Hot on the heels of yesterday's news about txtr, Smashwords announced a new partnership with Overdrive today. At long last, authors and publishers can now use Smashwords to distribute their titles to the king of the library ebook market.
Smashwords has long had contracts with OD's smaller competitors Axis 360 and 3M Cloud Library (and Smashwords has signed deals with individual digital libraries like The Open Library and Douglas County Public Library System), but OverDrive, with its network of 28,000 libraries and schools worldwide, towers over the competition.
Overdrive's library partners will soon have the option of buying from Smashwords's catalog of about 200,000 titles from 88,000 publishers and authors.
The ebooks will be loaned on a one copy/one user model, with no limit on the number of loans or an expiration date, and patrons will be able to read the ebooks on OverDrive's apps for Android, iOS, ebook readers, and even the Kindle. Library patrons will also have the option of buying Smashwords titles through their library via OverDrive's "Buy it Now" program, earning the library a commission and getting a DRM-free ebook for their troubles.
200,000 is quite a catalog to get lost in, so OverDrive and Smashwords have taken steps to streamline collection development. Smashwords has assembled curated lists of best sellers and popular genres. Libraries will soon have the option to purchase a buy-lists consisting of, for example, the top 1,000 best selling Smashwords romance titles, or the top 1,000 best selling mysteries and thrillers. Smashwords is also putting together buy-lists made up of the complete catalog of the top 100, 500 or 1,000 bestselling Smashwords authors.