Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Library elending could cause ‘serious damage’ to booksellers, warns Booksellers Association CEO

In the UK, Booksellers Association CEO Tim Godfray has warned that free elending in libraries could cause ‘serious damage’ to the bookselling industry, reports the Bookseller. Speaking at a conference on academic and specialist publishing, Godfray said: ‘With free ebook lending, we are able to download a book for free without leaving the house. It is so easy. If it is so easy to get a book for free in this way, are you then going to go out of your house and buy a book from a bookshop on the high street in physical form?’ He added: ‘This has great potential for our whole infrastructure to be seriously damaged.’ A remote elending pilot program has been running in four UK library services since November, and has found that the practice leads to a ‘significant’ increase in borrowing but not in book buying. In a discussion on wider changes to the book industry, Godfray said the Booksellers Association estimates Amazon has a 90% share of the UK ebook market and a 70% share of the online bookselling market, including physical books.


Category: International news