Book Publisher Macmillan Cancels Plan to Stifle Libraries

· Andrew Orr · Link

The Big Five book publishers had a plan to hurt consumers by imposing limitations on eBook licensing to libraries. One of them—Macmillan—is backing out.

There are times in life when differences should be put aside,” Macmillan CEO John Sargent wrote in a memo to librarians obtained by Publishers Weekly. “Effective on Friday (or whenever thereafter our wholesalers can effect the change), Macmillan will return to the library e-book pricing model that was in effect on Oct. 31, 2019. In addition, we will be lowering some ebook prices on a short term basis to help expand libraries collections in these difficult times. Stay safe.

You have literally no “differences” with libraries other than money. And implying that you’re doing this because of the coronavirus is, to put it politely, shady. Not to mention all the libraries boycotting Macmillan. No, this is entirely a gesture of good will because of “these difficult times.”

Book Publishers Artificially Limit eBook Lending in Libraries

· Andrew Orr · Link

Major book publishers impose limits on how libraries handle ebooks, with short-term licenses and contracts.

Because only one reader can check out an ebook at a time, and because the cost of licensing an ebook is prohibitively high for libraries to invest in hundreds of copies for every new title, library-goers have become accustomed to long waits to check out ebooks, particularly bestsellers. For publishers, that’s the point. If you have to wait weeks to check out a new ebook, you might just cruise on over to Amazon and pay $14.99 to have it delivered immediately to your Kindle or the Kindle app on your phone.

Expensive college textbooks and dumb eBook rules are two good examples of how ripe for disruption this space is. It’s also shortsighted. The point of digital media is to make it so easy to access that people don’t feel the need to pirate anymore. But practices like this is partly what drives people to pirate.

Dear Apple, Please Don't Give Up on iBooks Publishing

· Andrew Orr · Editorial

Andrew interviewed Bradley Metrock, CEO of Score Publishing. He shares Andrew’s enthusiasm for Apple Books, and feels that Apple isn’t doing enough to make it the best platform for authors and readers.