Wednesday, July 24, 2013

BPN 1647: Google starts e-book sales in the Netherlands (3)

No e-readers for the public library
Google will offer reading e-books which will be streamed in the near future. Google will find the Dutch public libraries on its way, as they are going to lease books.

Dutch public libraries, organised in the Foundation (BNL), have been talking for a long time to set up an e-book platform. It has taken a long time to position themselves as to the technical facilities, but also to get contracts with Dutch publishers.

The Dutch public libraries will lease e-books, but these will not be downloadable and will be unfit to be read on e-readers like Kindle, Bebook, Sony Ereader and Kobo. The books will be streamed and will be readable on laptops, desktop computers and tablets.

The Dutch publishers are not too keen to support the project, afraid as they are of cannibalising their print and e-book market. So the WPG Publishers Group will offer 1000 titles by the autumn, but the titles will be at least one to ten years old. But it is a nice selection from the canon of the Dutch literature, a spokesperson for the company noted. However has already more agreements with other Dutch publishers for leasing e-books through the library network.

The Dutch publishers will get compensation from the public libraries for digitising printed books to e-books, enough to cover the initial costs and they will receive on top a variable sum, according to the number of e-books leased.  

Public libraries are famous for lending books at a low annual charge. However e-books will not be covered by this annual charge. Library members will have to pay a surcharge of 20 euro a year and will be allowed to lease for that amount 18 e-books.

Ahead of the large platform, is already offering the members of the utch public libraries a holiday app for 50 e-books, available online, smart phones and on tablets, distributed by iTunes and Google Play Store.

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