Smashwords announced on Monday that they had signed a new distribution agreement with txtr, the Berlin-based ebook company. Authors and publishers who distribute their ebooks via Smashwords can now elect to also sell their titles via txtr and the ebookstores it operates.
Smashwords currently distributes 290,000 titles to over a dozen ebook retailers and service providers. Its distribution network includes ebook subscription companies Scribd and Oyster, ebook retailers like iBooks, Flipkart, and Kobo, and even one library ebook provider (Axis 360).
Txtr orignially launched in 2008 with the goal of launching an ereader, but today they are what is technically known as a whitelabel ebookstore operator. They developed a platform to run an ebookstore (including ebook apps), and then licensed that platform to other companies.
In addition to running their own ebookstores in nearly a score of markets around the world, txtr also powers the ebookstore run by the UK-based retailer Foyles, and they have partnered with Duetsche Telecom in a couple markets in Eastern Europe. Txtr's highest profile partner used to be Sony; before Sony announced the imminent closure of the Reader Store a few weeks ago txtr supplied Sony's ebookstores in Germany and the UK, and probably other markets.
Txtr will sell Smashwords titles at the price set by the author or publisher (no discounting), or at the local currency equivalent, and authors will earn 60% of the list price (minus VAT and taxes). The first Smashwords titles will begin appearing for sale at txtr on Friday.