S&S CEO on Ebooks in Libraries; Size of Ebook Market

Simon and Schuster is one of the two publishers in the Big Six that do not sell ebooks to libraries (Macmillan is the other one). In a public interview yesterday, Carolyn Reidy, CEO of the company, indicated that is not likely to change soon. As reported on TeleRead, she said, “We don’t yet sell ebooks to libraries because haven’t found a business model that they are happy with…[we] have met with various people about library solutions but haven’t found one yet.”

This serves to further highlight what we wrote earlier, that librarians concerned about their ability to circulate ebooks need to look beyond the change in HarperCollins’ policy (LJ’s Editor-in-Chief, Francine Fialkoff also addresses this issue in yesterday’s editorial, “It’s Not About HarperCollins“).

Ebook Sales

Information on sales of ebooks has been dominated by Kindle hype (at MidWinter, several librarians were using the term “anecdata” for the kind of information generally available). The view from a publisher is valuable because it is less likely to be influenced by the desire to sell hardware. Reidy said that ebooks are  “now 15 – 20 % of units,” sold (she was not able to be definitive because B&N had some reporting problems early in the year) and that she expects that number to be 50% in five years.

Earlier this week, Hachette Livre reported to the UK publication, The Bookseller, that for their US division (which includes imprints Little, Brown and Grand Central), ebooks are now 23% of sales volume and, since the beginning of the year, they represent 8 to 10% in terms of dollars (Reidy did not have information on S&S’s dollar sales).

One Response to “S&S CEO on Ebooks in Libraries; Size of Ebook Market”

  1. Carol Brown Says:

    I do not believe libraries should necessarily boycott publishers who do not have favorable ebook policies. However, I feel that promoting books and authors from those publishers is foolish. I would suggest the major library review sources chose not to review books from those sources. This would severely limit purchases of multiple tiles by libraries. It is not that the publishers disagree with librarians but that they are not actively sitting down with the ALA and working to create an equitable model for library ebook purchases. They are putting our work in jeopardy after so many libraries have been in the forefront of promoting books, authors, and the written word. Shame on Macmillan, Simon & Shuster, Carolyn Reidy and HarperCollins. I guess publishing is all about the money and not about the written word!