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

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.