I have been an avid promoter for self-published authors to distribute through Smashwords since the beginning of my self-publishing adventures and the latest news has me even more of a cheerleader of its Founder Mark Coker.
The latest is that OverDrive is making room for Smashwords authors. On May 20, 2014, Smashwords announced an agreement to supply more than 200,000 titles to OverDrive, the world’s largest ebook platform.
This is a tremendous feat for Indy authors who are often not accepted to be represented on mainstream publishing industry platforms such as OverDrive. Libraries offering OverDrive go from the option of $20 - $40 ebooks from large publishing houses to now having the market open for self-published authors to come in and possibly price more affordably.
Per Smashwords' website, within their agreement with OverDrive, libraries will lend purchased ebooks under the one copy/one user model, meaning each copy they purchase can be checked to only one reader at a time.
This is the same licensing arrangement use for the 2012 distribution agreement with Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360 service. Once a patron’s borrowing time expires, the book is ready to be checked out by another patron.
Library patrons will have the ability to recommend titles to their library from the Smashwords catalog, which presents a great opportunity for authors. For authors not connected with local library staff, this opens up an entirely new communication channel to market your book and even offer possible library event collaborations pending your genre.
Personally I have much experience and success with library tours and loved connecting with the local market and staff as an author. The following is a simple diagram of the process for your ebook getting to library patrons.
Within this agreement the libraries have opportunity to cash in as well. Alternately, if a library ebook is already checked out, patrons will be presented with the option to purchase the ebook through a link on participating libraries’ websites through OverDrive’s “Buy It Now” feature. In this sense, the OverDrive library network becomes an ebook retailer for popular books. The library also earns a commission in the process.
Thanks to Founder of Smashwords, Mark Coker for continually creating partnerships that increase our visibility and opportunities within the marketplace as self-publishers!!!
I cannot wait to see what happens next. Stay tuned.