Tuesday, May 21, 2013

eBook changes

The publishing mood is changing in the ebook market. In the past few months I have seen signs of a gradual thawing in attitude toward us evil public libraries. An excellent example of this is Hatchette Book Group's announcement that they are reinstating front-list ebook sales to libraries.

Hatchette will "sell" licenses of new titles to public libraries immediately upon publication. The cost to libraries will be three times the RETAIL hardcover price. One year after publication, that cost will drop to one-and-a-half times the retail cover price. There will be no checkout limits (the titles will not "wear out"). This is an improvement, at least, in that public libraries will have access to new titles from Hatchette and Random House (who already had this sort of sales model).

I still maintain that public libraries are a powerful ally, not an enemy to be squeezed out. Hopefully we can show this to be the case and publisher attitudes will continue to thaw.

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