The Douglas County Library ebook price comparisons for March have been released (PDF file). This month’s are based on the New York Times Bestseller Lists. Of 30 titles, all 30 are available as library ebooks from OverDrive and 29 are available through 3M. So availability is not the issue, but cost remains the big concern. While most print books are available to libraries at a bit less than the discounted consumer cost at Amazon, these ebooks average five times the Amazon consumer price. This 5–1 ratio is a bit lower than ratios seen in recent months when a 6–1 ratio prevailed. The most likely reason for this change is the mix of titles and their individual prices, but we’ll be watching to see if this becomes a trend.
These high prices mean fewer titles available to our readers and fewer copies of the most popular titles available to meet demand.
ROBERT C. MAIER is a member of the ALA Digital Content Working Group.