Login

Macmillan will soon sell its ebooks to libraries for the first time

kindle ibooks

Macmillan, one of the "Big Six" publishers, will start selling ebooks to libraries in the next few months. In a statement, the company detailed a pilot program that would distribute 1,200 backlisted titles from the Minotaur crime fiction imprint, the first time it's offered a library program. Like most other big publishers, though, the ebooks will come with restrictions: only one user at a time can check them out, and each copy will only last for 52 checkouts or two years, whichever comes first. As tight as that leash seems compared to physical books, it's still better than Penguin's one-year limit or the 26-checkout cap imposed by HarperCollins back in 2011. Library Journal reports that each title will sell for $25 a copy, not terribly expensive for library ebooks but still over twice as much as consumers would pay.

The American Library Association has praised the program, which it says has been the result of a year's worth of discussion between Macmillan and libraries. Libraries have proved one of the most difficult use cases for ebooks, which are simultaneously simple to replicate and extremely tightly controlled. Penguin has repeatedly vacillated over selling to libraries, and other publishers have raised prices steeply or imposed limits to make sure libraries will remain steady customers. While there are legitimate reasons for these controls, the blatantly artificial scarcity can seem absurd — especially as the need to constantly repurchase books could push libraries into favoring short-term demand over long-term access to information.

The Verge
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.