Looking for a little something to pass the time until the new James Bond novel, ‘Project X’, is released next May? Well eat your hearts out 007 fans, because you can now purchase all of Ian Fleming’s original Bond novels in digital e-book formats!
The incredibly popular series of novels, which have been published since 1953, are set to arrive on Amazon Kindles along with other e-book readers following an announcement from Ian Fleming Publications.
What is even more interesting here is the fact that these novels will be published without Penguin, the publishing organisation which owns the rights to printed versions of the 007 books.
How has such a large company such as Penguin managed to lose the rights to publish Bond digitally? The simple answer is that it never held the rights for digital publication of 007 books in the first place. According to the Telegraph, Penguin don’t own the rights for digital publication of Bond novels, simply because at the time of original publishing, it was something that had never really been realistically thought about; we’re talking about a time before the bulky PADD’s appeared in Star Trek, so it’s pretty easy to see why.
The main question here is why didn’t Penguin see this coming, and try to seal the digital rights to the books before the formats went mainstream? Although e-book readers are still in a minority against the plethora of paperback and hardback books on the market, they have been thought of for many years already, far earlier than the original Kindle was launched at the end of 2007.
Since the launch of the Amazon Kindle reader, and other ebook devices and stores, there has been a few issues with large publishers and their terms for having content available digitally from them. Just recently, Amazon were being held to ransom by large publishers, who threatened to remove their books from the Kindle store if a new, more expensive price model wasn’t adopted.
Considering how cheap it is to sell a digital copy of a book, compared to the production of a physical book, this may not have been the best move for publishers to make, after all, they don’t want to end up in a situation similar to online music distribution where everybody expects to get what they want, when they want, and for how much they want (more often than not for free).
Previously, the barriers to entry for authors to self-publish in a crowded market have simply been too high. There are production costs, marketing costs, and a whole host of other costs that most of us wouldn’t even think of. With the Kindle Store available and very much open to self-publication, however, publishers are bound to be worried. No longer do authors have to rely on publishers to get their content out in to the world; they can simply handle all the digital distribution themselves.
Some may argue that this lowers the quality of books available, but as with everything, more choice is better than no choice at all. If large authors with lots of influence in the industry, such as J.K. Rowling, choose to publish their novels without the involvement of publishers, for a lower price, things will begin to change very, very quickly. Things are about to get rather interesting in the e-book world, let’s hope the market continues to move in the right direction for consumers, and not for greedy publishers.
So what do you think to these developments? Are you pleased that you can buy Ian Fleming’s James Bond Kindle Books to read on your Kindle, iPad or mobile phone?