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S&S Now Offers Libraries a Two-Year License at 150% of the Sale Price

  • 15943027233_ec39a433ef_hSimon & Schuster has debuted new license terms for library ebooks.  Where the publisher used to charge libraries an above the consumer market price for an expiring one-year license, it’s now also offering a two-year license for 50% more.

OverDrive says that the program is being tested with a limited selection of titles:

For new purchases, libraries will now have an option to select from over 550 eBook titles for either the current one-year lending term, or a new two-year term, with the second year being 50% off.  For example, Tales from a Not-So-Happily Ever After is available for a one year price at $12.99, or for a two-year term for $19.49. eBooks offered with this new two-year option include fiction and nonfiction best-sellers, front list releases, and engaging fixed-layout EPUB titles for children and young readers. You can view the full collection here.

FYI: That ebook can be found in the Kindle Store for $10.

S&S is not the only publisher to overcharge libraries. As we can see from Douglas County Libraries' Monthly eBook Price Report, libraries routinely pay more than consumers. Hachette and Random House sell ebooks at a steep markup, while Penguin and HarperCollins sell ebooks under an expiring license, but Macmillan takes the crown. This publisher sells ebooks for up to $25 per copy under a license that expires after two years.

image by state_libraryofohio


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Librarian November 13, 2015 um 10:25 am

I might be going against the general consensus but I don’t have a problem with limited circulation titles sold at the right price. I do however dislike the metered by time licence option, like the 12 and 24 months, as you really are taking a gamble with your purchase. At least with the limited circ titles you hope that you will get your circs eventually. I think it is also fairer to the creator (ignoring how much actually gets to the creator after the publishers cut) to have limited circ titles.

In my ideal world libraries would pay the same shelf price as the consumer and the circs would be decided on what a fair amount of circs would be. The usual is 26, which I think is too little.

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