Monday Midday News: Penguin Pulls Out of Overdrive
This will be sad and distressing news for readers. Readers are reporting that there are no Penguin books available in their libraries digital catalogs for the Kindle. Emails were sent to representatives of both Penguin and Overdrive but no response has been given at this time.
I understand that this thing is done to prevent Kindle (and thus Amazon) from having a competitive advantage but it does feel like the Big 6 hates libraries, at least the digital versions of them.
Update from Overdrive:
Last week Penguin sent notice to OverDrive that it is reviewing terms for library lending of their eBooks. In the interim, OverDrive was instructed to suspend availability of new Penguin eBook titles from our library catalog and disable “Get for Kindle” functionality for all Penguin eBooks. We apologize for this abrupt change in terms from this supplier. We are actively working with Penguin on this issue and are hopeful Penguin will agree to restore access to their new titles and Kindle availability as soon as possible.
Update from Penguin (no more new titles):
However, due to new concerns about the security of our digital editions, we find it necessary to delay the availability of our new titles in the digital format while we resolve these concerns with our business partners. Penguin’s aim is to always connect writers and readers, and with that goal in mind, we remain committed to working closely with our business partners and the library community to forge a distribution model that is secure and viable. In the meantime, we want to assure you that physical editions of our new titles will continue to be available in libraries everywhere.
Seriously? Penguin thinks that library copies are the source of piracy? That can’t be the real reason.
Digital library offerings are very expensive. The Salt Lake Library pays $12,000 a year to Overdrive and then a fee per title to the publisher.
Digital copies of new titles purchased from Overdrive tend to be on average about $8 more than a print edition and can jump as high as $75.99 for popular titles.
Simon Armitage, a British poet and novelists, speaking at a conference in India is proclaiming that digital books and the piracy he believes rises because of digital books, will lead to authors not being able to make any money.
Making books available in digital form puts them at risk of being pirated over the internet, according to Simon Armitage.
Once this happens, he said, authors could find their works being shared for free in a similar fashion to the way music was being distributed online ten years ago.
The reduction of physical bookstores is not just an American problem according to reports from China. Because of the low prices offered by internet stores, physical bookstores have not been able to compete:
Meanwhile, in Beijing, the famous ’Forestsong’ bookshop, has closed its doors after 16 years. According to the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, almost half of the country’s street book stores have gone out of businesses in the last ten years.
Black Friday deals update:
A couple of places like Radio Shack and Staples are selling the devices at retail but offering a $10-$20 gift certificate to the stores along with the purchase of the device. Target is offering a $30 Target Gift Card with purchase of a Nook or Nook Color (not Tablet) until Thursday. There are a few gift card free deals:
- Nook Touch WiFi $79 (regular price $99) – Best Buy
- Apple iPad 2 16GB with Wi-Fi $454.99 (regular price $499) – Best Buy
- Kindle Keyboard w SO & 3G $85 (regular price $139) – Target
- Blackberry Playbook $199 (regular price $299) – Office Depot, Staples, and Best Buy
Wal-mart and Target also have iTunes gift card sales. Wal-mart is buy a $100 GC for $80 and Target’s is buy $25 GC for $20.
Amazon will also be offering 5 albums a day for $4.99. I bought Watch the Throne and Torches by Foster the People this morning. Don’t forget that if you own a Kindle Fire, you need to check for your free app daily. Today’s free app is the Full Version of Documents to Go, a $14.99 value.