Monday, November 23, 2009

Smashwords to Supply Ebooks to Amazon Kindle Store

Smashwords today announced a distribution agreement to supply ebooks to the Amazon Kindle Store.

The news follows other important Smashwords distribution agreements we announced in the last three months with Barnes & Noble, Sony and Shortcovers.

I'm so pleased to call each of these retailers a valued Smashwords partner, and I look forward to working with them to showcase our fast-growing catalog of nearly 5,000 independently published ebooks.

Our Amazon agreement marks an important milestone in the evolution of Smashwords. We launched in May 2008 as an ebook publishing platform for indie authors. In May of this year, we expanded the platform to support small publishers. In the last couple months, we've transitioned to a full-fledged distributor of ebooks capable of serving authors and publishers around the world. We're just getting started.

For most of the last few centuries, if you wanted to reach readers for your book, you worked with a publisher. Publishers controlled the means of production (the printing presses) and the means of distribution (access to book stores and readers).

With the rise of ebooks, we're witnessing the democratization of book production and distribution. In the next few years, I think more authors - including big name authors - will ask the question, "What can a publisher do for me that I can't do myself?"

Smashwords makes it possible for any ebook author or small publisher, anywhere in the world, to gain equal and free access to the virtual shelves of the most important online retailers of ebooks.

Authors will compete not on publisher advantage, but on the merits of their works. Readers, not publishers, will decide which books are worth reading.

Read the press release in the Smashwords Press Room.

Thank you for your support.


  1. Woo-hoo! Just retweeted your announcement.

  2. Wow, another great deal!

    How does this impact those of us who already publish with Kindle? Should we remove those books in order to be included in the Smashwords arrangement?

  3. I just read this via Publishers Weekly and I'm in heaven. Higher royalties and increased exposure.

    Mark, you might be my new hero.

  4. Don't see an edit function, so I'll just add this. My previous post refers to those who have already published at Smashwords, as well as with Amazon Kindle.

  5. Thanks everyone for your kind words!

    @TC Sorry, I should have clarified that (it's in the press release). If you're already on Amazon, you can go to your Smashwords Dashboard this afternoon, click Channel Manager, and opt out of the Amazon Channel.

  6. Yeah, but Mark, I'd rather go through YOU than THEM. This might take some tip-toeing to make happen...

  7. Wonderful news! Well done, Mark and the team.

  8. Just retweeted! What a timesaver for Indie authors like me! Thanks!

  9. I re-tweeted! I'm so excited by this!

  10. Fantastic news!

    Congratulations on your continued success!

  11. Excellent news for publishers outside the U.S. Australians have not been able to publish on Kindle prior to this.

    One question Mark. My book is on Amazon in hardcopy (PoD via CreateSpace). That edition has a different ISBN. There shouldn't be any conflict should there?


  12. Hi David. Shouldn't be a conflict. Ebooks get different identifiers than print books. In this case, Amazon will assign your book an ASIN (their numbering system).

  13. I'm with Susan. I'd rather 42% there through Smashwords than that 35% from going directly.

    All my titles are there already. Should I unpublish, or will they create a second listing page?

  14. Ahhh, that makes life easier for us geographically-challenged folk!

    Mark - what will happen with free ebooks? Will they be listed with Amazon as free, or at a cost?

  15. Hi Scath (and Susan) - Please don't do anything hasty. Since we're planning our first ship for this Wednesday, you'll want to wait and see how long it takes for us to get the titles up there. With the holidays and the unexpected glitches (which I always expect), you might want to wait and see. :)

  16. @Naomi - Bill and I were talking about the free thing today. We're going to try to make free work because I know it's important to many of our authors. We'll know more in a couple days.

  17. Mark and Bill,

    Without a doubt, you deserve every good thing coming your way, and there must be much!

    What a wonderful thing you've done for writers, indie publishers and, most importantly, readers.

    Thanks so much!

    Mari Bushman

  18. This is good news for writers who want to e-publish. Thank you, Mark, for commenting over on my blog. You gave such great answers to commenters that I'm going to post your answers on Friday in case someone missed them.

    Straight From Hel

  19. Great news, great work. Two questions:

    1) Will your Amazon/Kindle distribution scale with Amazon as Kindle goes international?

    2) I have a Kindle edition posted already. What happens if I switch over to smashbook with it?

    Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving


  20. Hi Ronald,

    For question 1, probably yes since all we have worldwide rights to distribute Smashwords books, though I don't know Amazon's plans for international.

    For question 2, I'd recommend you opt out of the Smashwords-Amazon channel today. Once I have greater clarity from Amazon on how they want to handle the overlap, I'll report back to Smashwords authors via my email alerts (go to your "communications preferences" to make sure you're subscribed).

  21. It's great that e-writer have another oulet to publish rather than always having to go to amazon direct. Will be posting about this option when i sit down to blog today.

    Danny - Kindle Case