However, it was the discovery of Wild’s publisher that brought up a much more pertinent question in this whole deal as it relates to libraries: what happens when Oprah picks a book that is from one of the Big Six publishers but is not from Random House or HarperCollins? In the case of a book choice from Hachette, MacMillan, Penguin, or Simon & Schuster (all of the publishers that do not allow library eBook lending), what happens to libraries and the digital edition? Without a doubt, these publishers would loveto get their book onto the Book Club 2.0 list. It’s a powerful Oprah-style publicity ride for their author and the book, capable of pushing books up the sales list as well as cementing an author onto the scene. It’s a prize to be won, for certain, since the rewards are quite lavish. It’s a no-brainer to say that the Oprah special digital edition will not be available for libraries if it is one of the four publishers mentioned.
When it comes to pass (and I will bet dollars to donuts that it will) that Oprah picks a book from a publisher that won’t allow library eBook lending, what will we do? We will have an excellent teachable moment and we can’t squander it.