How Many Books Are Available To Me?
Bookshare is able to provide books to users outside the U.S. because publishers donate their books to Bookshare and give us permission to share those books with Bookshare members.
When you are logged into your account, searching and browsing for books only returns results for books available in your country. If you log out, searching and browsing will return results for all books in Bookshare.
Books Available Per Country
To search the list of books available to a specific country select the Advanced Search link and select the desired country from the Available In (Country) combo box. Note that this field is only available to visitors to Bookshare, not to members logged into their account.
Publishers and Copyright Law
Publishers buy and sell distribution rights all the time. For example, a U.S. publisher may have rights to distribute the books in North and South America, but not in the rest of the world. Another publisher may have rights to distribute the same book everywhere else except the Americas.
Even the regional branches of a multinational publisher are treated like separate companies. We must have agreements with each publisher to distribute their edition in the regions where they have rights. Publishers can only give us rights for the countries where they have rights to distribute books.
We are constantly working to make agreements with new publishers. When we get books directly from publishers, the books come quickly and with high quality.
The Marrakesh Treaty
One way to help is to lobby your government to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled that was agreed on in June 2013. Once the treaty becomes law, and once the U.S. ratifies the treaty, all Bookshare books will be available to members in countries that have ratified the treaty!