Hachette Book Group on May 29 announced plans to provide unabridged audiobook recordings for free to the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), a division of the Library of Congress (LOC). Select backlist and new titles, including new releases, will be available through NLS’s Talking Books program by the end of 2013
Hachette Book Group today announced that it will once again sell its frontlist ebook titles to libraries, beginning on May 8. Hachette’s entire catalog of 5,000 ebooks will now be available through OverDrive, Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360 platform, and the 3M Cloud Library, under a pricing and licensing model similar to the one employed by Random House.
Macmillan on Friday became the last of five major publishers to settle a lawsuit over the pricing of ebooks originally filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and 15 states in April 2012. In an email addressed to “Authors, Illustrators and Agents” Macmillan CEO John Sargent wrote that he believed the company had done nothing wrong and could still win the case, but the risk of losing the legal battle had become too high.
“School libraries, I believe, will be the coming focal point for ebook licensing,” write Chris Harris. “We have strong relationships with our K–12 publishing partners, but now we must reach out to the trade houses. As the print market weakens, the time is right for schools to present a new business proposal.”
The American Library Association (ALA) on Friday denounced Hachette Book Group’s decision to implement steep price increases on its back-catalog of ebooks sold to the library market. OverDrive broke the news to its customers in an email on September 13, stating that “Hachette will be raising its eBook prices on October 1, 2012 on their currently available eBook catalog (~3,500 eBook titles with release dates of April 2010 and earlier). On average prices will increase 220 percent.” ALA President Maureen Sullivan expressed disappointment at Hachette’s choice, noting that ALA had believed that the publisher was moving toward more favorable terms for libraries.
OverDrive To Library Customers: Hachette is Raising E-Book Prices an Average of 220% on Over 3500 Titles
UPDATE 5 (September 17, 2012): OverDrive Has Updated A Blog Post About Hachette Increase It says that the 220% increase that they told library partners about last week was miscalculated. The average increase will be 104%. UPDATE 4: Jamie LaRue from Douglas County Libraries Comments in this Library Journal Report UPDATE 3: We reached out [...]
Pending the approval of U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, $69 million will be awarded to consumers who purchased agency-priced ebooks between April 2010 and May 2012, as part of a proposed settlement of a state antitrust suit filed against HarperCollins, Hachette SA, and Simon & Schuster. Led by the Attorneys General of Connecticut and Texas, 49 states (excluding Minnesota) and 5 U.S. territories had accused the publishers of conspiring to fix ebook prices.
This article has been updated to include information on the state lawsuits and Canadian, publisher statements, and links to the proposed settlement and competitive impact statement, courtesy of Infodocket. The Department of Justice today filed its antitrust suit against Apple, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster over the agency model of ebook pricing. [...]