Two Articles from PW about Tor's E-book Widowing: Take Actiom

Two articles have recently appeared in Publisher's Weekly about the Tor/Macmillan decision to "widow" library e-books for four months after the public has access.

One is from Sari Feldman, former ALA President, initial leader of ALA's Digital Content Working Group (DCWG), and ALA’s Digital Content Fellow:

RF supports her suggestion that--in spite of the efforts of individual advocates, including many members of our RF Working Group--libraries as a whole have nodded off on e-book advocacy. Few of the DCWG's efforts were continued after it was disbanded for not fitting long-term into ALA's structure. We agree that Tor's decision needs to be a wake-up call for group action.  Why not start by joining the Canadian Urban Library Council (and soon Urban Library Council and may others) in writing a letter?  CULC's website has great examples, with the names and addresses you need:  

In the second, Andrew Albanese provides evidence to dispute Tor's claims that library e-book sales are significantly harming big publisher revenues, leading to questions many of us are asking:  "Is this a Tor 'test' being done with Macmillan’s permission? Or is it a Macmillan test using Tor? And what exactly is being tested by treating e-book readers differently in libraries than print readers? What’s the purpose of an embargo for new titles for the first four months?" Mr. Albanese had talked with other publishers as well, and gives a good overview of their replies. [Full disclosure:  members of RF Working Group have provided information for this article.]

Tor/Macmillan are refusing comment. Exactly what their aim (since their unsupported claim of lost sales to libraries rings hollow) is can only be guessed.  But it is time for actin.  A letter to is a great start, but should a PR campaign by libraries aimed at readers and judicious use (or withholding!) of our buying power follow, coupled with renewed industry-wide advocacy?


Thanks to Ms. Feldman and Mr. Albanese for their excellent work.