Ebook distributors widen worldwide sales channels

Ebook distributors Draft2digital and Smashwords are both adding new channels to their worldwide networks.

Draft2digital has linked up with Spain-based 24symbols, which offers an ebook subscription service at $8.99 per month, while Smashwords has deals with three new outlets.

The 24symbols catalog features 300,000 ebooks and covers 10 languages. Subscribers can read ebooks on any device through iOS and Android reading apps.

The service is reader-focused and although it’s based in Madrid with a major presence throughout the Spanish-speaking world, it is now making major inroads to the US and English-speaking markets.

Smashwords has linked up with with three new partners to widen its distribution network in the US, Europe and South America.

The agreements with Odilo, Tolino and Yuzu will mean titles distributed through Smashwords can reach new readers through retail, higher education and public libraries.

Odilo is based in the Spanish capital Madrid and has offices in North, Central and South America. It is a specialist in supplying ebooks to over 2,100 public libraries in 43 countries across Europe (1,000 libraries), Latin America (1,000 libraries) and North America (100 libraries).

In October, the firm signed a deal with the ministry of culture in Spain to provide ebook services to over 15 million library card holders in Spain and it is running pilot schemes to expand into Australia and New Zealand. The addition of over 200,000 titles from Smashwords means Odilo will be able to offer a catalog of over one million titles.

About 40% of Odilo’s ebook sales are books in English, 40% Spanish, 15% French and 5% German. Odilo’s Smashwords catalog will exclude erotica.

Smashwords authors and publishers will earn 45% of their list price from Odilo sales, the same as from Smashwords library aggregators OverDrive and Baker & Taylor Axis 360.

Odilo will support free as a price at which libraries can acquire certain Smashwords books.  Authors and publishers have used the Smashwords Pricing Manager to offer libraries lower pricing, including free, for titles that ordinarily have a retail price.

Yuzu is the digital education platform and retailer of Barnes & Noble College, which operates 743 college bookstores serving 5 million college students and faculty members.

The app has come in for some criticism in recent months from users frustrated by glitches. The reviews for the Windows app include 86 one-star reviews out of a total of 150, with an average of 2.2.

The distribution deal will make it easier for a wide range of Smashwords Premium Catalog books to be assigned for classroom use by educators and students can also buy Smashwords titles in the Yuzu eBook store.

Smashwords CEO Mark Coker says the higher education market has been slow to adopt self-publishing but he thinks this is bound to change over time as more educators around the world begin self-publishing their original learning materials as digital books.

Books distributed through Smashwords will start appearing on these new partners’ platforms during the first quarter of 2016. Initial shipments will begin in early January.

All Smashwords authors and publishers will get automatic distribution of their Premium Catalog titles to these new platforms, with the exception of erotica titles which are excluded from the the Odilo channel. Authors can opt out of any of these channels in their Dashboard’s Channel Manager.

Tolino success points to potential of territorial pricing for ebooks