Publishers Weekly: “Penguin Restores ‘Older’ Titles to OverDrive”
I recently wrote about the publisher Penguin apparently pulling its Kindle format e-books from public library lending via Overdrive.com.
I’m happy to report that at least some of the older Penguin titles are going back into the system…at least until the end of this year:
When I searched my public library there were, indeed, seventeen Penguin Group (USA), Inc e-book titles there in the Kindle format (there had been none when I searched for the previous article).
I’m not quite sure what they mean by “older” titles…at least one of them had been published in February of this year.
Hopefully, they’ll get this all sorted out, and the books will be back after the end of the year.
In another interesting PW article,
they state that Random House is reviewing its policy towards library e-books. The publishing giant said that it routinely reviews all sales channels, and I have no doubt that is true. It doesn’t necessarily portend any change.
If public libraries don’t have mainstream library e-books in the future, that could be a real problem for the libraries. It also would likely hurt the publishers…library lending may lead to increased sales, by introducing people to books and authors they don’t know.
However, it could be that book borrowers and book buyers may separate more into two groups in the future. With the low-priced and free books available to Kindle owners outside the public library, will that reduce interest in the libraries by people who routinely buy books?
I’m still going to suggest that one possibility is that the traditional publishers authorize borrowing based on needs testing…I’ve presented that as a scenario before. They would let disadvantaged people, who otherwise would not be likely to buy the book, to borrow one for free. That would require pretty strong controls so it wasn’t abused, and people would push back about it at first, but I could see that working reasonably well.
I’m thinking of those for e-books, and that the disadvantaged are given access to e-book readers of some kind. Not quite sure how that would work…would they have to use them in a community-provided setting? Would it be cheap enough to let them take the devices to relatively insecure environments?
The Huffington Post is doing an interesting series of articles on
I recommend you take a look at those.
Public libraries are changing…as books become available more conveniently, the idea of a library as a centralized repository for paperbooks may evolve as well. Libraries may shift more towards human interaction (seminars, trainings, literary discussions) and free internet access.
We’ll keep an eye on Penguin and the public libraries…and the other publishers as well.
Feel free to tell me what you think…
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.