Posted in Book Talk

Macmillan realizes now is a time for generosity, not greed

Below is the entirety of the notice Macmillan Publishing gave on March 17th stating that they are stopping the eBook embargo on libraries! What’s heavily implied in this short statement are the words “for now,” so there may still be future issues. Still, I appreciate the fact that they acknowledge that their restrictions are incredibly harmful with COVID-19 requiring libraries to be digital-only for months. Frankly, if they hadn’t, I would have been more disappointed in the company than for the embargo in the first place.

From John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan

The Background

In November 2019, Macmillan Publishing began a restriction that libraries could only purchase one copy of a new release in the first two months after its publish date. After the eight-week wait, they would be allowed to purchase more. Their goal in doing this, based on thier 4-month test with the Tor imprint, was to help boost sales and bestseller performance which is typically highest in the two months after release. The idea was that libraries purchasing a single copy (even at a drastically inflated price) which many readers were then able to access deprived the publisher of the revenue that would otherwise be gained from those readers purchasing copies of their own.

“Libraries are not competitors with publishers; we are collaborators. This is true, but we are also, first and foremost, important customers.”

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