DCL Ebook Report for Sept. 2012
Following yesterday’s report from Maureen Sullivan on the recent ALA visit to New York City to talk with publishers, here are updated figures from Douglas County (Colorado) Libraries on ebook availability and pricing. As Sullivan noted, the mission of the ALA delegation is to address “the ebook concerns that have come to us from ALA members across the country—especially about pricing and availability (or the lack thereof) and the slow pace of progress in finding solutions.”
Though progress is being made, the September report shows how much work remains ahead of us. This month’s report looks at the top 25 books from Digital Book World for the week ending September 22. The most immediate concern is that more than half of the books on the list are not available for library lending; we can only purchase 36% of the titles. Looking next at price, the small percentage of books that can be purchased range from a low of almost double the consumer price to a high of over six times the consumer price.
Looking at the price differences seen in Random House books, I cannot help but wonder what the authors think. Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Lee Child’s A Wanted Man each retail to consumers for $12.99. When it comes to library pricing, however, things change. A lot. Flynn’s Gone Girl sells to libraries for $25, but Child’s A Wanted Man goes for $84. That could mean either lost royalties for Flynn (assuming authors are getting a full percentage of the inflated library price) or lost sales due to A Wanted Man’s much higher price. Or both. Authors need better library ebook models as much as libraries do.
The full DCL report is available in PDF format.
|DCL Report 9-28-12.pdf||220.8 KB|