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S.”These were, in part, the arguments that ultimately helped persuade Big Five publishers such as Macmillan to begin licensing frontlist titles to libraries a few years ago.Major publishers have mostly left their library licensing models intact since then, perhaps giving the library field a sense that this issue was settled.We suspect that Amazon is using indie sales to lower pricing while deeply discounting higher priced larger publisher content, as noted here by ‘Amazon Ebook Dollars by Discount from Digital List Price.’ We wonder if Amazon, and not libraries, is the source of any decline you may be seeing.”Potash pointed to Amazon as well.
Since Macmillan began offering its full catalog of ebooks to libraries in 2014, the publisher has seen “exponential growth” in library channel sales, Fritz Foy, president and publisher of Tor and Forge Books, told LJ last week.For example, on August 27, @Poly Librarian wrote a long thread detailing the nature of holds lists for ebooks, and discussing how library patrons spread the word about books and authors, concluding that “Tor’s embargo on library ebooks is many things. But also punishing to their own authors, who are now missing out on readers, potential new fans, potential sales, etc.Which translates to their own bottom line.”Tor and Macmillan have avoided engaging with librarians on social media about the test.However, “we’ve always had some concerns about the impact that [library sales] might have on other channels.We saw a lot of indicators…of some level of cannibalization in both print and digital from a variety of different channels.”As Foy noted, determining the impact that library ebook lending has on the overall sales of a title is difficult to track.“We tried to identify within Macmillan…a stable group of titles, where we could pull them out of the mix, briefly, [and learn whether] the overall sales patterns of those books would change at all,” he said.
Based on results Over Drive has measured following promotions like its Big Library Read events, Potash seems certain that the Panorama Project will help prove that libraries can have a positive impact on publisher sales.“There have been some dramatic success stories,” he said.