Simon & Schuster Loosens Restrictions on Library eBook Distribution

Simon & Schuster Loosens Restrictions on Library eBook Distribution Digital Library Library eBooks Publishing When Simon & Schuster expanded its library ebook distribution in June, they required all libraries who bought S&S ebooks for their collections to also add a buy button to the listings in the libraries' catalogs. Today S&S relaxed that restriction, possibly in the hopes that more libraries would carry S&S titles.

The ALA announced the news today in a press release, quoting ALA President Courtney Young as saying that the change "speaks to the importance of sustaining conversations among librarians, publishers, distributors and authors to continue advancing our shared goals of connecting writers and readers".

Given that the buy buttons would be expected to drive sales, this is a rather curious decision on their part, but I suspect that S&S dropped the requirement because it wasn't generating enough money from sales. This might be due to library patrons not being in a buying mood, but it could also be a result of a flawed system.

When I checked my local library (an OverDrive client) I found that it offered 5 S&S ebook titles in its catalog. All 5 had buy buttons, but only two of the titles had buttons leading to major ebookstores. The other 3 only included the option of buying from Library Bin. I've never heard of that bookstore, so I would not be inclined to shop there.

It's not clear why the other ebookstores aren't being listed (especially since I have the option of reading all 5 titles as Kindle ebooks) but if S&S wasn't seeing enough sales then it would make little sense to keep the requirement.

Simon & Schuster's other restriction, a 1 year expiring license, is bad enough.

 image  by andryn2006

About Nate Hoffelder (10074 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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  1. An Incomplete Report on a Flawed Pilot Program Suggests that Library eBook Loans Don't Drive Sales - The Digital Reader

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