You may have heard about the latest title by Penny Marshal, My Mother Was Nuts. It was one of the first mainstream releases by Amazon’s New York Publishing imprint. It went on sale a few weeks ago and is creating a ton of controversy. Barnes and Noble vowed a few months ago that they wouldn’t carry any of the Amazon-created ebooks or books in its stores. Other companies like Sony, Diesel, and Google Books also proclaimed they wouldn’t support Amazon’s publishing ambitions. The only other company to offer this digital book, other than Amazon, is Kobo.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is the company responsible for the distribution of New Harvest imprint and distribution through Ingram and Baker & Taylor. They were the ones to originally come up with the New Harvest name to add separation between Amazon and the books it publishes. The controversy surrounding Barnes and Noble was the fact that select stores will actually carrying this new title in tangible form. The company came out and said that carrying the book was a mistake and shouldn’t have happened, but apparently some local branches can decide on what they want to buy. The books are being pulled from the shelves to fall in line with the B&N mandate not to support Amazon. Now you might say they still carry the book The Hangman’s Daughter, but it predates the official decision to not do business with Amazon, so it’s fine.
Kobo currently has millions of ebooks that are free and paid available in its online store. I find it interesting that it is carrying the digital book, where many competitors are not doing business with Amazon. This ensures that if you want to read this book and don’t want to be locked into the Amazon ecosystem, you do have an alternative. One of the main benefits of doing business with Kobo is that its ebooks are in EPUB format, which allows you to load them on any e-reader that is compatible with Adobe Digital Editions.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.