Publisher speeds up e-book access for libraries

NEW YORK — The publisher of Khaled Hosseini, Harlan Coben and other popular authors has decided that it’s comfortable with letting libraries offer e-book editions of brand new releases.

Penguin Group (USA) tells The Associated Press that starting Tuesday, libraries can offer the publisher’s e-books at the same time that the hardcover comes out. The previous policy called for a six-month delay. While vastly more e-books are available to libraries compared with a few years ago, Penguin and other publishers have limited digital access for fear of losing sales.

But Penguin’s director of online sales and marketing, Tim McCall, said Wednesday that the effect of library downloads on overall revenues has been acceptable and that the publisher was comfortable with making new releases available.

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