BookBrewer Library Lending Program

BookBrewer Library Lending Program
We all know that we owe a debt of gratitude to libraries. They help new writers get discovered, make books available to everyone regardless of their ability to pay, and preserve history in a way that can never be replaced.

When you think about your local library, the term "eBook" may not come immediately to mind, but it should. Most libraries now offer eBook lending to patrons in their communities, but they have a problem. They need more content. It's not uncommon for 100% of a library's eBook inventory to be checked out.

There's a reason for this. Current eBook library lending programs are very expensive for local libraries, and they can't keep up with demand. As just one example, the state of Kansas faced a 700% annual increase in fees last year, with other libraries reporting similar increases. These programs also require libraries to pay an annual fee for each book they lend out, something they don't need to do for print titles.

As a result of these opportunities and challenges, libraries are beginning to contact BookBrewer asking for the ability to buy copies of self-published eBooks which they can lend to patrons using their own licensed Digital Rights Management technology. DRM controls how many copies of a book a library can lend out at any one time -- just like with physical books. When demand for a specific book increases, they typically buy more copies of those books to respond to demand.

We're proud to accept a request from the Douglas County Libraries in Castle Rock, Colorado. From their letter: "Our goal is to replicate the current print-purchase model libraries have had with publishers like you for centuries with e-content ... we want to buy e-content from you." We think this is a great opportunity for both authors, and for the libraries, the most pro-author organizations around.


Libraries embracing small press or, in some cases, self-published materials = awesome. However, realistically not much that a website like this is publishing will belong in a typical library collection. A large scale effort to work with e-publishers would be great, but partnering with a few quasi-vanity presses is not likely to replace Overdrive. However, potentially a step in the right direction?

Note: I am a new reader, but I would prefer it if press releases were contextualized (i.e., a few sentences at the beginning stating that so-and-so has released a new product, and the following is their press release). Otherwise, it feels like I'm just reading an advertisement, not a news story.

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