Books

E-Borrowers, Beware

As lending e-books to libraries is turning out to be a losing proposition to publishers—resulting in lost sales, both for them and their writers at many levels—some are changing their policy.

E-books, unlike, printed books, last forever, and because they don’t decay, they don’t compel libraries to order new copies to replace the old. An opportunity for a sale is, therefore, lost.

When the borrowing and the returning of an e-book from a library is as easy as the flipping of a light switch, a reader would much prefer to borrow an e-book.

If they’d borrowed its physical version, on the other hand, they’d have to face the inconvenience of making a return trip to the library to drop it off. In which case, they’re better off buying the book, instead. So, the reader’s inconvenience becomes the publisher’s opportunity to make a buck.

Plus, a single copy can, in theory, be in circulation at any given time, among unlimited patrons. Why would a library need to order any more than a solitary copy in that case? Another opportunity for a sale is lost—yet again.

h/t: NYT

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