Harlequin is changing their approach to digital rights management with ebooks purchased on their main website. They are getting rid of Adobe Digital Editions and going with the Overdrive DRM, this means that you will no longer be able to sideload any of these ebooks into your e-reader and you must download the Overdrive app. Local backups will not be possible and all of the ebook data will be contained within the Overdrive app for Android or iOS.
If you have purchased an ebook from Harlequin you have until November 12th, 2018 to back them up using Adobe Digital Editions before they can no longer be accessed. The company has not disclosed why they are ditching Adobe and going with Overdrive for ebook fulfillment. It is likely due to the high monthly costs of an Adobe Content Server which is normally $10,000 for the initial setup and $1,500 a year, but the prices go up the more content you deliver.
The romance genre is dominated by indie authors and Harlequin is under financial pressure to cost costs with their ebook unit. Harlequin will continue to sell ebooks through the Amazon, B&N and Kobo ecosystems. This means you need to have a mainstream e-reader with a major ebookstore to buy and read ebooks. You will not be able to buy and ebook Harlequin ebooks on alternative e-readers like Pocketbook unless you pirate them.
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.