Random House met with ALA leaders this week in NYC, and there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that RH isn’t pulling their ebooks from library distributors (like Penguin), or restricting checkouts (like HarperCollins), but the bad news is that they are also going to be raising prices.
This news comes amid reports that the ALA is meeting with other publishers over ebook lending. There’s no word yet on how those talks went, but if we use today’s news as a yardstick, my guess is not well.
While some are spinning this as good news, I see it as another attack on libraries. I’m sorry, but today’s news cannot be described as anything else. This was not the act of someone who likes libraries or likes doing business with them.
No, I think RH made this move because they’d much rather cut off library ebooks entirely, but they don’t want to have to deal with the negative publicity. Like the other Big 6 publishers, I think RH doesn’t like the fact that all these people are reading all these books without paying. The thought of all those lost sales just eats away at them.
The major publishers claim to love libraries, but if you examine their actual behavior it will look a lot like that of a drunk who beats his wife. Sure, he says he loves her, but the neighbors still call the police twice a week.