Are Libraries Bad for Authors? Part 2: Overdrive Fires Back!

It’s time for round two, folks, and Overdrive has come out swinging and swinging hard!

So, remember yesterday’s post on MacMillan? Who are, by the way, the owners of Tor (whoops as I actually missed that fact), the folks who last year decided to ban new releases of their books from libraries as libraries, they felt were the equivalent of piracy and book theft.

Yeah … Anyway, yesterday’s post on MacMillan’s announcement (and claims) was read by a many of you, if the site stats are any indication. Well, in that post, I called MacMillan’s numbers into question (mostly by bringing up the ridiculous price they’ve set for ebooks, and them being a market leader despite that, yet somehow claiming they can’t afford to pay their authors, and then attempting to blame libraries for that fact).

Today, it looks like I’m not the only one. You ready to read a verbal smackdown?

What am I saying. Of course you are.

And you’re in luck, because Steve Potash, the founder and CEO of Overdrive? He comes out in a bull rush of swings and delivers the hits. Even with the title, MacMillan Publishes a Work of Fiction, you can see that you’re in for a ride.

But here’s the thing … Unlike Sargent and MacMillan, Potash backs it up. Guy has numbers. Numbers that take the legs out from under Sargent’s weak, unsourced arguments.

See, Overdrive is one of the leading ebook lending programs from libraries. Which means that they have stats on books lent out. Potash can tell you the exact average number of reads a MacMillan book gets, versus how much MacMillan charged for that license and therefore how much they’re making off of each read.

So naturally, he does. And let’s just say the actual numbers paint a pretty poor picture of management over at MacMillan. If Sargent honestly believes any of what he’s saying (which, as Potash points out, he has to date not shown any evidence in favor of), then I would suggest that MacMillan is incredibly poorly managed and in severe need of new management at most levels.

But that’s just my opinion. In the meantime, you can check out Steve Potash’s devastating rebuttal MacMillan Publishes a Work of Fiction here. I, fact, I’d strongly encourage you to do so.

Have a happy weekend, everyone, and I’ll see you Monday for more of Being a Better Writer’s Summer of Cliche Writing Advice!

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