Smashwords has launched a big push to get its authors’ books in front of library patrons. The first part of the push is a new Pricing Manager feature offers the chance to set specific prices for libraries, and the second part is a new Library Direct channel that looks set to open up additional opportunities for libraries to order ebook titles.
It’s no secret that many libraries, not only in the US but also around the world, have been struggling to come to terms with the demands placed on them by traditional publishers. But with library patrons increasingly seeking the chance to borrow ebooks, there looks to be a good opportunity for independent authors to fill a gap caused by the unwillingness of those traditional publishers to fully enter the library market.
Smashwords says that it has already received commitments from three large library systems to purchase approximately $30,000 of titles each. This doesn’t look like an option that will make any individual indie authors rich, but it does look set to give library patrons access to huge numbers of indie and self-published titles. Authors will receive 70% of the library price, but can opt out of the system via the Channel Manager.