Simon & Schuster and Hachette Book Group to Implement Embargo on eBooks

Sony Reader, Nook, Kindle
Sony Reader, Nook, Kindle

What a disappointment for those who wake up Christmas morning to find that Santa left an eReader in their stockings! Publisher Simon & Schuster has announced it will delay the ebook publishing of 35 titles* coming up next year. Publisher Hachette plans to implement a similar embargo for new titles.

I have to agree with the Eric Garland quote in the WSJ

“In the Internet age you don’t enjoy the same degree of control,” said Eric Garland, CEO of BigChampagne, LLC, an online media measurement company in Beverly Hills, Calif. “You can’t create artificial scarcity by withholding content in one form and making it available later.”

This is a step in the wrong direction. I understand the book publishing industry’s desire to control ebooks is based on fear of piracy and lost money.  This attempt to tighten control wont help, in fact it may drive piracy to develop sooner and spread faster. They need to take a closer look at what happened to the music industry and acknowledge they will not be able to control ebooks the way they hope. The sooner they do that the sooner they can start working with ebooks in a successful way.

On a personal note, while I do look longingly at the Nook, I’m still waiting to buy a device. I believe I should be able to load an ebook I purchase onto the device of my choosing, I don’t care where I buy it or if I check it out from the library.

By the way PC World put together their list of Why E-book Readers Make Bad Holiday Gifts before this embargo announcement.

*I couldn’t find the names of all 35 titles, but it does include “Point Omega” by Don DeLillo,  “Courage and Consequence” by Karl Rove and “House Rules” by Jodi Picoult

Recommended reading:

4 thoughts on “Simon & Schuster and Hachette Book Group to Implement Embargo on eBooks

  1. I suspect that the embargo has more to do with the rumored entry of Apple into the eBook reader space than anything else.


  2. Well put, Bobbi! Digital Rights Management is abused more by the publishers of content (music, movies, and now apparently eBooks) than by the users! No wonder there is piracy! It used to be that you could purchase an LP (remember vinyl?), cassette or CD and play it in ANY device you chose. Not anymore! You can’t choose what to do with content you purchase. Control freaks, aren’t they?


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