Independent authors and publishers now have greater access to the library market through a new sales channel on Smashwords. In a deal announced today by Publishers Weekly, more than 200,000 Smashwords titles will be available for libraries to purchase through OverDrive.
Library patrons also will have the option of buying the book via the patron’s local library website and OverDrive’s “buy it now” feature.
Unlike purchases from other publishers, these library books will not vanish after a set number of checkouts. The Smashwords e-books will be available for an unlimited number of checkouts, making this a more economical option for libraries.. However, the number of copies of each title available for checkout will be limited to one copy at a time (if a book is “checked out” the library patron has the option of waiting until it is available or purchasing it immediately).
Smashwords also announced a new distribution agreement with txtr, an ebook retailing and e-reading platform based in Berlin. According to Smashwords’ blog, this will provide publishers additional opportunities for ebook sales in Europe and the UK-based retailer Foyles.
Named one of the most promising companies of 2014 by Forbes, Smashwords had revenue of $20 million in 2014, up from $15 million in 2013, from the sale of ebooks at Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, Flipkart, Oyster, Scribd, Baker & Taylor, and others.