One of the largest publishing companies, Macmillan Publishers and their CEO John Sargent, has enacted a sales embargo on eBooks sold to libraries.
What is Macmillan doing?
Earlier this fall, we received the following message from Macmillan:
“As of November 1, ‘library systems’ will now be allowed to purchase a single – that is, one – perpetual access e-book during the first eight weeks of publication for each new Macmillan release, at half price ($30). Additional copies will then be available at full price (generally $60 for new releases) after the eight-week window has passed. All other terms remain the same: e-book licenses will continue to be metered for two years or 52 lends, whichever comes first, on a one copy/one user model.”
How does this affect you?
Unfortunately, this means that if you place a hold on a new Macmillan e-book in the NH Downloadable Books service (aka Libby and Overdrive), you will have to wait much longer for your hold to be filled. The Bedford Public Library in cooperation with the other GMILCS libraries also provides e-books through the CloudLibrary service. The consortium can only purchase one initial copy, so wait times for Macmillan e-books in Cloud Library will increase as well. This embargo also impacts visually impaired users who rely on e-books for print access.
What is the Bedford Public Library doing?
For the moment, we are joining protests with the New Hampshire Library Association and the American Library Association. Dialogue still continues about how to best educate our readers about this action, and several states and their attorney generals, library consortiums, and large city libraries are exploring legal action against Macmillan Publishers. We realize that readers will not have timely access to digital copies of some popular Macmillan titles and authors. We believe this unfair model goes against everything libraries stand for: equitable access to information.
If you are concerned about Macmillan’s actions, you may sign the American Library Association’s petition at ebooksforall.org.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact library director Mary Ann Senatro at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bedford Public Library