Penguin pulls its e-books off library shelves
Fed up with Amazon giving away its stuff for free
A new "security concern" has forced the British book publisher Penguin to stop making electronic editions of its new books available to American libraries. Penguin has also banned the libraries from loaning existing Penguin e-books on their shelves to Kindle owners.
Although Penguin isn't stating the specifics, it is believed that "security" means a copyright issue, rather than anything to do with worms or viruses. The move could be a swipe at Amazon, which has been giving out Penguin books for free on Kindle against the wishes of the publisher.
Last month, Amazon offered to lend free books to Kindle owners on their Prime membership scheme: Some publishers declined to allow their titles to be included in the scheme, but it has been revealed that Amazon has been offering them anyway.
The library pull-out will hit the main supplier of e-books to libraries, OverDrive, which has close links to Amazon. OverDrive offers a "read on Kindle" button on its site, a service that has now been pulled.
Penguin had allowed people to "borrow" e-books from libraries by letting punters temporarily download copies to readers, an unusual move for an established book publisher.
El Reg asked Penguin US for greater clarification; we'll let you know when it gets back to us. ®
An earlier version of this article said that Penguin was among the publishers who declined to include their books in Amazon's book-lending scheme. An Amazon spokeswoman contacted The Reg to tell us that "Penguin’s books were never included in Kindle Owners’ Lending Library". A spokesperson added: "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 is somewhat of a British institution. It grates to hear it described as a "US Publisher."
embrace the new technology?
Wouldn't embracing it = being obliterated?
As a published author myself, I love arguments about why my work should be available for free. Even new friends will say 'I've love to read your book, can you give one to me?' as if I happily dole out copies (which I got where? who went to the cost to print hem?), because my work is worth nothing and I love to give it away free to people who expect wages for theirs, for the sake of a few words of prase.
Publishers aren't necessarily bad guys. They often loyally carry authors who will take several books to come to full bloom, or who they feel are critically important, but not bestsellers. Some are sharks, but some are dedicated to books and writers, and do a job that gets harder as first bookstore chains and then online books sellers squeeze the life out of them.
Amazon etc did not honour their contracts. It's not unreasonable for Penguin to do what it did.
Presumably, as a published author, you rely on proof readers.
It saddens me to see so many comments hostile to Penguin here. Granted, they *are* the old guard, and they *are* representative of an industry likely to die on its feet through inability to act in the face of extreme circumstantial change, but do you really think Amazon is the good guy in this?
Paperbacks, at least, yes.
You just take half in each hand and pull