Publishers' pinch could affect public library eBook readers

Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 5:00pm

Nashville eBook readers could be hindered when trying to check out books from the library due to publishers' new price increases, according to the Nashville Public Library.

Random House Publishing recently announced a large spike in wholesale eBook prices to library, while four other major publishers won't sell eBooks to libraries, according to NPL public information officer Renuka Christoph.

“[The implications] would be pretty severe,” Christoph said. “If publishers continue with this trend of drastically marking up their eBooks ... or if publishers make their major titles unavailable, it will be to the detriment of the public.”

Only two of the 25 books on the New York Times bestsellers list are available on eBook at the Nashville Public Library, Christoph said.

Currently, library patrons can check out eBooks on tablet devices and have access to the material for 14 days. But publishing companies claim the unlimited access and nonperishable status of eBooks merit a mark-up price.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Thursday that the U.S. Department of Justice sent warnings to publishers about a pending lawsuit if they conspire to inflate prices of eBooks.

Renuka said the Nashville Public Library offers publishers a unique chance to market their books and that they should be looking to partner with libraries, instead of shunning them. Recent book signings and author events have drawn record attendance, she said.

1 Comment on this post:

By: imagemaker on 3/9/12 at 9:19

I think that it is somewhat ironic that they mention book signings in conjunction with an eBook! How does that work? I await my turn in line and ask the author if they can sign the title page of my eBook... yeah right!