#ebooksos were dismayed to learn yesterday that Pearson Education UK intend to increase the price of their ebooks by 500% on December 6th. Pearson were one of the few publishers with ebook prices that mirrored their hardcopy prices. Librarians are now faced with just a week to review their Pearson ebook licence holdings before the huge price rise. With many libraries having budgeted for the year ahead already, the timing of this increase pulls the rug from under the feet of those ever more thinly spread budgets.
It is exactly this type of unpredictable and inexplicable behaviour #ebooksos is campaigning against. Readers may remember when Pearson recently attempted to block libraries from printing and downloading any part of their ebooks, a move that was contrary to copyright legislation https://academicebookinvestigation.org/2021/05/14/victory-on-ebook-restrictions/
This decision was reversed following challenges by librarians. Pearson appears to be in a state of chaos which has adverse knock on effects on libraries and learning.
Pearson have provided no explanation for the price increases change beyond
“we will be launching revised library pricing and access models to align with the new realities of the ebook market”
Librarians have come to their own conclusions using the #ebooksos hashtag on Twitter
Remember, due to the licencing models, libraries DO NOT OWN these ebooks which makes collection development even more precarious. It is becoming increasingly obvious that legislation needs to change to address this as it is currently not fit for purpose for the digital age.
We encourage everyone to continue signing and sharing our open letter as we continue to press Competition and Market Authority to investigate the unwieldy ebook market.