- Associated Press - Friday, March 2, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - The American Library Association is urging Random House Inc. to reconsider its steep increases in the price of e-books for library wholesalers

Random House, the country’s largest trade publisher, announced earlier this week that wholesale charges for e-books would rise by more than 20 percent for new adult releases and more than double for new children’s books. Random House noted that e-books can be “repeatedly circulated without limitation,” unlike paper books, which eventually become worn or damaged.

The library association issued a statement Friday saying that libraries were enduring “extreme financial restraint,” which a major price hike would worsen. Other major publishers, including HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, have either limited e-books for libraries or made them entirely unavailable. Publishers are concerned that free downloads could cost them sales.

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