Libraries Aren’t Pulling Any Punches When Explaining Publisher-Imposed Delays to Patrons

Macmillan’s new restrictions on library ebook sales went into effect on Friday, and OverDrive was ready.

Library patrons who reserve an ebook through the OverDrive Libby app are now being told that the Macmillan title they want to borrow is unavailable due to restrictions imposed by the publisher.

Macmillan’s new rules allow for libraries to only buy a single copy of a Macmillan title during the first 8 weeks after it is published. (The reason the libraries mentioned above have several copies but can’t buy more is that the 8-week window has also been imposed on books published in the past couple months.) That single copy costs a ridiculous $30, and not the punitive $60 that Macmillan usually charges for library ebooks.

image by brewbooks via Flickr

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Fbone3 November, 2019

    $30 for a perpetual copy is a good deal.

  2. […] some libraries are telling patrons that Macmillan's new restrictions are why its ebooks are not available, others are simply opting […]

  3. MKS5 November, 2019

    It’s probably not a perpetual copy. My recollection (and I’m too lazy today to look it up, Nate probably knows) is that publishers sell metered e-books to libraries that disappear after X number of loans.

  4. MKS5 November, 2019

    Here we go: “Every publisher is different, but the library rights to digital books typically expire after two years, or 52 lends. At that point, the library has to purchase another digital license for the ebook.”

    1. Nate Hoffelder5 November, 2019

      that first copy is perpetual – for now

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