Bad Penguin and what to do about it.

Penguin Publishing is being, shall we say, a jerk because Amazon is being a jerk.

“Penguin joins publishers Simon & Schuster, MacMillan, and Hachette Book Group in not allowing e-book library lending. As e-books have increased in popularity, major publishers and libraries — who share the goal of getting books into readers’ hands — have found themselves bumping into a number of complicating factors that seem to put them at odds”

“For Penguin, that issue was OverDrive’s relationship with Amazon. A 2011 arrangement made library lending possible on the Kindle. Publishers have objected to the library loans being executed through Amazon’s servers — imagine walking into your public library then finding yourself at the Target checkout counter.”


But that’s only part of the beef between Amazon and Penguin.

“There’s also the recent clishmaclaver with Penguin’s decision to remove their books from Amazon’s Lending Library, again citing sales issues as well as potential “security” issues. The decision affected only new titles, not titles that had previously been published and were already on the Lending Library’s list — which Penguin also said they had denied Amazon but were listed without permission anyway, an allegation that Amazon hotly denied. With Overdrive’s intercession, Penguin agreed to continue sales of new books until the end of 2011. This latest announcement sounds more as if Penguin is smacking Amazon on the nose with a rolled up newspaper with its decision, than a genuine concern for sales.”


“In addition, Penguin has also prohibited over-the-air downloads of Penguin e-books to Kindle devices or apps. Patrons of libraries that do have Penguin e-books will have to download them to a personal computer and use a USB cable to load them into their Kindle devices. While the scope of Penguin’s concerns over library lending are not clear, it does appear that the role of Amazon devices—OverDrive has partnered with Amazon to allow library patrons to borrow e-books via wireless download to their Kindle devices—in library lending is a factor in Penguin’s decision to withdraw its e-books from OverDrive. Penguin is in talks with other vendors in hopes of restoring e-book lending.”


So maybe this is a bit of a proxy war between publishers and libraries are in the crossfire.  Maybe not.  Either way, something has to be done about it.

Talking to patrons about the matter has to been done because they will be asking what is the deal with their favorite books.   Librarian By Day has a post on how to talk to patrons on the matter and is good place to start.

Librarian In Black  has a flier out (you’ll see our version below) and a nice post on the matter. 

Keep the pressure up.  Send emails, make phone calls and keep the momentum going.


From the Librarian In Black flier.

These publishers refuse to sell or license eBooks to libraries:

  • Macmillan Publishing
  • Simon & Schuster
  • Penguin Group
  • Brilliance Audio
  • Hachette Book Group

Think that’s wrong? We do too.
Email [email protected] for
more information.

Or, contact these publishers directly…


Macmillan Publishing
75 Varick Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 226-7521
[email protected]

Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
(212) 698-7000

Hachette Book Group
466 Lexington Avenue #131
New York, NY 10017
(212) 364-1100
[email protected]
Penguin Group
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
(212) 366-2000
[email protected]

Brilliance Audio
1704 Eaton Drive
Grand Haven, MI 49417
(616) 846-5256
[email protected]







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