Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Smashwords Signs Distribution Agreement with Sony, Helps Power Sony Publisher Portal

Sony and Smashwords today announced a relationship that significantly expands sales and readership opportunities for Smashwords authors around the world.

Sony has launched the Sony Publisher Platform, powered in part by Smashwords, that makes it easy for self-published authors and small publishers to sell their books at the eBook Store from Sony.

Concurrent with the Sony Publishing Platform relationship, Sony will soon begin distributing Smashwords ebooks.

This distribution relationship with Sony follows our distribution agreement with Barnes & Noble announced four weeks ago. Thanks to these relationships, any author, anywhere in world, can receive distribution from two of the three most prominent online ebook retailers in a matter of days.

This relationship has several positive implications for Smashwords authors and retailers, and for the future of publishing...

For Smashwords Authors:
This distribution is provided for FREE. No fees, no packages to buy, no hidden costs, no sales reps calling to sell you something.

The author/publisher receives 85% of the net, and we receive 15%
For Smashwords Retailers:
Smashwords is optimized to serve as a rapid publishing platform. We're an efficient onramp through which retailers can gain access to ebooks from small presses and self-published authors from around the world.

Because Smashwords serves as both an aggregator and distributor of original ebook content, retailers who partner with Smashwords gain immediate access to thousands of multi-format ebooks.

For the Future of Publishing:

For most of the last two centuries, a small handful of publishers controlled the means of book production and distribution. If you wanted to publish and sell a book, you worked through a publisher. Today, thanks to our humble little publishing service and the wonders of digital publishing, the means of ebook production and distribution are now available to all authors at no cost.

The current print publishing supply chain (how a book gets from publisher to reader) is woefully archaic and inefficient. Publishers take enormous risks to get a book out to market. Multiple gatekeepers stand between the publisher and reader, and each gatekeeper extracts their fee. With the new ebook supply chain we're helping to build, authors and publishers get closer to their reader. This cuts fat from the supply chain which is good for publishers, authors and readers alike.

Digital rights will become more valued by authors and publishers alike. I spoke with one successful midlist author a couple weeks ago who told me he plans to sell the print rights for his next book, but is considering retaining digital rights. He says he can do the ebook distribution on his own using Smashwords since we can get him essentially the same mainstream digital shelf space but at a royalty level twice the amount he'd receive from a commercial publisher.
How to Distribute Your Books with Sony (It's FREE!)

If you're not yet registered for Smashwords - Visit the Sony Publisher Portal and click the link to Smashwords. This will then take you to a co-branded signup page that will qualify your books to appear quickly at Sony. Next, carefully format your manuscript per the requirements of the Smashwords Style Guide, and review the Smashwords Distribution Information page for additional guidelines. Once your book is formatted per the Style Guide, your book will earn inclusion in the Smashwords Premium Catalog, which entitles you to distribution at Sony, Barnes & Noble, Fictionwise, and other online retailers served by Smashwords. It's quick and easy to qualify if you follow the simple instructions on the two pages above. Have questions? Use the customer support link at the top of any Smashwords page.

Current Smashwords authors and publishers - Your current Smashwords books will appear at the eBook Store from Sony in approximately two to three months. If your books have already been accepted into the Premium Catalog, there's nothing you need to do. Please visit your Dashboard's Channel Manager feature, where we will update expected ship dates once we have a firmer date.

We're excited about this relationship with Sony and we look forward to making it a smashing success for Sony and our authors and publishers.

What's next for Smashwords? Stay tuned.

Image credit: Courtesy of ReadWriteWeb


Shayne Parkinson said...

Even more good news from Smashwords! This is great, Mark.

Anonymous said...

I said you should smash it again, but I didn't think you'd do it so fast.

Thanks to you, Good Knight Mark, and to your wizard, Bill the Magnificent. The castle walls aren't just quivering - now they're whimpering too. Or maybe that's the royals I hear.

Dare I risk it? Oh, might as well....


Joansz said...

As Mr. Burns would say rubbing his hands together, "Excellent."

Dovetail Public Relations said...

Hey, thanks all! Quacking alone, you crack me up. Your story was the best.

Anonymous said...

GREAT news! Thanks so much, Mark.

Dan McGirt said...

Excellent news, Mark. You're really putting the pieces together to make Smashwords a digital powerhouse.

Fifth Column Press said...

Our money's on Smashwords - good luck, Mark, and kudos, too. Well done!

Annika said...

Congratulations Mark! I am so excited for you, and my future as a writer. Rita and I are working as I type. She is fast and super. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, this is obviously a tremendous breakthrough in efficiency for the content supply chain. As part of a creaky big old publishing co. I find myself nodding all the way through this news. Thanks for sticking your neck out for the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Mark. You've done it again.

Anonymous said...

Mark, any ideas on when Smashwords Premium works will be available via B&N/Fictionwise? I was (naively) assuming they'd be up fairly quickly.

Dovetail Public Relations said...

Hi Naomi, we don't have a firm ETA yet. I'll send out an email to all Smashwords authors once I receive a firm date.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mark :-)

Unknown said...

Working soooo hard to finish my e-book so that I can be a part of Smashwords. BTW, any suggestions for audiobooks?

ogangurel said...

Great stuff! Waves has been accepted for premium distribution (very nice staff you have there Mark, enjoyed working with them) and looking forward to seeing it on Sony eBooks & B&N.