Hachette Raising Prices On The eBooks It Sells To Libraries

Hachette Raising Prices On eBooks It Sells To Libraries

Hachette will be raising the prices it charges libraries who want to buy eBooks to rent out to patrons. Though the original figure was pegged at a 220 percent increase, the actual figure is more like 104 percent. Still, a not-insignificant jump in price. 

Check out infoDocket for a breakdown of the technical stuff and a lot of links, but the gist is: Library wholesalers like OverDrive and Ingram will have to pay more, and libraries may have to buy less eBooks, meaning less will be available to readers. 

Libraries have to purchase eBooks, and one eBook can't get lent out an infinite number of times at once--there are limits in place, and if too many people have "checked out" the eBook you want to read, then you have to wait for someone to "return" it.

This isn't without precedent. Random House tripled what it charged for library books back in February.

The American Library Association is not thrilled, as per Galleycat

“Libraries must have the ability to purchase a wide range of digital content at a fair price so that all readers have full access to our world’s creative and cultural resources, especially the many millions who depend on libraries as their only source of reading material.”

As publishers are seeking ways to raise the revenue they make on eBooks, raising prices on libraries seems like a logical step. But at the same time, library budgets are getting slashed throughout the country.

On one hand eBooks are a unique product--they don't tear, they can't get lost or destroyed. So is it worth paying more for that? Or is this price-gouging and market manipulation by a book publisher? After all, the longer someone has to wait for an eBook, the higher the chance they'll just go out and buy it, I imagine. 

I should also note: I am not an expert on eBook lending through libraries. I know we have some librarians in the crowd. Pleae weigh in!

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