E-commerce major Flipkart has inked an e-book distribution agreement with the California based self-publishing and distribution platform Smashwords which focuses on independent publishers. As part of the deal, Smashwords will be offering its entire catalog of free and paid e-books to Flipkart consumers in the next three to four weeks. It claims to have published more than 200,000 e-books from more than 60,000 authors and publishers at present. The deal period or the terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Interestingly, Smashwords notes that India is its fifth largest market after US, UK, Canada and Australia. Smashwords said that all its authors and publishers will be automatically opted in to Flipkart distribution, as long as the author's books are Premium Catalog-approved and authors will receive 60% of the Flipkart sales after accounting for the withholding tax. What's particularly interesting is that Smashwords is trying to position itself as a distribution platform for Indian independent authors through this partnership, while Flipkart itself is nursing an ambition to launch a self publishing platform for authors. Although, its worth noting that Smashwords has distribution tie-ups with Apple iBookstore in 51 countries and global distribution tie-ups with Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, Baker & Taylor, Diesel and Page Foundry among others. It also owns an e-books shop Smashwords.com, through which it offers a higher sales proceeds of 85% to authors, as compared to 60% from other platforms. What's missing is Amazon which has its own self publishing platform called Kindle Direct Publishing for independent authors and publishers across the world including India. New Flipkart e-book apps: After killing its online…
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