In a move which I feel shows even more clearly that Sony “gets” the power and possibilities of Ebooks more than other companies, Sony has announced that they will be selling books by popular Self ePublishing services Smashwords and Author Solutions via their Ebook store. This store can be browsed over the web or accessed directly via Sony branded Ebook Readers as well as others.
According to the press release…
Starting today, established publishers as well as independent authors and smaller publishers can access Sony’s newly re-launched Publisher Portal.
This portal serves as an easy way for larger publishers who may not already have a relationship with Sony to get in touch and also provides a way for individual authors or publishers with just a handful of titles to work with market-proven solution providers to publish books and make them available on Sony’s eBook store.
“We’re committed to providing our customers access to the broadest range of eBook content available and believe these collaborations will allow us to expand the store selection with a host of compelling works from independent sources,” said Chris Smythe, director of the eBook Store from Sony. “Additionally, we recognize that it is important to provide independent authors and publishers the opportunity to quickly and easily bring their ideas and content to a wide audience of readers.”
New authors can select a self-publishing path and get their work published and for sale on Sony’s eBook Store in as little as ten days. As Sony completes the conversion of its eBook store to the industry-standard EPUB format, Smashwords and Authors Solution will expand the offer to all existing Author Solutions and Smashwords authors to get their titles up on the Sony site.
“Author Solutions is pleased to work with Sony to make our titles available through the Sony eBook store,” Author Solutions, Inc. CEO Kevin Weiss said. “ASI is the leader in the fastest-growing segment in book publishing — bringing to market more than 20,000 new titles annually. To best serve our authors, it is imperative that we make their content available digitally to a multitude of readers."
“We’re thrilled to help power the new Sony Publisher Portal,” said Mark Coker, founder and CEO of Smashwords, a publisher and distributor of multi-format eBooks. “The free Smashwords service makes it easy for any author or publisher, anywhere in the world, to distribute their eBooks via the eBook Store from Sony. Authors and publishers simply upload their manuscript to Smashwords as a Microsoft Word document, select the price, and then we manage the conversion and distribution.”
I think this is a fantastic move by Sony, since the key to any successful Ebook strategy is not only sheer amount of content available, but also making sure that their store is a very big tent. The fact that anyone can write a book and get it up on Sony’s site in a couple weeks is a wonderful way not only to express yourself or tell your own story, but to encourage authors outside the increasingly narrow and stultifying world of publishers and best-sellers lists.
Just continuing the good news, these books will be available in EPUB format, as the open source Ebook format takes another step to becoming the standard that the Ebook industry so badly needs to make the get to the next level.