E-March of the Penguins

Guardian columnist Claire Armitstead has a few thoughts for publishing’s favourite bird.

Reflecting on Amazon’s dubious assertion that e-books are now outselling hardcovers Armitstead thinks that Penguin should jump online. She invokes the names of great past publishers Allen Lane (who was behind the Penguin paperback imprint) and Kaye Webb (responsible for the Puffin children’s range) who she believes would be embracing the e-book as they did previous innovations in publishing. Armitstead says “Both Webb and Lane would no doubt be pleased to see the new Artemis Fowl novel published simultaneously this week in hardback and ebook.”

But Armitstead quibbles with Penguins back catalogue arriving on e-book. “As a fan of Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange, I am delighted to have received a new Penguin edition, I searched in vain for the ebook to upload on to my new iPad and take on holiday with me.” While Penguin has more than 3,000 ebooks in their range, it’s not nearly enough for Armitstead because “most are novels and serious non-fiction – ‘text-heavy’ titles. So you won’t find an e-version of Jamie Oliver either yet.” Perhaps she could browse the science selection mentioned in an earlier Daily to see how limited e-books are.