Advice needed: scanning for local history titles

This came through on the archives jiscmail list. What do people think?

I’ve been approached by an author who is producing a picture book for a local history firm.

Generally I’m happy to scan images for  locally produced history books within reason. In the past we would have negotiated a contract with such a publisher ourselves but we no longer have the resources. For local authors, in lieu of a reproduction charge, I request a free copy of the title for each image used or perhaps a discount in purchasing copies for the library or resale.

This time the author is looking for us to provide up to 120 scans. This is unreasonable in my view. I’m aware that the publishers won’t provide any funding for reproduction charges and this leaves authors in a difficult position. He has negotiated I believe for 10 free copies of the title – too little in my opinion. He has offered to scan them himself but we don’t allow that.

I’d like to find a compromise– this is a lot of work for us, few staff as usual and with a big digitisation project of our own.

Any suggestions?