HarperCollins Responds To Library eBook Controversy

By Jason Boog Comment

On HarperCollins Library Love Fest blog, HarperCollins president of sales Josh Marwell wrote an open letter explaining the publisher’s controversial new eBook lending policy for libraries.

Here’s an excerpt: “We have serious concerns that our previous e-book policy, selling e-books to libraries in perpetuity, if left unchanged, would undermine the emerging e-book eco-system, hurt the growing e-book channel, place additional pressure on physical bookstores, and in the end lead to a decrease in book sales and royalties paid to authors.”

The publisher decided that eBooks can only be checked out 26 times by library patrons until they expire,  setting off a wave of Twitter protests and a call for boycott. What do you think of the response?

Here’s more from the open letter: “We spent many months examining the issues before making this change. We talked to agents and distributors, had discussions with librarians, and participated in the Library Journal e-book Summit and other conferences. Twenty-six circulations can provide a year of availability for titles with the highest demand, and much longer for other titles and core backlist. If a library decides to repurchase an e-book later in the book’s life, the price will be significantly lower as it will be pegged to a paperback price point.” (Via Jennifer Howard)