Penguin was one of the last companies to launch a program to allow their eBooks to be available through services like 3M and Axis 360. Today, Penguin announced that they were revising the terms of their agreements to allow new book titles to be available immediately. The new eBooks will be available for libraries to purchase on April 2nd and should give a dramatic boost in the sheer amount of great new reads for patrons.
When Penguin first got involved with major digital library distribution companies last year, the books had a six month embargo. This means, that when a new book is released, in digital and tangible form, it would not be made available to libraries for a solid six months. The revised terms will instead offer libraries the digital edition, the day the book comes out. This should boost revenue, because of the fees involved in buying new books and the one-year expiration date. Libraries can only loan a book out for a year, before they are forced to buy the digital book once more.
The American Library Association issued a statement that said “The ALA will continue to work with publishers in the future to explore win-win business solutions. In April, ALA President Maureen Sullivan will lead a library delegation to meet with Penguin and other publishers in New York City to discuss ways to make ebook titles more accessible for libraries. While there is much more to do, we are hopeful with some of the recent signs of progress such as this latest change at Penguin, the new pilot at Macmillan, and the ongoing pilot at Hachette. And we acknowledge Random House and HarperCollins for their consistent participation in the library ebook market. Now if only Simon & Schuster would see the light.”