Discussion Forums - eBook readers eBook readers

Topic: Librarians Feel Sticker Shock as Price for Random House Ebooks

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Librarians Feel Sticker Shock as Price for Random House Ebooks
Date Posted: 3/2/2012 11:42 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
Back To Top

Publishers are still messing with the Overdrive/library lending system. As I reported before, Harper Collins decided that each ebook they lease to libraries would only be lent out 26 times before the lease ended. Meaning to loan one of their ebooks out to 26 patrons the library would have to re-purchase the book again. Many libraries are boycottedHC books as not cost efficient.

Penguin recently pulled all their ebooks from circulation, deciding library loans hurt sales.

Now, Random House has re-priced their leases for library ebooks. This new structure isn't supposed to affect books already leased out, and they're pricing them to match audio book prices. Then Overdrive adds on their share for each book purchased.... I'd say expect ebook catalogs to get smaller in the future, unless libraries suddenly see a bigger income for their book purchases.

Librarians Feel Sticker Shock as Price for Random House Ebooks

 

On Wednesday, Oberhausen bought Eisenhower in War and Peace by Jean Edward Smith for $40 via OverDrive. On Thursday, the price was $120. The print version of the book, with the library’s discount, is a little over $20 (it retails at $40). For Blessings by Anna Quindlen the ebook price went from $15 to $45.

...

Fisher-Herreman, who had been bracing for an increase in the 50 percent range, said she found the tripling of price frustrating and surprising. For example, The 10 Easter Egg Hunters, a children’s title by Janet Schulman, was affordable at $8.99, but it now costs $26.97.

 

 

 

Date Posted: 3/2/2012 1:13 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
Back To Top

I noticed that the Free Library of Philadelphia added a whole bunch of Random House books a few days ago...probably had some notice that they would be increasing in price shortly so stocked up before the price hike.

Date Posted: 3/2/2012 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,488
Back To Top

I wonder where this will all end.  I think there has to be a breaking point where folks aren't going to pay for ebooks at $10-$15 and Libraries aren't going to be able to afford the renewal costs on the leases.  Will the industry evolve or will this be a battle?

Date Posted: 3/2/2012 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
Back To Top

I wonder where this will all end.  I think there has to be a breaking point where folks aren't going to pay for ebooks at $10-$15 and Libraries aren't going to be able to afford the renewal costs on the leases.  Will the industry evolve or will this be a battle?

I think it will end up the publishers go more to the delayed price drop like it happens with Hardback vs MMPB releases. I know more people who are holding out buying the recent releases because 1) they have enough in their ebook TBR pile to tide them over and 2) they're going to wait until the price drops, no matter what.

There's maybe one author I'd pay full price for in ebook format. Most of them I'll wait until the prices are better. So I fit in that group.

And I also think that the breaking point has already happened, since most books I see now are coming out at the MMPB price, and even more at the .99 to $2.99 range as more and more people discover indy publishers/authors and freebies.

I've seen more and more of the books I'm intersted in come out in the $8.00 range as brand new release at the same time as the paper version, and fewer over $10 as a new release. So I do think the prices are dropping for personal purchases.

Library wise, I think the publishers are all screwed up and don't understand what's really going on, and how the libraries help them advertise their books. But I've seen that for years, long before the ebook age. I don't think they've ever quite understood how they and libraries depend on each other. I've even recently seen one article where a publisher complained about the 'endless supply' of library ebooks going out. The writer seemed completely unaware that loans are created one at a time, and people had to wait in line for a book. The writer seemed totally clueless as to how it all worked.

They don't seem to want to understand, they just want to panic.



Last Edited on: 3/2/12 1:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/2/2012 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2006
Posts: 8,426
Back To Top

My prediction is that Overdrive will eventually cut out the public libraries and do a private library straight to the consumer. The publishers and Overdrive will come to a licensing agreement and consumers will buy a library card from Overdrive. They already know from FLP cards and Amazon Prime that readers are willing to pay for ebook rentals/checkouts.

Date Posted: 3/2/2012 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
Back To Top

It would be interesting to see what kind of rental prices Overdrive would have to charge to get the Publisher's interest. And how they overcome the DRM scare (that it's not working) that some of the Publishers are complaining about.

And what they'd have to offer readers in order to get them to pay that amount.

Date Posted: 3/4/2012 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
Back To Top

Cindy, do you know anything about the 3M Cloud?  My local library is somewhat late joining the ebook game, but has said Overdrive is too expensive and they are looking into the 3M Cloud instead.

From what I'm reading online, 3M plans to set each library up with a cloud service and then patrons will borrow from the cloud.  To me, this seems like it would have even more potential to piss off publishers since there will be no limit to how many times the titles are accessed in the cloud, but maybe I'm just reading it all wrong.

If anyone knows more about this and can share, I'd love to better understand what my local library is trying to do.

Date Posted: 3/5/2012 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
Back To Top

Cindy, do you know anything about the 3M Cloud?  My local library is somewhat late joining the ebook game, but has said Overdrive is too expensive and they are looking into the 3M Cloud instead.

I don't know much, but just thta there seems to be some confusion as to what books will be in it. If  library has purchased books and are the owners, then I can see them wanting to move their purchases over to a system that's easy for their patrons to access, and doesn't cost like Overdrive does.

But the big question seems to be whether libraries 'own' the ebook titles they've purchased. Some ebooks were just 'leased' according to publishers, so they won't allow those books to be moved to another system, since their deal is also with Overdrive as well as the leasing library.

Here's an article about how it started.

Here.

If I find more I'll post here, but haven't seen much in the news about it lately. I've never seen any answer as to where the books stored in the 3M cloud software will come from, and who's given permission for their catalog to be included. The system may be great, but not if there's no legal books around to put in it.