This is kind of a good news/bad news story. The good news is that Hachette is going to be offering its full catalog to libraries, including new releases. No windowing!
The other piece of good news is that the books won’t expire, unlike library books from HarperCollins, Penguin and Macmillan.
I really like the no-expiration part. I always fee a bit guilty when I check out a HarperCollins book, start it and realize I don’t like it. There went one of the 26 lends…
The bad news is the pricing, although it’s not all bad news, considering that the books won’t expire. The pricing will be three times the primary physical book price (likely to be the hardcover price for many new releases). One year after publication, the price will drop to one and a half times. After a year the primary book price will still likely be the full hardcover price, even though hardcovers that old will be selling from the bargain bin.
I think it’s mostly good news, though I do wish publishers would back down on their pricing or expiration strategies. Libraries are non-profits and often struggle financially. Giving them a break would be the right thing to do since many people discover new favorite authors from libraries. But unfortunately, publishers don’t always take the long view of things.