Library boycotts Random House ebooks
The South Shore Public Library is boycotting ebooks published by Random House, after what they see is an unfair pricing system.
In the past month, Random House has drastically raised the price of ebooks for sale to Libraries. For example, a copy of Catherine the Great, Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie was $30 for libraries in January 2012, $130 on March 1 and $85 on March 20. An individual ordering the same title would pay $25 through Amazon, $22.69 through Kindle or $20 through Random House or Google Books.
“One way staff fulfills the mission is by providing readers access to a wide variety of formats, including the newest innovation downloadable e-books,” says Myers. “The sharp price increase instituted by Random House will limit the number of ebooks SSPL can purchase for our borrowers’ enjoyment.”
Ebooks are leant by libraries similarly to regular books. A digital copy of the book is still “checked out” during the three weeks somebody has to read it. The difference is after the three weeks the book is automatically removed from the ereader’s catalogue.
The price Random House has given them is for per digital copy they can lend at any given time. For popular titles, the library may buy more digital copies.
While prices for ebooks at Random house have fluctuated wildly over the past few months, Myers says standard books have remained the same. When he tried to find out why the costs changed so much, Myers says he got a vague response about changing the overall business plan for the company.
Myers contacted Random House to inform them of the boycott, however has yet to get any response.