Friday, February 3, 2012

E-Books and Libraries, a Match Made in Hell? Not for This Publishing Giant

Libraries have always paid more books than you pay at a bookstore. The reason, of course, is that books are loaned over and over and aren't repurchased until copies finally succumb to all the wear and tear. Depending on the book, it might last for decades, and long be out of print by the time another copy is needed.

That's not necessarily true for popular titles, and as Dennis Johnson writes over at Mellville House The Big Six publishers (Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Harper Collins, Hatchette, Random House, and McMillan) have shied away from making their e-books available to libraries for perpetuity.

Until now. Random House has agreed to sell e-book copies to libraries for lifelong use and unlimited loans at a one-time fee. While the final pricing policy is still being configured and will be higher than a single print copy, according to Publishers Weekly the deal appears acceptable from all sides. Readers of e-books will soon find more popular titles available at their local library, And that's certainly a good thing.

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