
Once a manuscript has been accepted, Woodneath Press will implement a six-month publication timeline with the book release scheduled at the end of the six-month period.
The Woodneath Press Editorial Board will use a variety of questions to assess the manuscript. Please see the complete list of evaluation questions under Woodneath Press Editorial Board Review Questions.
The Editorial Board consists of The Story Center staff and Library CEO/Executive Director, as well as representatives from the collection development department, marketing department, and Library staff. The Editorial Board reviews each submission, and makes the decision whether or not to pursue publication.
For further questions regarding the submission process or eligibility, please contact the Story Center Publication Manager Dave Burns at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 816.883.4774.
Woodneath Press Editorial Board Review Questions
Note examples of grammatical or spelling errors within the manuscript if applicable.
Is the story/narrative cohesive and easy to follow? Please explain your answer.
Does the story contain relatable, well-rounded characters (fiction)? Please explain your answer.
Are the facts substantiated (nonfiction)? Please explain your answer.
Summarize the major plot points in 1-2 sentences.
Additional Notes (not required)
How does the book lend itself to Mid-Continent Public Library and Story Center programming?
Identify the genre and audience. Is this a broad or narrow/niche audience?
How does the book represent the community and/or how can the community relate to the narrative?
Is the book title intriguing, interesting, catchy, etc.? How does the title represent or capture the narrative?
Is the book title misleading or misrepresentative of the content? What suggestions would you recommend?
Does the synopsis explain the book well/accurately? Please explain your answer.
Additional Notes (not required)
Does the project represent the values of Mid-Continent Public Library and The Story Center?
Does the book fall within Mid-Continent Public Library's collection development guidelines?
Additional Notes (not required)