Local Libraries Stop Buying Random House e-Books

Libraries part of the Libraries Online Incorporated (LION) consortium will no longer purchase e-Books from Random House following a March 1 price hike by the publisher.

Under Random House's new pricing policy, a ebook that would have cost the LION consortium $35 to purchase through OverDrive on February 29 cost them $105 on March 1, according to Richard Conroy, the president of LION.

Random House unveiled its new library price scale on February 2:

  • Titles available in print as new hardcovers: $65 to $85
  • Titles available for several months, or generally timed to paperback release: $25 to $50
  • New children's titles available in print as harcovers: $35 to $85
  • Older children's titles and children's paperbacks: $25 to $45

"We believe our new library e-pricing reflects the high value placed on perpetuity of lending and simultaneity of availability of our titles," Stuart Applebaum, a spokesperson for Random House said in a statement. (Simultaneity refers to the availability of an ebook on the date of its print release.)

The LION consortium is the second group of libraries to report that they will stop buying ebooks from Random House since the price increase.

Random House is one of six major publishing companies in the country and includes imprints Crown Publishing Group and Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Recent releases from the publisher include The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larssen and Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. Popular Random House authors include Danielle Steel, John Grisham, Dan Brown, Anne Rice, George R.R. Martin, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, and Janet Evanovich.

Local libraries included in the LION consortium include the E.C. Scranton Memorial Library in Madison, the Essex Library Association, Ivoryton Library, Guilford Free Library, James Blackstone Memorial Library in Branford, Atwater Memorial Library in North Branford, Edward Smith Lbrary in Northford, North Haven Memorial Library, Westbrook Public Library, and Willoughby Wallace Memorial Library in Stony Creek.

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