Smashwords made a significant announce this week about expanding its distribution channel. The publishing company announced a deal with Gardners, the UK’s largest book wholesaler. The deal includes online retailers as well as libraries.
Erotica is excluded.
Ebook retailers powered by Gardners will get more than 230,000 ebooks from 100,000 indie authors and small presses, according to a blog post written by Mark Coker, a founder of Smashwords. The library potion of the deal allows these titles to reach to 2,000 public libraries in the UK and 400 academic libraries throughout the UK, Europe and Middle East.
Smashwords authors and publishers will receive 60 percent of the after-VAT price through Gardners-powered ebooks stores.
The library portion of the deal is a bit different than we have customarily seen. All Smashwords books will be available for browsing, but a sale by the library will only be triggered when a title is checked out. Libraries can set monthly budgets. When those budgets are met, patrons are given the choice of buying the book or waiting. The library catalog will also include all Smashwords titles priced at free.
Smashwords authors and publishers will earn 45 percent of the list price for all library sales, according to the post.
Shipments of ebooks to Gardners will begin on October 22.