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Simon & Schuster makes library deal

NEW YORK — The publisher of Stephen King, Bob Woodward, and other top-selling authors has changed its policy of withholding e-books from libraries.

Simon & Schuster announced a one-year pilot program Monday with three New York City library systems that cover the city’s five boroughs. Simon & Schuster had been the last of the ‘‘Big Six’’ publishers to keep its entire e-catalog off-limits to libraries. Publishers have worried that free library downloads could lead to lost sales, while libraries have advocated for the largest possible selection.

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‘‘We’ve been having conversations with libraries for a long time, trying to come up with something that we felt would work for us. And I think we finally found the key pieces,’’ Simon & Schuster’s president and CEO, Carolyn Reidy, said Monday.

One key piece: Allowing patrons to buy copies of a given book, with some of the proceeds going to the library.

Reidy said that any Simon & Schuster release, old or new, that’s available commercially as an e-book will be offered to libraries. Under the pilot system, libraries can only lend a copy of its e-book to one patron at a time.

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