Hachette – the new Random House ?
I received an email from OverDrive this afternoon informing me that all Hachette titles will be increasing in price by approximately 220% as of midnight, September 30, 2012. I should have seen this coming, although I confess that I had hoped that it wouldn’t. Why not? Random House got away with it, so why shouldn’t Hachette take advantage of a captive audience as well! I look at the authors whose works will be skyrocketing – James Patterson, Nelson DeMille, Michael Connelly, Faye Kellerman, David Baldacci, Anita Shreve, Nicholas Sparks, Sandra Brown and many others. We’ve already lost access to all of the authors under the Penguin Publishing unbrella, and we certainly can’t afford to stop buying any bestsellers that are offered, no matter what the price may be.
Who will suffer the most from this outrageous cost hike – our library patrons, of course. Our budgets only stretch so far and we’re heading into the last quarter of our calendar year. Most of us were planning on purchasing additional e-books in anticipation of new patrons who are getting e-readers or tablets over the holidays. Now we’ll be unable to add as many titles as we had hoped, and the wait lists will grow to the point where our users will lose patience and just purchase the e-books from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Is this what the publishers are hoping to achieve?
The American Library Association has been in discussions with the publishers for months now, and we keep hearing that progress is being made in making presenting the library’s point of view. Perhaps that’s true, but if so, Hachette Publishing certainly wasn’t listening very well!