No Kindle Exclusivity for Readers of Harlequin, Simon & Schuster, Random House, or Hachette Books
I was worried this morning that Kindle would be getting exclusive ebook rights from some publishers so I began emailing around. It didn’t make sense that publishers would refuse consumers the right to purchase a book. Harlequin emailed back right away to say that all frontlist and backlist ebooks would be available in every format, NOT JUST KINDLE’s proprietary format which is available only to Kindle purchasers. I’ll update as I receive more information.
Simon & Schuster and Random House also are selling all its ebooks in all formats.
Simon & Schuster is “agnostic and ubiquitous" in its eBook format. The goal is to provide the content in whichever way the consumer will want to read it. Simon & Schuster sells all its ebooks at 35%.
“Random House is continuing its current and longstanding policy of making all of our eBooks available in all of the main commercially available formats.”
HarperCollins also has no exclusivity:
As a general rule of thumb our e-books are available in all formats and through various retail partners. Exceptions to this rule exist for highly designed books (with lots of images and photographs), for example, DECEPTIVELY DELICIOUS. This was only made available in Adobe, Sony and Mobi –" which is the format used on the Kindle.
All Hachette Book Group USA publishing units: Little Brown, GCP, FaithWords, Orbit, Center Street, Little Brown for Young Readers, and Yen Press all publish eBooks. To answer your question specifically, Hachette Book Group USA will be moving to the .epub format with titles released in January 2008.
Every one of our partners (Sony, Amazon, eBooks.com, etc.) will only be receiving the .epub format from us. We will not be doing any special proprietary conversions for anyone, which includes the Kindle. It will be up to each partner to convert to whatever proprietary format can handle the .epub format and or push their technology partners to update their software to read an .epub file. We expect there to be some confusion in the marketplace for awhile as the reader formats (Adobe, Mobipocket, Microsoft Reader, Sony, etc.) update their software packages to render the .epub format and consumers download the new software.
As an aside, the one of the top selling authors for Orbit is Lilith Saintcrow.
Wiley is participating in the program and has made a few thousand of its Professional/Trade titles available for it. Some of those ebook titles are only available in Amazon Kindle, although that is only a relatively small portion of our total ebook offering.
I asked for clarification from Wiley about what books.
Will update as I hear back from publishers.