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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

HarperCollins Ebook Policy

Many of you are probably following the OUTRAGEOUS news from HarperCollins that the ebooks they now make available for checkout on OverDrive will terminate after 26 checkouts.

To make the insanity of this decision clear, the books we buy from HarperCollins can sit on the shelf and be checked out with a library card over and over again.  Just quickly scanning their top authors list, I see Diane Mott Davidson and Kim Harrison in the top 10.  It would be safe to say that each of their books has circulated at BPL at least 50 times (and that would be a conservative estimate).  The new Joyce Carol Oates will also be on the bestseller list soon.

But those same books, being checkout with the same library cards, just in ebook version, would disappear from our shelves after 26 checkouts.  Are you kidding me.  That makes no sense.

Libraries buy lots of books.  We buy books that get good reviews, but may not sell well.  For goodness sake, my book gets bought by most pubic libraries.  Thanks to library purchases, I am still getting royalty checks on the first edition of my book, and it is 7 years old!  These are not sales to scoff at.

So HarperCollins, we will now buy at least one print, the audio, and an ebook version of your books for our library patrons.  But even though we are increasing the number of copies of your books we are buying, you want to be greedy and force us to buy more?

Are you forgetting that the library is a great advertisement for your authors and their books?  Many patrons discover an author at the library and then go out an buy their own copies of the books.  Did you think about that?  Probably not.  Now you may lose new readers because we will not have your books at all in ebook form.  Good forward thinking HarperCollins.

Of course, I am not the only person upset about this.  RA Online has this great post with a run down of the issue including many links with more details.

There is also this boycott website.  It explains the full issue and has ways you can voice your displeasure.  Please join the fight to shame HarperCollins into changing their policy.

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