HarperCollins knew they were going to take some heat when they decided to make ebooks electronically vanish when they had been checked out 26 times, but apparently they misjudged how strong the reaction would be. Many libraries started a boycott against HarperCollins and the movement spread across the country and into Canada!
Personally, I think this is crazy! Assuming a library has a two week lending period for paper books, and no one ever returned one early or late, the 26th person would have to wait almost an entire year to finally get their hands on it! If the book became deteriorated during that time, the library would have the opportunity to sell it and use the money to help them buy a new copy!
On the other hand, a best selling HarperCollins ebook could be loaned out 26 times in one day and POOF… It just disappears! The library would buy the ebook, but have no chance to sell it. If you buy something, isn’t it a right of ownership that you also have the right to sell it? This also applies to individuals! If you buy an ebook, shouldn’t you also have the right to sell it? There all kinds of things going on here!
Anyway, Last Tuesday a HarperCollins representative told a large group of librarians that the number 26 was not set in stone. They said it was their number for now, but they wanted input from the libraries about how the number was working for them and HarperCollins was willing to listen. If you would like to read more about this, please click here and click here!
I think the boycott is working and HarperCollins is feeling the pain in their bottom line. The ebook industry is new and has growing pains. Many issues must be worked out to make ebook distribution fair for the author and the buyer. For the first time in history an author can write and publish their own book. Amazon, the largest bookstore in the world, is happy to publish almost anyone for a reasonable fee! I think brick and mortar publishers are coming to grips with this and trying different things to stay in business.
This is good stuff! Let’s watch it together!