Douglas County Libraries' (DCL) director, Jamie LaRue, is referring DCL's patrons to Bilbary for ebooks that aren't available within the county's library system (see ""Buying Ebooks from Bilbary – Douglas County Libraries"). Mentioned is the fact that the Big 6 are still rather unwilling to sell to libraries, and those that do, still place insidious and insipid demands on libraries. To circumvent traditional-publishing's buffoonery, DCL makes available, via Bilbary, ebooks that are published by some of the Big 6; Random house was Bilbary's latest addition.
Bilbary's roots run deep within the sanctuary of the Big 6. Although a fledgling commercial venture, Bilbary is built on the backbone of Ingram Content Group. It does not loan ebooks for free; however, when a DCL patron buys an ebook from Bilbary, DCL claims it will receive 50% of the proceeds, which will supposedly be reinvested into titles from publishers other than the Big 6.
Enter Smashwords: This week, Smashwords will deliver, via its new Library Direct platform, an initial order of ebooks to DCL. Oddly, DCL's site makes no mention of its new relationship with Smashwords, but instead, focuses on gaining indirect access to Big-6 ebooks. So, Smashwords delivers best-of-class functionality once again, but the effort is downplayed – knocked from the limelight by the allure of Big-6 titles.
I am ecstatic that many well-branded authors are coming to Smashwords. How long will it be until the roles are reversed and Smashwords takes its rightful place in the catbird seat?