I received an email from The Book Depository this morning informing me of their decision to cease selling and supporting commercial ebooks.
We are contacting you in relation to your eBook purchase BDG-950-2683314940 for Die Trying which was purchased on 25/09/2010.
The Book Depository has come to the decision to cease selling eBooks, as we feel that the customer experience we were able to offer was not as good as it should have been. This is partially driven by complexity in format and the number of differing devices, which we found often led to customer frustration. We will instead focus on adding more new books to our, already 8 million strong, title selection.
We have spotted that you still have 2 download(s) remaining. Each eBook purchased will have 3 downloads allotted.
If you wish to use the remaining downloads, we ask that you do so by the 30th June 2012. It will not be possible to download purchased eBooks from the Book Depository sites after this date.
It’s these sort of decisions that reinforce to me the need to be able to store and backup files in a number of formats ( imagine their service wasn’t one that allowed you to store your own copies). Nothing is forever, and companies change direction all the time.
It’s why I applaud publishers that have decided to remove DRM. That long overdue (and largely redundant) decision allows me to move and convert file formats with relative ease. In the end only I can be relied upon to look after and store the books that I own, just like my paper book library.
I am a big fan of Comixology and their guided view app for comics. They would have a couple of hundred dollars from me in comics if I wasn’t wary of the fact that at a moments notice I could lose access to some or all of the comics I have purchased from them, so tightly wrapped in DRM is their selection.
Does not having access to an ebook file to archive yourself worry you? Am I just old fashioned? Where do you think ebooks might go? Subscription based services? Do you buy the excuse that TBD gives above?