Remember Back When . . . HarperCollins Edition (Brought to You by Penguin)
Remember back when we as a profession pretty much lost it over the decision by HarperCollins to have ebooks expire after 26 loans? Ah, we were so young, so naive. If we had any clue about the limitations yet to come, we would have been a lot more welcoming of what now seems like not such a bad deal.
After taking its books and going home about a year ago, the soon-to-be-merged Penguin is getting back in the game. Its new offer to libraries? A six-month embargo and a one-year expiration date on all ebooks regardless of checkouts on the 3M Cloud Library. But since this remains a one-to-one model with no options for concurrent loans, that just means that it is a max of 26 loans, but a hard limit of one year even if a title only circulates five times.
Updated November 15, 2012: That was a bit confusing, so let me rephrase that last paragraph:
After taking its books and going home about a year ago, the soon-to-be-merged Penguin is getting back in the game. Its new offer to libraries? A six-month embargo and a one-year expiration date on all ebooks regardless of the number of checkouts on the 3M Cloud Library. But since Penguin’s terms are based on a one-to-one model with no options for concurrent loans, that would add up to a hard limit of one year even if a library’s Penguin-licensed title only circulated five times in 52 weeks. Of course, if you adhere to Libraryland’s industry standard—a two-week loan with no renewals for titles in heavy demand—that translates into a maximum of 26 loans a year. Sound familiar, HarperCollins customers?
On the slightly plus side, Penguin’s deal through 3M Cloud Library seems to be offering books at something much closer to consumer pricing. Lots of $9.99 and $15.99 items, with most of the books over $20 being nonfiction or omnibus editions of fiction series. A nice change, given the proliferation of $84 ebooks from Random House. Another positive? Penguin maybe isn’t totally firm on its embargo; about 300 of the books on the list from 3M below have a publication date of less than six months ago.
More details on the new Penguin offerings in the email from 3M below. Since the firm sent a book list in the clear as part of its widely distributed email, I’ve included that below as well. A nice source of some raw data for ebook price analysis perhaps.
From: [Heather McCormack at 3M]
Sent: Friday, November 09, 2012 10:00 AM
Subject: Penguin Group (USA) Titles Now Available for Purchase to All 3M Cloud Library Systems
Happy Friday, Cloud Library Customers.
I’m over-the-Empire-State-Building excited to announce that effective today Penguin Group (USA) has agreed to expand its pilot with 3M beyond the New York Public Library and the Brooklyn Public Library and license access of its ebooks to all of our library systems. Titles are available for purchase immediately in the Library Admin Tool.
The terms that 3M originally brokered still apply: There is a six-month delay on new titles and term of use is one year from purchase date. Library patrons will be allowed to access ebooks remotely using library-compatible reading devices, under the one-user, one-copy model. 3M is developing ways to make the renewal and repurchasing of titles easy in our new Catalog Acquisition Tool, which will be available in early 2013.
Attached you will find a spreadsheet of Penguin Group (USA) ebooks currently for sale. I will follow up very soon with a list of recent adult, young adult, and children’s best sellers, plus core backlist for those of you who wish to do deeper collection development. Suffice to say your fiction and nonfiction holdings stand to benefit greatly. Zadie Smith, T. D. Jakes, Harlan Coben, Nevada Barr, Stephen King, T. C. Boyle, Patricia Cornwell, and Lauren Willig count among Penguin’s marquee authors.
Heather McCormack | Collection Development Manager
3M Cloud Library