EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO), a prominent provider of book discovery services for libraries, has announced that Penguin Random House has put its entire 21,000-title ebook catalog onto the EBSCO eBooks™ service. According to EBSCO, “flexible pricing models will help librarians acquire popular frontlist and backlist e-book titles according to their needs and allow libraries to own purchased Penguin Random House eBooks in perpetuity. EBSCO does not add markups or fees to this or any collection of titles, making it easy for libraries to grow their collections.”
Courtesy of this latest deal, EBSCO now has a very up-to-date list added to its already substantial catalog. The announcement continues: “Penguin Random House eBooks add essential titles to EBSCO’s growing collection of more than 800,000 e-books to serve all types of libraries. EBSCO offers multiple options for purchase as well as a refined interface for downloading and reading e-books.” The company is also keen to highlight John Grisham, Toni Morrison and Danielle Steel as the kind of value-add authors Penguin Random House brings to the table.
Penguin Random House certainly appears to be a bigger win for EBSCO than previous engagements covered in TeleRead, such as the searchable archive of 1000 issues of Esquire. Where this positions EBSCO in relation to OverDrive is a different story, however. The latter, after all, is the incumbent largest supplier of ebooks to U.S. public libraries. I’m not sure whether librarians would consider opting for EBSCO in preference, no matter how big their archive.