Deal With Smashwords Turns Califa Library Network Into Community Publisher

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A deal with self-publishing and distribution platform Smashwords will give the Califa library network in California a self-publishing tool for its patrons, reports Library Journal. The deal will also bring 10,000 Smashwords titles to the library for e-book lending.

Califa will buy the 10,000 Smashwords titles, nearly 10% of the company’s entire catalog, at $3 a piece. They will be available for borrowing one at a time. The deal was made possible due to a major increase in funding at Califa for such projects — to $325,000 up from $30,000.

Patrons at Califa libraries will also be able to use a proprietary system to upload e-books to Smashwords, which will then distribute them to e-bookstores like Nook and Kobo (Smashwords does not currently distribute to Kindle). When a patron publishes a book, the library will be notified and the title will be made available for them to purchase.

Residents of Kansas will also be in on the action. The state librarian there added $25,000 to the funding pool and Kansas library patrons will now be able to participated in the program.

In February, Digital Book World expert blogger Nate Hill, a Web librarian at the San Jose Public Library, proposed a similar system to turn libraries into community publishers.

Read more at Library Journal.

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