Stephenie Meyer's publisher has officially delayed the eBook release of Breaking Dawn, her much-anticipated latest novel in the Twilight series, by 24 hours. The hard copy release still goes forward August 2nd. This lag in release time has eBook readers crying foul.
In response, BooksOnBoard (www.booksonboard.com) is now offering 100% Rewards on Breaking Dawn pre-orders, for a net cost of Zero dollars. This applies to all orders placed by 11:59 pm on August 2, including those already placed.
"Even though the release date change is the publisher's decision, BooksOnBoard wants eBook readers to know how important they are," explained LiVolsi when asked about the decision to give away the Breaking Dawn eBook for free. "We want to demonstrate our support of loyal customers, and give new eBook readers a popular eBook at effectively no cost."
Many Twilight saga eBook customers are not quite as conciliatory.
"I think delaying the release date for e-books is just plain petty," writes a long-time member of the popular eBook forum MobileRead. "I'm sorry it's an advantage of the technology that you can get the content delivered to you quicker. They don't have to handicap to get an even playing field."
Other contributors to the discussion expressed concern that publishers lack respect for eBook readers.
"Why are we treated like we don't matter?" writes another MobileRead member. "We do matter and publishers need to realize this."
eBook retailers were first informed by Meyer's publisher that the eBook release may be delayed a day on August 3rd in an email sent at 5:20 pm EST on July 29th. The publisher, Hachette Book Group, cited concerns that eBooks, available globally on the internet, may reach eBook customers in certain time zones before the hard copy book is available.
"We understand the business aspects of the Meyer decision, but as a champion of eBook readers, we're not happy about this outcome and its possible implications," says Bob LiVolsi, CEO of BooksOnBoard. "EBooks represent what is probably the most rapidly growing segment of the industry, and we will be working with major publishers to facilitate future releases. Industry-wide, eBook sales have increased by over 25% in the past year alone. They offer several significant advantages to customers, publishers, and the earth, such as accessibility to the vision and mobility-impaired, convenience, low cost of production, and diminished environmental impact."
BooksOnBoard has invested heavily in promotions planned around Breaking Dawn's original August 2nd release date. The company has announced it will continue with its Twilight Rewards Quest, where the popular Cybook e-ink Reader is the grand prize. The Quest consists of a series of clues embedded in BooksOnBoard's website, RSS Feed, and the "Countdown to Breaking Dawn" Podcasts sponsored by the company.
Meyer's novels have a large online fan base. Fans of the Twilight series congregate online, creating scores of Twilight fan sites such as Twilight Lexicon (www.twilightlexicon.com), Twilight Moms (www.twilightmoms.com), and bellaandedward.com (www.bellaandedward.com). Meyer's eBooks have consistently remained on BooksOnBoard's bestseller lists for months at a time.
"In the 5 days that we have had Breaking Dawn available for pre-order, it has climbed to the top of the bestseller lists," adds LiVolsi. "We have tremendous respect for Meyer's success and her audience, and want to help ensure she values her customers who read eBooks."
The Grand Prize in BooksOnBoard's Twilights Rewards Quest, which will continue as planned, is a Cybook eBook reader with a BooksOnBoard price of $379. Other prizes include hardcover first editions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh novel in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, and varying amounts of Rewards Dollars applicable to any eBook or downloadable Audio Book at BooksOnBoard.