Traditional Publishers and Libraries: Major Profits
Something that is not often mentioned in discussing the relationship among publishers, ebooks and the public is that publishers make most of their money distributing hardbacks. Hardback books are mainly bought by libraries all over the country and provide the major source of revenue for the Big Six publishing houses. Libraries have wanted to give their visitors access to ebooks for a while, but large publishing houses are reluctant about giving them access to the newest books and a full license to lending them out. In particular, publishing houses want to and have limited access to how many times a ebook can be taken out before the library has to renew the license, i.e., pay for another ebook. This tension comes from the fact that the most of the revenue that publishing houses make comes from selling hardback books to libraries (at $20 or $25 per book, after library discounts) before their release to the general public. Allowing libraries to buy ebooks at the same time as the newest hardback releases would likely adversely affect traditional publishing houses’ revenues.
One of the aims of Barbaroi House is to make our ebooks available to libraries for purchase at the same time as the hardback editions.