Back in August, 2012, Smashwords announced a new product, Library Direct. This is a service that allows libraries and library networks to acquire and establish large opening collections of ebooks, direct from Smashwords. Douglas County was one of the first customers back in August of 2012, loading 10,000 of the top titles. The last day of 2012, they added another 10,000 titles. Here is more from the DCL press release:
On December 31, Douglas County Libraries (DCL) acquired 10,000 e-book titles from the world’s largest distributor of self-published works, Smashwords, bringing the total number of e-book files that DCL owns to 21,000. All of the content purchased from Smashwords, including books in popular genres such as fiction, romance, mystery, and science fiction, is available for borrowing by library patrons.
“Smashwords is an enthusiastic supporter of public libraries, and we’re proud to be working with the visionary team at Douglas County Libraries,” said Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, based in Los Gatos, Calif. “Public libraries are engines of book discovery, and library patrons purchase a lot of books. At a time when many e-book publishers are turning their backs on libraries, our authors and publishers are embracing libraries.”
DCL’s model of purchasing e-books directly from publishers, rather than leasing them through third-party vendors, has gained attention from publishers and is being replicated by dozens of other library systems in the U.S. “We’re eager to connect our readers to fresh streams of digital content,” said Jamie LaRue, director of Douglas County Libraries. “Smashword’s average price per title [about $4] allows us to do that more readily than we could from the big publishers [now charging as much as $84 per e-book]. This looks like the beginning of a wonderful friendship.”
Privately-held Smashwords is the world’s largest distributor of independent e-books. Smashwords makes it fast, free and easy for any author or publisher, anywhere in the world, to publish and distribute e-books to major retailers such as the Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble and Sony, and now, to libraries. For more information, visit http://www.smashwords.com/.
Douglas County Libraries is a passionate advocate for literacy and lifelong learning. For more information, visit DouglasCountyLibraries.org.