Good news for fans of ereaders and of digital publishing — one of the big six publishing companies, Hatchette, has officially made their large selection of ebooks available for non-profit public and school libraries.
One of the last remaining holdouts within the Big Six (Well, the Big Five now that Random and Penguin have merged!), Hatchette will now offer a wide list of e-books, though not at an unlimited quantity. Only one newly released e-book can be borrowed at a time, and and libraries will be charged three times the highest priced print edition for one year of e-book access to a new publication, making it so that only the best-funded libraries will probably be able to afford this program.
While most publishing companies are now testing the waters by allowing select libraries to carry their digital catalog, many are worried about the effect that easily accesible, free-to-read versions of their books will ultimately have on sales. The restrictions placed on libraries and book-borrowers are very strict under most provisional licenses, but if this is a step forward towards better accessibility for more readers, then I can’t help but be in favor of it. Once libraries are more likely to carry traditionally published ebooks, they’ll be in a better position to carry self-published ones as well!
Read more about this news over at the Christian Science Monitor, and let us know what you think about this new development!