Friday, August 01, 2008

Breaking Dawn Delayed for E-book Readers

By Edward Nawotka -- Publishers Weekly, 7/31/2008 3:24:00 PM

Excitement has been building for weeks, leading to tonight's midnight release of Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn, as retailers across the country prepare for midnight parties. But one segment of the market— e-book retailers—is less than pleased: Little, Brown has opted to delay the release of the e-book version of Breaking Dawn until 24 hours after the print edition goes on sale. The e-book will become available for download at 12:01 EST on Sunday, August 3. Retailers were informed on Wednesday.

The reason cited for the change was that LBBYR parent company Hachette Book Group USA was concerned retailers would not be able to stagger the release according to time zones, thus potentially enabling e-book buyers in Western time zones to begin read the book before the print edition goes on sale in the same time zone. A spokesperson for Hachette acknowledged the company changed the release date at the last minute, and said the publisher "will manage this type of situation more efficiently in the future. We apologize for any confusion or frustration this change may have caused."

Kurt Johnson, director of operations at e-book retailer, lamented the decision. “It’s an example of a publisher treating e-book retailers and readers as second-class citizens,” said Johnson. “We have many irate customers.” Booksonboard had been offering the book for pre-order and those customers will now be forced to wait an extra day.

A poster on the Amazon Kindle blog was even more direct: “The torture has been extended,” they wrote.

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