Thinking more about ebooks and libraries and what big publishers should do – The Shatzkin Files | The Information Professional |

Mike Shatzkin:

"The reluctance of most big publishers to make ebooks available through library lending is a topic of widespread attention and concern."


"If any big publisher asked me for an opinion about a library policy (and none has), this is what I’d say today.

1. Start immediately experimenting with “baskets” of titles. [...]

2. One set of experiments that should be productive would be on titles that have already had their high-volume run. [...]

3. Look at the “make” books on an upcoming list: those that aren’t by big name authors that are already guaranteed to sell well. [...]

4. License titles for two or three years rather than limiting the number of loans. [...]

5. Explore ways for libraries to sell ebooks to patrons who discover titles through them but, for whatever reason, want to purchase them. [...]"


"Publishers’ concerns about the impact of library lending are reasonable. But responding to that concern by simply “freezing” is not helpful to anybody and it may actually be damaging the sales of the books the publishers are trying to protect. I don’t know and the librarians don’t know what the marketplace impact will be of branded ebooks being made available through libraries, but the publishers don’t know either. It is time for all of us to start finding out."