Hachette US to make new e-books available to libraries

Hachette US will make its digital catalogue of more than 5,000 books available to libraries for the first time since after stopping new releases becoming available in 2010.

The change will mean all new titles will become available, as well as books released digitally in the past three years. E-books will be priced at three times the price of the physical version of the book, and will be available to one user at a time. One year after the initial publication, the price will be halved to 1.5 times the physical price, Publishers Marketplace reports.

Hachette Book Group c.e.o. Michael Pietsch said in an announcement: “I grew up in public libraries and appreciate deeply their importance to readers hungry for more. Hachette Book Group believes strongly in supporting the availability of books in all formats to library users, in ways that recognize the importance and value of authors' works.”

New York Public Library president Anthony Marx celebrated the move in a New York Times piece, and said: “We have every interest in seeing that publishers remain sustainable enterprises and that authors are paid fairly for their work. But those economic imperatives must be considered alongside the role of libraries in a democratic society. The challenge is to ensure that the information revolution provides more, not less, access for the public.”