Sony Signs eBook Deal With Smashwords & ASI

Last Updated Sep 28, 2009 11:30 PM EDT

Sony has negotiated new distribution partnerships with ebook publisher Smashwords and self-publishing leader Author Solutions Inc. (ASI) that will bring the work of thousands of self-published authors and independent publishers into The eBook Store from Sony.

"We're excited to be able to help power the new Sony Publisher Portal," Smashwords CEO Mark Coker told me. "It is now free and easy for authors and publishers to upload and distribute their ebooks through this major new channel.

"In the past it was close to impossible for a small author or publisher to get their work into the Sony Store, but now we have established a rapid on-ramp for them."

This is the second big distribution deal announced in the past month for the brash Los Gatos-based startup, that launched back in mid 2008. (In August, Smashwords signed a similar deal with Barnes & Noble -- see link below.)

Coker says the firm's inventory has doubled in the past five months to over 3,000 titles by some 1,300 authors, but it is still much smaller than Author Solutions, which says it brings 20,000 self-published books to market each year.

Coker sees these partnerships with the big book distributors as a tipping point in his declared war to transform the traditional book publishing industry. "Historically the means of production and distribution were controlled by big publishers," he states. "Now we're putting these tools in the hands of authors."

Related coverage here at Bnet Media:

E-Book Publisher Smashwords Partners with Barnes & Noble

Amazon v. Sony,, in War of the eBook Giants

Another Quarter of Triple-Digit Growth for E-Books

Smashwords Adds Affiliate Marketing Program for eBooks

E-Books Reach a "Tipping Point," Triggering Explosive Growth

Smashwords Broadens its Reach to Publishers

Amazon, the Kindle, and the Future of All Books

Digital Books Selling Like Hotcakes

Smashwords Takes eBooks Mobile

  • David Weir

    David Weir is a veteran journalist who has worked at Rolling Stone, California, Mother Jones, Business 2.0, SunDance, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, MyWire, 7x7, and the Center for Investigative Reporting, which he cofounded in 1977. He’s also been a content executive at KQED, Wired Digital,, and Excite@Home. David has published hundreds of articles and three books,including "Raising Hell: How the Center for Investigative Reporting Gets Its Story," and has been teaching journalism for more than 20 years at U.C. Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and Stanford.