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Sony news release follows. In many ways this is similar to a distribution agreement Smashwords signed with Barnes & Noble. On another matter, there’s speculation that Smashwords authors wil keep at least 42 percent of revenues on books sold through Sony.

Related: Techmeme roundup and a new TeleRead post, E-library strategy idea for Sony: Long Tail books, especially of local interest. – D.R.

image September 29, 2009—Continuing to deliver on its promise to provide customers access to the widest selection of content available, Sony today announced relationships with Author Solutions, Inc. and Smashwords, Inc.  Together with Sony, these companies will give independent authors and small publishers the opportunity to offer content through The eBook Store from Sony.

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.”

Author Solutions and Smashwords will offer authors the option to publish content in the EPUB format, the International Digital Publishing Forum’s (IDPF) XML-based standard format for reflowable digital books and publications. EPUB has gained acceptance among major trade book publishers with dozens of publishers already producing the majority of their eBooks using the standard.  Sony recently announced that the company is transitioning its content library to the EPUB format.

 
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