May 25, 2020

Authors Group Offers Special Ebook Pricing for Libraries


Book View Café (BVC), a professional author-run epublisher, last month announced the launch of a library-friendly “All You Can Read” ebook program, which offers libraries a 45 percent discount on BVC’s catalog, making the average price of the company’s ebooks less than $3.00.

BVC is currently partnering with over 40 authors, including Hugo and Nebula award winners such as Ursula K. Le Guin, Vonda N. McIntyre, David D. Levine, and Linda Nagata, as well as New York Times bestsellers and notable authors Patricia Rice, Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, Lois Gresh, and Sarah Zettel.

“The new age of publishing is about just these kind of partnerships,” Jamie LaRue, director of Douglas County Libraries (DCL), said in a release. DCL, along with the distributor Wheelers Books in New Zealand, became the first institutions to sign distribution agreements with BVC last month. “Forward-thinking publishers and forward-thinking libraries that help authors do what they do best: create content that finds an audience.”

Author Chris Dolley, who is also serving as BVC’s library coordinator, told LJ that BVC is aiming for wide coverage, and is willing to sell ebooks direct to libraries, as it does with DCL, or use distributors. The group is currently working with Smashwords to supply Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360 platform, and is in talks with other distributors, including OverDrive.

Dolley acknowledged the concerns that many major publishers have expressed—that easy-to-download ebooks might negatively impact an author’s sales. But he noted that it is just as likely that library patrons will read more and discover new authors.

“My view is that no one knows how the future is going to play out,” he wrote in an e-mail to LJ. “Yes, some people will buy fewer books, but some people will start reading more and will discover new authors.”

This increase in reading and discovery was recently documented by LJ in our Patron Profiles survey.

Dolley continued, noting that “it’s very easy to be frightened of change but, for authors, our biggest fear is obscurity not free books. But, the main reason we want to work with libraries is that we’re all huge supporters. We grew up with libraries and we want the next generations to grow up with libraries.”

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Matt Enis (; @matthewenis on Twitter) is Associate Editor, Technology for Library Journal.