Originally Posted by Kumabjorn
I get the impression that library lenders in the US aren't primarily interested in reading popular books, is that the case? Here in Sweden there is a clear bias towards the big publishers. I assumed people would be happy that they gained access to one of the big publisher's backlist through the library system. Seems like I was completely off base.
Actually, the problem is that libraries (as part of the ancien regime) as a rule *only* deal with the big publishers. Even small print publishers have trouble getting their book on library shelves unless they've been featured in a book review journal. Sheep begging to be shorn.
As a result, libraries have turned themselves into a captive market for the BPHs who rely on hardcover "Library editions" (at prices of up to $100) of pbooks for a good part of the profits from the midlist. With pbooks they are comfy with the deal because if the book is popular it gets worn out pretty fast and ends up in a library book sale and if it isn't nobody checks it out and they got a sale at 4-5X value.
Now apply that logic to ebooks: price it at 4-5X real value, put a limit on the number of check outs in case it's popular and an expiration date in case it isn't. In both cases the idea is to make the library keep buying the same ebook over and over.
Mind you, I'm of the opinion the libraries will fall all over themselves. They are being thrown a bone, after all. Who cares if it's poisoned?
There are plenty of smaller publishers that would be *thrilled* to get libraries to buy their books (for infinite rentals) at retail prices, much less at higher than retail. But no, those books aren't listed in the review journals...