Montreal Gazette

Publisher relents on ebooks


NEW YORK — The publisher of Stephen King, Bob Woodward and other top-selling authors has changed its policy of withholdin­g ebooks from libraries.

Simon & Schuster has announced a one-year pilot program with three New York City library systems that cover the city’s five boroughs. Simon & Schuster had been the last of the “Big Six” publishers to keep its entire e-catalogue off-limits to libraries. Publishers have worried that free library downloads could lead to lost sales, while libraries have advocated for the largest possible selection.

“We’ve been having conversati­ons with libraries for a long time, trying to come up with something that we felt would work for us. And I think we finally found the key pieces,” Simon & Schuster president and CEO Carolyn Reidy said Monday.

One key piece: Allowing patrons to buy copies of a given book, with some of the proceeds going to the library.

Reidy said any Simon & Schuster release, old or new, that’s available commercial­ly as an ebook will be offered to libraries.

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