Why Isn’t the ebook You Want Available for Checkout from the Highland Park Public Library?
You may have noticed that while My Media Mall and 3M offer you older books from some of your favorite authors, many of their newest titles are not available. In fact, some authors can't be found in My Media Mall and 3M at all. There are several reasons why:
While the Library would very much like to offer these and other titles to you, publishers’ policies are preventing us from doing so.
Unlike consumers, the Library cannot purchase ebooks from Amazon or Barnes & Noble and then lend them out to a third party.
Libraries can buy a print book from publishers and lend it out, but digital content is being treated differently by publishers and the companies who manage digital content licensing.
What does each publisher offer to libraries?
Hachette: Full catalog, released simultaneously with print, ebooks will cost 300% more than the print book. Unlimited number of checkouts, one copy per user model.
Simon & Schuster: started a 1-year pilot project on April 30 with New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and the Queens Library. Full catalog, a one year purchase/lease, unlimited checkouts, one copy per user model.
Macmillan: 1,200 backlist ebooks from its Minotaur Books imprint. Two year, 52-lends lease model. Ebooks cost $25.
Random House: Entire catalogue available for “perpetual access” at a higher price to libraries (upwards of 300% over the print book cost).
Penguin: all titles available, one-year licenses. Not available in OverDrive.
HarperCollins: 26 checkouts per title lease model.
Here is a list of the major ebook vendors, and what they offer in relation to the Big Six publishers:
Simon & Schuster (for now only the NYC-area)
No Kindle formats
doesn’t have Penguin or Simon & Schuster
OverDrive has Kindle versions of some titles
At this point all Big Six publishers are willing and able to sell at least some ebooks to at least some libraries. With varying models and price points:
Checkout models include: unlimited use, 26 checkouts per book, or 52 checkouts per book.
Time limits include: No year limits, one year limits, and two year limits per book
Title availability includes: All titles available, some titles available, hardly any title available.
Pricing: an even $25, a variety of more normal pricing. And two publishers who markup ebooks by 300%.
So What Can I Do About It?
You can contact each publisher to let them know what you think. You can also contact individual authors through their publishers at these addresses.
Hachette Book Group
466 Lexington Ave., #131
New York, NY 10017
10 East 53rd St.
New York, NY 10022
75 Varick St.
New York, NY 10013
375 Hudson St.
New York, NY 10014
New York, NY 10019
Customer service webform: http://www.randomhouse.com/about/faq/index.php?ToDo=contact
New York, NY 10012
Customer service web form: http://scholastic.custhelp.com/app/ask
Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
Customer service web form: http://simonandschuster.com/about/contact_us
Revised June 2013