Macmillan Publishers Limits Libraries’ Access to eBooks

Here’s the truth: Limiting access to new titles for libraries means limiting access for readers like you. -- #eBooksForAll

Beginning November 1, Macmillan Publishers will limit libraries - regardless of size - to purchase only one copy of each new eBook title for the first eight weeks after a book’s release.  Wait times for eBooks are already high; if we are limited to one copy during that two-month timeframe, wait times will soar.

Macmillan has accused libraries of “cannibalizing sales,” but libraries purchase multiple copies of eBooks often paying as much as four times the consumer price. (See Lauren's blog post on digital rights management (DRM) and eBook lending at libraries). In reality, libraries help publishers by providing exposure to authors, creating an awareness of new titles, and data shows that library users are also the buyers of books.

The Macmillan embargo will create barriers to access, especially to those customers with fewer resources who rely on the public library for access. Library customers, especially those with visual and other disabilities depend on eBooks for adjustable text size and spacing, and benefit from lightweight, easier-to-hold eReaders.

Everything we do at Denver Public Library begins and ends with providing access to all which is why we, along with the American Library Association, call for Macmillan to cancel this embargo.

Now, we invite you to take action.  Some 100,000 readers have added their name to a petition launched by the American Library Association and you can, too. Go to to sign the petition to call for Macmillan to reverse its policy.

Written by stacey on October 30, 2019