Amazon is coming out this Fall with its Amazon Fire, an eReader with color (think iPad). They’ve made a deal with DC Comics to be the exclusive reader for about 100 graphic novels from DC Comics. As you might have guessed, Barnes & Noble was not happy about this exclusive deal and immediately pulled all of those titles off their shelves in their bookstores. As John Quain noted:
If publishers are going to enter into a format war based on exclusive arrangements with specific booksellers, why should the company dedicate its valuable shelf space to books that its own customers can't buy on its Nook device?On the other side of the issue, Barnes & Noble has exclusive deals for titles, like the interactive Peanuts books. And on another side of the issue, some publishers such as Macmillan and Simon & Schuster don’t let libraries lend their e-books.
Already, writers are struggling to get their books ready for a widespread array of formats. One is hard enough, let alone multiple formats, although there are some sites that will format for several different devices.
So here you’ve got this war going on between the big boys and, in the end, readers are likely to be the casualties. What happened to the idea of having an e-format that was readable on all eReaders? That was my hope – probably just a wish in the wind. This battle may continue until one company crushes the others or someone leads the giants into compromise.
As a writer, what do you think of this war? As a reader, how does it affect you?