From Indies Unlimited:
Those of you who use Draft2Digital to distribute eBooks outside of Amazon should have recently received a message that Draft2Digital has now partnered with Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360 eBook distribution platform.
Baker & Taylor, a massive distributor of books, movies, DVDs, and other entertainment, has been in business for over 180 years.
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But wait, you may be thinking (or at least I was), Draft2Digital already uses OverDrive to reach libraries. Why do we also need Baker & Taylor?
The short answer is that they offer different services and are used by different libraries. The long answer is more complicated.
OverDrive, as you probably know, also distributes eBooks to schools and libraries. OverDrive was founded in 1986, originally to convert analog video and audio media to a digital format. In 2000, they extended their business online and began what would eventually become one of the first – and biggest – eBook distributors to retailers, libraries, and schools. OverDrive is compatible with just about any ereader on the market.
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When Baker & Taylor decided to branch out into the distribution of eBooks, they became … well, you could say frenemies … with OverDrive. In 2009, believing they were forming an exclusive partnership, OverDrive signed on to help Baker & Taylor develop their own eBook distribution services, one that was superior to the one OverDrive was currently using. They even gave Baker & Taylor access to their list of accounts, sales and marketing data, inventory, and servers. It didn’t end well.
Now they’re competitors when it comes to distributing eBooks to libraries. Some libraries use both systems; some only use one. Because OverDrive has been in the business of eBook distribution longer, they’re used by more libraries and have, according to some, better developed technology. Because Baker & Taylor has over 180 years of paperback and hardback book distribution behind them, they’re catching up quickly.
Link to the rest at Indies Unlimited
PG notes that libraries tend to purchase their books from sales organizations that tailor their services to meet the needs of libraries.
By opening their doors to indie authors via Draft2Digital, Baker & Taylor and Overdrive are making it possible for libraries to easily purchase books from local indie authors as well as the increasing number of nationally-known and read authors who self-publish.