In the US, Smashwords has developed a new tool for indie authors to create, manage and merchandise ebook sales, reports Publishers Weekly.
Smashwords Presales will allow authors and publishers to let readers buy an ebook before its public on-sale date, as well as acting as a tool for authors and publishers to get in touch with their customers via email. According to company founder Mark Coker, this relationship has been corroded by online retailers.
Coker called the launch of Smashwords Presales ‘the most audacious and ambitious thing I have ever done, including the original launch of Smashwords’, adding that all content creators who use ecommerce can benefit from the presale model by providing different channels and models through which to sell their material.
Coker filed for a patent for the entire presales system, but he is eager for other ecommerce retailers to license the system, and he would like to see it eventually adopted throughout the entire supply chain, for authors and publishers to ‘regain some of the independence they have lost to online retailers’.