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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Penguin - And More E-Lending Library Intrigue

BookshelvesI have been posting lately on the intrigue developing among some major players in the digital book selling and publishing industry since libraries have begun lending digital books (e-books).

And there have been varying and interesting points of view RE rather digital book retailers such as Apple and Amazon (now also a digital publisher with it's Kindle Fire) are positioning themselves in the best interests of the consumers, writers, publishers or gadget sellers :))) ... And at whose expense.

Here is a reaction by one major publishing house detailed in this article by Laura Hazard Owen for mocoNews.net (Mobile News):

Why Might A Publisher Pull Its E-Books From Libraries?

Following yesterday’s news that Penguin, citing security concerns, is pulling its new e-books from libraries—and making none of them available for library lending through Kindle—many are wondering why the publisher would do such a thing. (Penguin and Random House had been the only two “big six” publishers to offer unfettered access to e-books through libraries; now Random House is alone in doing so.)

Here are some possible reasons, none of which are “Penguin is stupid and is trying to make itself obsolete”—but all of which are a response to high demand for e-books in libraries, and I might argue that attempts to curtail or impede that demand are, at a minimum, counterproductive.
» Penguin is mad about Amazon’s deal with OverDrive and is retaliating. If you have a Kindle and have checked out a library book on it, you will notice that clicking “Get for Kindle” sends you to straight to Amazon’s website instead of having you check out the book from within the library’s site. Here’s how it looks:


When I click “Get for Kindle,” I’m directed to this page on Amazon’s site (click to enlarge):



Notice anything? Yeah, it looks an awful lot like an Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) shopping page and I have to be logged into my Amazon account to get the book. Publishers Lunch notes, “Though OverDrive had promised in April that patrons’ ‘confidential information will be protected,’ in implementation their program is an engine for turning library users into Amazon customers.” (Publishers Lunch also notes that, since libraries had already bought the e-books from Penguin, it’s surprising that Penguin is simply allowed to withdraw access to them.)

Read and learn more

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