Digital Book World has a ten minute video interview with Brian Murray, CEO of HarperCollins, where he talks about how the publisher is experimenting with new business models in the digital age. It’s worth watching the full interview, but this is what he has to say about HarperCollins’ controversial library lending policy:
Libraries are a really important channel for HarperCollins. We’ve talked about discovery of books and libraries are where a lot of discovery happens in many communities across the country. So HarperCollins is committed to that library channel. The challenge is that we’re trying to balance the needs of all of our stakeholders. So librarians and their patrons are stakeholders, as are authors, and as are booksellers. As this business transitions from physical to digital, it’s forcing us to think about different business models and try to make sure that all of those stakeholders have a role to play in the future. So when we were looking at the library channel, the idea of having almost a subscription model is actually a unique business model. Right now, it is the only channel where we have offered this kind of business model. We’re struggling to find the right business model that can work for libraries. The rationale behind it was, “let’s find something that’s unique and different that libraries might adopt,” and we put it out there and we’re now listening to everyone to see what they have to say. We’re going to continue to listen over the coming months and we encourage librarians to try it to see if it works.
Read and view more at DigitalBookWorld.com