Simon & Schuster Announces New Library eBook Pilot with OverDrive
This publisher has long been a holdout in the library ebook market, and until April 2013 they were famous for only allowing a single title to be sold to public libraries. Today they announced that they’re partnering with OverDrive to sell ebooks to 15 libraries
31 libraries across the US, including some of the nation’s biggest, highest circulating library systems.
Participating libraries include Free Library of Philadelphia, Boston Public Library, King County Library System (Wash.), the North Carolina Digital Library, and the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH. All if the participating libraries are required to have the "Buy it now" button integrated into their library websites. This will enable patrons to buy ebooks via OverDrive should they not be interested in waiting to check out a title. The library will get an affiliate fee from the sale, and the patron will own a license for a copy of the ebook.
S&S plans to make their entire catalog available with the ebooks sold under a 1 year expiring license. Those are the same terms as the pilot which S&S launched in April 2013 with 3M Cloud Library and Axis 360, only now the ebooks are going to be available to library patrons outside of NYC.
Simon & Schuster is the last remaining major publisher to get into the library ebook market, and they are joining Penguin and HarperCollins in selling ebooks under an expiring license. Hachette and Random House, on the other hand, sell ebooks at a steep markup, while Macmillan takes the crown. This publisher manages to combine the worst aspects of their competition by selling ebooks for $25 per copy and then having the ebook expire after two years.
image by SLU Madrid Campus