Smashwords Signs with Apple for iPad eBook Distribution

Smashwords has inked a deal with Apple to make all the titles in its premium catalog available through Apple’s iBooks. The Smashwords premium catalog is the selection of titles the company distributes beyond its own Web site, to eBookstores like Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and now iBooks. To qualify for inclusion in the premium catalog, Smashwords authors must secure an ISBN for their eBooks as well as meet a few other guidelines. To get into the iBookstore presumably by launch, Smashwords authors must have their books accepted into the premium catalog by 3/31. 4,000 authors are already in the premium catalog, and Smashwords expects many more to jump at the chance to have their work available on iPad.

Smashwords founder Mark Coker talked to Jeff Rivera of our sibling blog GalleyCat about the deal: “The iPad is an important sales platform for indie publishers because the device will introduce millions of new readers to the joys of ebooks,” said Coker, “We saw this happen with the iPhone and iPod Touch. They weren’t really e-reading devices, yet ebooks were one of their most popular uses. With the iPad, Apple is openly embracing ebooks.”

This is not surprising news–Smashwords is ambitious about getting its content everywhere it can–expect that it’s happening even before iBooks hits the streets. Clearly Apple is rushing to fill its virtual shelves so that eBook readers will find lots of stuff to buy this Saturday.