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No Kindle Exclusivity for Readers of Harlequin, Simon & Schuster, Random...

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.

From Hachette:

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.

From Wiley:

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.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

11 Comments

  1. Maddie
    Nov 19, 2007 @ 12:23:37

    The clip that I watche on GMA , would more than likely make me want to purchased this e-reader. because you can do the blogs, newspapers, books and magazines and it’s not that bad looking , the only think is that it holds only 200 books. But from what I saw of it I liked it.

  2. Jane
    Nov 19, 2007 @ 12:27:55

    You have to pay a monthly fee to read the blogs, newspapers and magazines. The blogs cost $1.99 per month.

  3. Sarah McCarty
    Nov 19, 2007 @ 12:57:59

    I’m over checking out the manual. I can easily convert my HTML books to Mobi which is native, so that’s not an issue. Now seeing if I can load it though a card to my computer. (I”m assuming I can do this because there must be a way to back up my books that I buy.

    Next, there is something about annotations to investigate.

  4. Jane
    Nov 19, 2007 @ 13:44:22

    I’m thinking you can’t back them up. Amazon will do that for you. :) It also reads all the bookmarks, annotations, etc. that you make because those are stored on the Amazon side of things as well.

    Check out the license agreement.

    Information Received. The Device Software will provide Amazon with data about your Device and its interaction with the Service (such as available memory, up-time, log files and signal strength) and information related to the content on your Device and your use of it (such as automatic bookmarking of the last page read and content deletions from the Device). Annotations, bookmarks, notes, highlights, or similar markings you make in your Device are backed up through the Service. Information we receive is subject to the Amazon.com Privacy Notice.

    and

    Upon your payment of the applicable fees set by Amazon, Amazon grants you the non-exclusive right to keep a permanent copy of the applicable Digital Content and to view, use, and display such Digital Content an unlimited number of times, solely on the Device or as authorized by Amazon as part of the Service and solely for your personal, non-commercial use

  5. Jane
    Nov 19, 2007 @ 13:50:15

    Sarah – there is a note on the site that the customers to “store” Digital Books that they have purchased from us on Amazon's servers (“Virtual Storage”) and to re-download such Digital Books from Virtual Storage from time to time

  6. Sarah McCarty
    Nov 19, 2007 @ 14:31:49

    I can move books on and off a SD card, so there’s obviously storage there. I worry because Gemstar lost it’s library once.

  7. Shiloh Walker
    Nov 19, 2007 @ 22:27:29

    The price tag is what’s throwing me.

    Yeah, I want a reader with a decent screen, and the e ink sounds lovely. But that price tag? I said buh bye to the idea of it before I even looked at it. Granted, I did look at it out of curiosity, but I have no plans to buy one until that price drops. Drastically.

  8. Monte Eagle
    Nov 20, 2007 @ 00:24:18

    Amazon unilaterally deleted tens of thousands of its ebook customers’ bookshelves last year when it decided that the ebook business in that form was not adequately profitable. Two months ago, they let their Mobipocket ebook servers go down for ten days, preventing people from downloading their ebooks. Now, they’re likely to shut Mobipocket down, too, since it’s not profitable for them and they are going with Kindle instead. The five guys at the Mobipocket headquarters received no preliminary info about Kindle form Amazon, and its a safe bet they know their days are numbered. (Kindle can not read or convert DRM Mobipocket.) Amazon does not admit to these things, instead keeping very quiet or leading people to believe something else.

    So, how many ebook customers does Amazon have to trash before we figure out they do not care about the ebook customer, only the revenue opportunity that someone else may be getting. To expect Amazon to protect your library on its servers seems foolhardy in light of Amazon’s recent history.

    It’s a safe bet that Amazon will start charging for access to WhisperNet once the Kindle gets a little more established. (Some can remember when basic cable TV was free, and would be “forever” – this is how they sold many communities on subsidizing the cabling.) Of course, if Kindle does not reach a proper level of profitability, the Kindle ebooks will go away when Amazon lays that generation of customers off. Amazon plays hardball with its customers, putting them way behind making quarterly numebrs for its stock. And if Amazon is successful, they will squeeze out cmpetition and people will end up with no choice but to pay monthly service bills and all sorts of unbundled costs to continue reading in an Amazon-controlled digital reading world.

    It makes a lot more sense to rely on the smaller but reliable outfits who care about each customer and would never deliberately betray one good customer, let alone tens of thousands. BooksOnBoard, Fictionwise and eReader are among the honorable, truly customer-oriented ebook retailers out there. And BooksOnBoard and Fictionwise compete with Kindle pretty well on price across four proven formats, premised on a quick review tonight. There will also be several new devices released in the new year that will not be proprietary. These may be a big improvement on the Amazon Kindle.

  9. DS
    Nov 22, 2007 @ 18:54:40

    I was not excited when I thought this was another book reader. Now I’m becoming very interested in it as a service.

  10. » Isn’t He Sweet? My New E-reader Rachel’s Reflections
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 00:55:34

    […] yet. But I was poking around online, and I gather that it’s becoming increasingly common for publishers to publish books in both print and e-book formats. There are some publishing houses that only […]

  11. PypeWexypoump
    May 30, 2008 @ 00:53:17

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