Smashwords and OverDrive issued a press release today announcing a new partnership to distribute Smashwords ebooks to libraries through the OverDrive network.
This will add some 200,000 ebooks from 80,000 indie authors and small independent presses to OverDrive’s catalog of ebooks available to public libraries in the OverDrive global network.
OverDrive is the leading platform for distributing ebooks to public libraries and schools, and Smashwords is the largest distributor of self-published ebooks. The fact that these two companies finally teamed up is no surprise at all.
The biggest challenge is going to be for the individual libraries having to choose titles from such a large selection of relatively unknown authors. Smashwords distributes ebooks from some of the world’s bestselling indie authors, but many are writers that no one has ever heard of before.
Luckily Smashwords and OverDrive have already thought about this and are working on creating curated lists for bestsellers and popular genres. For instance, libraries will have the option to purchase the top 100, 500 or 1,000 bestselling Smashwords authors. Smashwords is also providing lists by genre, such as the top 1,000 bestselling romance titles, or the top 1,000 bestselling mysteries and thrillers.
This library tie-in will provide a great way to sample new indie authors’ works without having to take the gamble of buying something unknown. A lot of people avoid indie authors because of poor editing and writing techniques; library ebooks will give readers more opportunity to discovery indie authors that write well and care about their craft, making it easier to filter them from the endless slush pile authors.
According to the press release, some of the Smashwords authors planning to provide their full indie catalogs to Overdrive include Amy Miles, Brian S. Pratt, Chanda Hahn, Colleen Hoover, GJ Walker-Smith, Jamie McGuire, JD Nixon, Kirsty Moseley, Kristen Ashley, Lauren Blakely, Melody Grace, Natasha Preston, Quinn Loftis, R.L. Mathewson, Randolph Lalonde, Shayne Parkinson and T C Southwell.