9 Comments

Summary:

Simon & Schuster is making all of its ebooks available to U.S. libraries, following a one-year trial.

New York Public Library, photo by Rani Molla
photo: Rani Molla

Another big publisher has decided that making ebooks available to libraries is worth doing: Simon & Schuster announced Thursday that it’s making its full catalog of over 10,000 ebooks available for library lending. The decision follows a one-year pilot program in New York City.

New titles will be available at the time of publication. Each ebook is available for lending for a year before the library has to buy another copy. Simon & Schuster is working with the digital library distributors Baker & Taylor, 3M and Overdrive.

With Simon & Schuster’s announcement, all of the Big Five publishers are making their ebooks available to libraries at least in some fashion; apparently, fears that library lending would cut into paid book sales haven’t panned out.

“In early 2012, ALA began conversations with Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy and her leadership team,” American Library Association president Barbara Stripling said in a statement. “In our initial meeting in New York, it was clear that we had rather different perspectives on the merits of library ebook lending. Of course, much has changed in the past two years, and we’re so pleased that Simon & Schuster has moved library ebook lending from a pilot to a mainstream business for the company.”

This post was updated on Wednesday afternoon with a statement from the ALA. 

 

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9 Comments

  1. Bad idea. Surprised that a publisher would miss the opportunity to get printed books into the hands of readers. Obviously, they don’t understand the significance of expose readers, especially new readers to the value of owning books.

    As we’ve found with music, what is lost is a deeper connection with the creator and the user and greater profitability for the publisher and author as more readers move to subscription services that don’t compensate either substantially.

    Difficult to support the creative community if they don’t understand the dynamics of the marketplace.

    1. I disagree. Anything that will make it easier for people to read — especially young people who are attached to the hip to their devices — is good for society.

    2. How would library books “expose readers, especially new readers to the value of owning books”? Don’t most libraries lend the books out? And isn’t that what libraries will do with S&S ebooks? Where does ownership (print or digital) come in?

  2. I agree with Will. But sadly our world is turning digital. I learned that lesson after 22 years with USA TODAY.

    1. Great move this means access to who ever wants it without putting dollars first.
      Thanks S&S.

  3. spixleatedlifeform Friday, June 27, 2014

    Owning hardbound or paperback books is dependent upon the ability to store them. Subject to other environmental factors as well, there’s lots to argue against them. However, try finding a thief/burglar intent on stealing your personal library. Then imaging the allure of an e-reader with tens of thousands of dollars of books that can be held in one hand. I’ll stick with the real things, thank you very much.

    SPLF

  4. digitalrightsactivist Saturday, June 28, 2014

    Amazing how little people understand about what’s taking place for artists in the digital age, and the financial destruction cause by our inability to find a compensation model that works for both tech and creators. Currently, the creators have the very, very short end of the stick.

    The person from USA today gets it, they lost their job. The value of having printed books available in the library is the opportunity it provides readers, especially young readers, to experience reading a book in a printed format. For some it will be such that they see the value and they will become printed book readers.

    Authors make far less on the sale of e-books and hardly anything from streaming services. While the online distribution companies that operate these services become insanely rich. What’s wrong with this picture?

    Then you have the person who doesn’t want to pay. My question to you is how do you contribute, what do you give back? do you clean their house or take them out to dinner? Or is it your expectation that I should pay for you, when I purchase a book or a piece of music.

    Either way, the author has to eat. Yes, they could get a second or third part time job, so they can work on their writing. But is it really fair to ask them to work for free so you don’t have to pay?

    There is no free. Somebody has to pay for it.

  5. We all pay taxes, city, county, state, federal. We vote on who & how our money is spent-to some degree! Many of us have had 60-90 years of paying taxes which fund libraries and to buy books overflowing our homes & storage. Why can’t we all share? We should be able to obtain ebooks readily across the country. Yes, authors need to be paid-they are. The more people to buy, prices up as time goes by, & technology changes our world, the more change we see. As a disabled person downsized to a squashed mobile home with very limited income I am very, very thankful for ebooks.
    Thank you Simon & Schuster!!! Carol H

  6. david.talucci Monday, August 25, 2014

    great move