Simon & Schuster Agrees to Sell AIR 2013 eBook Edition to Libraries
Simon & Schuster, publisher of this year’s All Iowa Reads 2013 winner “The Year We Left Home” by Jean Thompson, made an exception to their current national eBook sales policy for libraries.
On Monday December 3, Wendy Sheanin (Director of Marketing and Adult Publishing Group at Simon & Schuster) notified the Iowa Center for the Book that “The Year We Left Home” will be on sale as an eBook on January 1, 2013 and available from OverDrive, a leading full-service digital distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, and other digital content.
Sheanin worked with AIR Committee members Nancy Simpson and Robin Martin to make it possible. “Wendy had the courage to approach the people who count and propose an important change…she risked a good deal by standing up for Iowa’s program,” said Simpson.
Sheanin noted early on in the deliberations, “We do not have a large-print edition of 'The Year We Left Home.' We are in a little bit of limbo about having the ebook available in libraries. This is not our policy as a general rule, but I've spoken to my colleagues about the impact of 'The Year We Left Home' being chosen for All Iowa Reads and how that is an important component."
“I am so relieved,” said Martin. “Making the AIR book available in multiple formats is essential to our program’s success. With the changes in the publishing industry, we can no longer depend on large print as an option for special needs readers. eBooks offer an alternative when users can adjust the size of text to their needs. When we found out that Simon & Schuster did not sell ebooks to libraries, my heart sank. We were on a mission from that day forward."
Simpson and Martin provided answers to a series of questions asked by S&S such as the history of the AIR program (now in its 11th year), how many Iowans read the AIR selection, how many copies are sold, names of past AIR titles, circulation numbers. “We gave the data we have,” said Martin. “While we don’t know the exact number of circulations of our selections, we do know that Iowa libraries own a total of 300 to 400 copies of each of the previous AIR titles. At least 100 libraries hold AIR book discussions annually. We were able to persuade Wendy of the impact that All Iowa Reads has had on our communities thanks to the feedback from Iowa librarians and individuals who participate. We are grateful to Simon & Schuster for listening and making this change on behalf of Iowa's program."
An instructional program to introduce librarians to the AIR 2013 title will be held January 15, 2013. “Instead of presenting over the ICN this year, we will broadcast via a Webinar,” said Martin. “The time seems right for yet one more change that we hope will help as many librarians as possible prepare discussion programs of 'The Year We Left Home' in the coming year.”