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Amazon is keeping ebooks out of libraries because, hey, it likes money

The largest book retailer in the world is using its power to keep ebooks out of the hands of public libraries all over the country.

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Image: KnowTechie

The world’s largest book retailer and overall ecommerce giant Amazon won’t sell ebooks published by the company to local libraries, according to a recent report from The Washington Post.

The company has been publishing books since 2009, and in that time it has never allowed its ebooks to be sold to libraries for them to lend out. According to the article mentioned above, Amazon is the only big book publisher that does not sell ebooks to libraries.

The company seems to think the terms of selling ebooks to libraries are unfair. In an email correspondence with Nick Statt from The Washington Post, Mikyla Bruder, the publisher at Amazon Publishing, said:

“It’s not clear to us that current digital library lending models fairly balance the interests of authors and library patrons…We see this as an opportunity to invent a new approach to help expand readership and serve library patrons, while at the same time safeguarding author interests, including income and royalties.”

While Amazon does still sell physical copies of books to libraries, ebook rentals have become a vital part of keeping libraries going, especially since COVID-19. Libraries are often underfunded, and generally have to pay more for the right to lend books to the public. Not having access to over 10,000 ebook titles from popular authors such as Mindy Kaling or Trevor Noah has been and will continue to be crippling to local libraries across the country.

So, yeah. Amazon, the largest book retailer in the world, is using its power to keep the company’s ebook titles out of the hands of public libraries all over the country. This just goes to show how much influence companies like Amazon have over an entire market.

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