"One of the country's largest publishers, Penguin Group (USA), has suspended making e-editions of new books available to libraries and won't allow libraries to loan any e-books for Amazon.com's Kindle."
Thanks. I wonder if library-lending of electronic books is a major threat to sales. I thought that was all worked out where libraries bought the books and stricty controlled who could have it (one person at a time?) and for how long. I smell a rat.
I think obscurity is a major threat to sales. The more exposure the better. Penguin will regret this decision.
Most library sales are not of obscure authors. If they make available countless simultaneous downloads from a single copy they bought, or subscribed to via an electronic rental business, nobody is going to buy the books, print or electronic. Incl. the library. Buying of books will stop altogether.
I have the feeling we don't have enough safeguards in place.
As for Penguin, well, I'm a good example of how greedy they are. They are doing this not to protect their authors but themselves.
You could've made the same argument decades ago about print titles. But as with back then, reading lended books helped those same authors.
At the same time, you're probably right about not enough safeguards in place. The authors will probably get a raw deal at some point. The Overdrive arrangement has worked well enough for me. I've petitioned my local library to buy my e-book novel, something I couldn't do before.
Ben, you can always request books. If there are funds, they'll buy them. Not sure how Overdrive works.
The business of giving authors exposure doesn't work very well. I read web sites for readers. Many never buy a book, regardless how much they enjoy an author. The reader who buys is a very specific person, someone who oprates on impulse and self-gratification. This probably explains why certain books sell madly, while others are read by library patrons.
Fortunately, e-books have been making for a change in buying patterns. The impulse buyers roam more widely than their grocery store, and those reluctant to spend their money do like to feed their new Kindles with modestly priced titles.
Thanks. It's interesting that Authors Guild has objections to Amazon's making free books available to its customers. Yes, I suppose that interferes with copyright and the publishers' rights also. However, it was Author's Guild who let Google get away with stealing books outright and forced its members to settle for a mere 65 bucks when the courts declared Google's rip-offs illegal. And I have yet to see my 65 dollars.
A recent NY Review of Books has an article about the Google digital library program, its repercussions, and the ongoing legal and publishing battles.
You need to be subscribed to read the article. In any case, fair use is hardly fair when it inflicts damage on the individual. As for only publishing parts of novels: when Google in my case published the pages containing the solution to the mystery, they didn't really do anyone a favor. I don't see how entertainment reading (which is what crime novels are) bestows an essential and needful amount of knowledge on the public.
Sorry, I.J., I forgot about the subscription requirement for more recent issues.