When I reported yesterday about Diesel eBooks filing an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and 5 publishers, I described the ebookstore as a thriving retailer. That may have been an error on my part.
Earlier today a reader tipped me to a notice on Diesel eBooks support page which announced the imminent closure of this ebook retailer:
Diesel eBooks is Closing ShopDiesel eBooks will be closing at the end of this month. It's been a great ride! We're exploring our options - eBooks are still in the infant years and there are many opportunities opening up now and in the future.IMPORTANT: you must download your eBooks by month end. Downloads will not be possible on April 1st. We want to thank you for being such loyal customers. Understand this doesn't necessarily mean you won't see Diesel in another form in the near future.
If this notice is a surprise, you're not alone. This is the very first I had heard that Diesel eBooks was shutting down. There is no notice on their homepage and they haven't sent out emails with the news. I have an account with Diesel eBooks and I have not received any notification. Also, no one has forwarded any notice to me, nor has this been mentioned on MobileRead.
Update: I just got the notice, Diesel eBooks is shutting down.
And I know at least one person who was buying ebooks from them only two weeks ago. He didn't have a clue at the time, which should tell you just how little notice Diesel eBooks has given. (Thanks, George!)
I am still waiting for a response from Diesel eBooks, and in the absence of confirmation or denial I plan to cling to the hope that this is either an error or someone's idea of a 1 April joke.
But just in case this is for real, I suggest that you download and backup your ebook purchases. It's better to be safe than sorry, I say, and given how little notice BooksOnBoard offered before they went under last year I think caution is in order. That site was open one day and closed the next, and if I hadn't already heard that BoB was having trouble paying publishers I would have been caught as flatfooted as BoB's customers.
Last August I heard similar reports about Diesel eBooks, but I wrote them off because I could not verify any of the details. Also, one publisher named in the rumor denied its factual accuracy, making it nothing more than gossip.
Was that report an early sign of problems or simply a coincidence? It's too early to say, so stay tuned and I will post an update once I get more information.
Update: I have not received a response, but several readers have informed me that they got an email from Diesel eBooks with a similar message.