Macmillan Leaves Simon & Schuster Standing Alone
With each passing month, more ebooks are becoming available to libraries for purchase. Patrons are asking for them; librarians, in turn, are trying to get them from publishers; and publishers, sometimes reluctantly, are selling their ebooks to libraries.
Yesterday, Macmillan made good on its declaration from Sept. of last year to test selling ebooks to libraries. It will make 1,200 back-list titles available from its Minotaur mystery and crime imprint. They can be lent out 52 times or over two years – whichever comes first – before the library has to buy them again. They will cost libraries $25 each, about two-to-three times what they cost for consumers to buy them.
With this move, Macmillan joins other large publishers Hachette and Penguin, which both have ebook lending pilots. Two of the other big publishers, HarperCollins and Random House, already make their books available to libraries. Which leaves Simon & Schuster standing alone among the largest publishers.
To date, Simon & Schuster has exactly two books that it makes available to libraries for purchase. A spokesperson told Digital Book World in Dec., however, that the company is in talks with library representatives about its policy.
Most other publishers sell their ebooks to libraries, of course, but that generally goes unreported. For now, Macmillan will stand alone in praise for taking a few tentative steps toward what everyone else already does; and Simon & Schuster will stand more truly alone in its library ebook policy.
Related: American Library Association on DBW
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