Smashwords has just teamed up with ScrollMotion, a mobile application provider, to turn all Premium Catalog ebooks into apps (i.e., software designed to run on smart phones, PDAs, tablets, etc.).

Smashwords books are coming to an app store near you.

Today we announced an agreement with ScrollMotion that will transform over 33,000 Smashwords Premium Catalog ebooks into individual mobile apps for distribution to the largest app marketplaces for smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices.

The relationship will gain Smashwords authors and publishers free entry into the app marketplaces for Apple, Android, Windows Phone 7 and WebOS.

This will happen automatically, if you’re approved through the Premium Catalog (which means you’ve met some pretty simple minimum requirements, listed here, that mean your book is at least somewhat professional looking).  You can opt out, the way you can opt out of using any distribution channel, by going to the Dashboard and clicking on your Distribution Channel Manager link under Scrollmotion; it’s already set up.

It doesn’t say, yet, how long it will take for Scrollmotion books to go live at stores.  The blog post at Smashwords (linked above) notes that:

Shipments to ScrollMotion will commence on Friday, and titles will begin appearing in the app marketplaces later this month. All Premium Catalog books are automatically opted in for ScrollMotion distribution. To modify distribution preferences, log in to your Smashwords Dashboard’s Channel Manager. Like all Smashwords retail relationships, authors and publishers will earn 60 percent of the list price.

Note:  That 60% breaks down to 30% to the premium catalog retailers (e.g., Apple) and 10% for Smashwords.  It looks like the Scrollmotion fee will come out of Smashwords’ 10%.  Hm…

How many days it will actually take, and how often they gather up stories to be shipped over to ScrollMotion isn’t stated (they may not know yet).

From the press release, it looks like ScrollMotion will be going straight into Apple’s App Store, the Android Market, and the HP App Catalog (for webOS), and will be competing on an equal basis with existing apps.

I wonder how difficult it will be for authors to take their apps and turn them into enhanced/multimedia books, with art, video, etc.  For example, I’d love to attach a blog (either this one or my publisher blog, showing the latest releases) to my apps, and it shouldn’t be too hard to do.  Not just a link, but something like the Amazon author pages, where it imports blog posts live.

Well, I sent an email to Smashwords asking just that; we’ll see what I get.