Now many public libraries want to lend e-books, not simply to patrons who come in to download, but to anybody with a reading device, a library card and an Internet connection. In this new reality, the only incentive to buy, rather than borrow, an e-book is the fact that the lent copy vanishes after a couple of weeks. As a result, many publishers currently refuse to sell e-books to public libraries.
Authors Guild president Scott Turow in his New York Times editorial last Sunday, which many in the publishing world have criticized for its negativity and defensiveness.
He claims to be looking out for the financial and creative interests of new and midlist authors, and yet, as I myself have pointed out, he fails to acknowledge how invested the American public library system is in launching writing careers. (First novels are always a draw for collection development librarians, and I market them aggressively.)
Turow is, how do you say, desperately out of touch with the opportunities of the digital age. Sad.
Wildly out of touch—and out of touch with the opportunities of the analog age? What does he think libraries have been up to all this time?