Ever wonder why many of your favorite authors aren’t available in an eBook format at Boulder Public Library? Six publishers carry the majority of popular authors—but their policies on selling eBooks to libraries are all different. We purchase what we can, but many titles are not available.
Publishers are limiting your access to ebooks from the library by:
- NOT issuing eBooks or eAudiobooks in the formats you need
- NOT publishing certain authors in ANY eFormat
- NOT producing all of the titles in a series in eFormats
- HIKING prices for eBooks, in some cases tripling the cost
- LIMITING check-outs for eBooks
Specific Publisher Policies
- Like Orson Scott Card, the Hungry Girls series, and Tatiana de Rosnay?
Their publisher, MacMillan Publishing, does not sell to libraries at all.
- Like James Patterson, Don Winslow, and Pseudonymous Bosch?
Their publisher, Hachette Book Group, sells limited eBooks to libraries—and those three authors are NOT included in what they’ll sell to us.
- Like Jodi Picoult, Mary Higgins Clark, Stephen King, Jeffery Deaver, or Glenn Beck?
Their publisher, Simon and Schuster, does not sell eBooks to libraries. (The popular new Steve Jobs biography is also a Simon and Schuster title.)
- Like Lee Child, Anne Lamott, and Clive Cussler?
Their publisher, Penguin Group, formerly sold to libraries, but it has some authors for which it has never sold eBooks. Last November, Penguin decided to stop selling new titles to libraries, but agreed to continue selling copies of titles libraries already owned. It revised that decision in early February and gave libraries across the country until the end of the day to order titles before it would stop selling to libraries altogether.
- Like John Grisham, Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, Stephen Hawking, Margaret Atwood, Danielle Steel, and John Gleick?
Their publisher, Random House recently tripled the prices for its eBook titles. Some cookbooks are $85 each now and a collection of the Dean Koontz “Frankenstein” stories is $119.
- Like Meg Cabot, Diane Mott Davidson, S.J. Watson, Lauren Oliver, C.S. Lewis, and L.J. Smith?
Their publisher, Harper Collins, began licensing use of each eBook copy for a maximum of 26 loans in March of 2011.
Want to learn more?
Here are a few articles with more information:
- Publishers vs. Libraries: An E-Book Tug of War, New York Times
- Ebook Publishers Want Library Borrowing to Be Difficult, PC World
- Library Wars: Amazon and Publishers Vie for Control of E-Book Rentals, The Atlantic
- A Guide to Publishers in the Library Ebook Market, Library Journal's Digital Shift