Is E-book Lending Bad News for Authors and Publishers?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

The past two days we’ve looked at e-book lending options for libraries. In today’s installment, author Author Marcus Sakey, notes, “As an author, I make my living when people buy my books. For that reason, it’s hard for me to come out gung-ho for lending. I don’t mind it as a way to sample my work, but ultimately I hope you choose to buy. Here’s the upside, though: e-books are cheap, and getting cheaper, which I love. My preference would be to do away with digital lending, and instead continue to lower the price point of e-books.” The implication is that if e-book lending becomes more easy and commonplace, that authors and, by extension, publishers will risk suffering fewer sales.

Do you agree with Sakey? Is his self interest getting in the way of the public good? Or does he have a valid and important point?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

Edward Nawotka is the Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. A former foreign correspondent, he has covered the book business since 2000, serving as daily news editor for Publishers Weekly and columnist for Bloomberg News.