News Coverage of High E-book Prices

Our friends at the Canadian Urban Library Council (CULC) are again working to raise awareness of the high cost of e-books from the Big 5 in Canada and of the difficulty in accessing some audiobook content at all.

Although various e-book licensing models come in for appropriate criticism, cost remains a barrier to access: “the problem isn't necessarily the model but the price, she said. While a physical book might cost $22, it can cost the library $100 for a copy of the electronic version.

‘We face excessively high prices and restrictive models for these ebooks,’ she said.

The price continues to rise when libraries purchase multiple copies of an ebook -- and multiple forms of the same book, including hard and soft covers and audiobooks -- in an effort to shorten waitlists.

‘It's not a sustainable model. We're having trouble making sure we have all the content for our customers that they want to see,’ Day said.”

ReadersFirst happily draws attention to CULC’s concerns. These concerns are not new: RF has previously referred visitors to The failure of publishers to meet libraries continues to hinder readers from accessing valuable content.