New Smashwords Program for Libraries Offers Thousands of Indie Ebook Crowd-pleasers

Libraries and library networks can now offer their patrons large collections of ebooks published by Smashwords, the publisher/distributor announced today.

In the new program, called Library Direct, libraries that manage their own acquisitions and check-out can choose from collections of the top 10,000 (or larger) titles and custom filter them according to price and category. Titles included in the collections will be chosen based on aggregated sales data from Smashwords’ distribution network, making this a “crowdsourced” collection according to popularity.

Three library networks are currently signed on for Library Direct: Califa, in California; Douglas County, in Colorado;and the Internet Archive’s Open Library online.

Smashwords is simultaneously launching a Pricing Manager tool for its authors that will enable them to create custom library pricing. The pricing tool, according to the company, will help authors make their titles even more obtainable to libraries, and thereby gain them an even wider readership.

“Library Direct complements our existing distribution relationships with leading library aggregators such as Baker & Taylor, 3M Cloud Library, and others in the works,” according to the announcement. The company expects even greater, though indirect, sales potential from Library Direct through their use of the lists as recommended title purchases for their customers.

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