Submitting Your Own Work How-To

Project Gutenberg’s collection is focused on older literary works for which copyright in the US has expired. Contemporary works are not being accepted for the collection.

Instead, our partner, the World Library Foundation runs, the Project Gutenberg self-publishing portal. This is a collection of author-contributed works. Works are generally submitted in PDF format, and all ownership remains with the author. The self-publishing portal subscribes to the Project Gutenberg principle of unlimited, free redistribution of all works.

Submitting to the Self-Publishing Portal

  1. Visit
  2. Select “Get Published”
  3. Select “Individual Registration” and get your username set up (elibrary card).
  4. And then, when you go back to “Get Published” you will have ability to upload your book, and see upload status.

Don’t forget to look at the Submission Guidelines under “Get Published”

The self-publishing portal accepts eBooks in PDF and other formats, and allows different types of licenses.

The review process takes a week or two, and then your author portal will be updated. There are automated messages about this - be sure to check whether email messages land in your spam folder.

Due to the size of the database at World Library, it can take a month or even longer for new items to be searchable. You can check status of your book upload, in your account dashboard (“My Uploads”).

Note that the World Library Foundation, which operates the self-publishing portal, has a helpdesk for support and any trouble you might encounter. Please contact them directly: support @

Why did Project Gutenberg stop accepting contemporary works?

Michael Hart, Project Gutenberg’s founder, was a great believer in experimentation and pushing limits. As one of the earliest active sites for books, Project Gutenberg was a magnet for books in every possible format, and many copyrighted items were added with permission of the author.

Today, there are many more mechanisms for authors to distribute their works electronically. Project Gutenberg’s website does not have, and will not have, the needed features and services for contemporary authors. For example, we do not accept works in Word or PDF (instead, master formats must include HTML, text, TeX and/or RsT). Another example is that our processes of putting new eBooks online is laborious, and is not a self-service process. This is simply not up to par with modern publishing platforms.

Project Gutenberg’s website at focuses on what we do best: careful digitization and free distribution of works for which copyright has expired.