Tag: macmillan

Public Library Responds to Macmillan’s E-Book Controversy

In a draft of a memo sent to Macmillan authors, CEO of the publishing giant, John Sargent, wrote of a new plan to increase revenue made through e-book lending at libraries. “To balance the great importance of libraries with the value of [authors’] work,” Macmillan plans to sell only one copy of any newly-released e-book at $30 to any library. Libraries will then have to wait two months after the title’s release to purchase additional copies at $60.

For those of you who aren’t fluent in corporate-speak, this means Macmillan is essentially trying to squeeze more money out of libraries that already face overly-complicated licensing policies for e-books.

 

Seattle Public Library

Seattle Public LIbrary, Image via Thestranger.com

 

In some sense, this new arrangement should come as no surprise. E-books represent a dramatic challenge to the library lending model, and Sargent notes that digital lending is inherently more seamless and involves less friction than its physical counterpart. After all, what’s easier for the reader: traveling to a physical location to check out and return a physical copy or merely downloading an e-book from a library’s database? Still, these proposed changes which are scheduled to come in to effect November 1st have angered quite a few public libraries.

 

 

Marcellus Turner, chief librarian of the Seattle Public Library, chose to  respond to these changes in a statement on the library’s website.

 

Marcellus Turner

Marcellus Turner, Image via the Seattle Public LIbrary

 

The gist of his response:

 

  1. Macmillan’s new policy will severely affect the ability of library’s in dense, urban areas to meet their visitors’ needs.
  2. The policy will disproportionately affect readers with limited resources.
  3. Major publishers already charge an increased rate for library copies of e-books, and licensing agreements for e-book lending are already complicated. This change from Macmillan represents an even more restrictive shift in the publishing industry.

 

Turner ends his message by explaining that public libraries are highly committed to providing access for those that most need it, but Macmillan’s new policy makes that commitment much harder to maintain.

 

Andrew Harbison, assistant director of collections at access at the Seattle Public Library

Image Via Library as Incubator Project

 

In an interview with TheStranger.com, Andrew Harbison, assistant director of collections at access at SPL, took issue with Sargent’s claim that e-book lending cannibalizes e-book sales. Though the lending model may need to be re-examined, Harbison contended e-book lending may actually boost sales by “retaining, maintaining, and advocating for a robust reading culture.” Harbison also argued this change will reduce the quality of the collection a library can build, ultimately harming readers who depend on library services.

What do you think? Are Macmillan Publishers in the right for prioritizing their bottom line? Or should libraries be thought of as a public good rather than a money-making tool? Let us know on Facebook and Instagram!

 

 

Featured images via TheStranger.com and Seattle Public Library

Macmillan Reconsiders its Library E-Book Policy

Some book publishers are rethinking the way they distribute their e-books to public libraries. Thanks to the convention of digital-book borrowing apps, many readers are able to read new titles on their tablets without having to wait for a physical book to be returned. This is especially relevant when big releases such as Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury and James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty are in popular demand. Readers flocked to these books the second that they hit the shelves, so digital book-borrowing apps became extremely convenient for those that wanted to rent the book without having to wait.

However, Macmillan, who published both Wolff and Comey’s books, are not as thrilled. With such widespread access to their most popular books, the company believes that they’re losing potential sales.

“Library reads are currently 45% of our total digital book reads in the U.S. and growing,” Macmillan Chief Executive John Sargent told The Wall Street Journal. “They are cannibalizing our digital sales.”

 

 

It is for this reason that Macmillan plans to limit each library system’s access to one digital copy of each new book it publishes in the first eight weeks of the book’s release. The action is set to take place on November 1st, and the hope is that more people will be inclined to purchase new books, instead of easily renting them.

 

Image via Google Play

 

Steve Potash, chief executive of Rakuten OverDrive, a digital distributor of e-books, replied to Macmillan’s move: “It will create a backlash against Macmillan books and their authors. Libraries encourage and showcase authors to readers. Now libraries will have a hard time doing that for Macmillan.”

Whether the decision to rubberneck e-book copies is fruitful or not is yet to be seen. However, for those of you digital-book borrowers out there, be prepared to wait for Macmillan’s new releasesor at least be prepared to fork over the money to buy a copy for yourself.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Engadget

James Comey

James Comey, Former FBI Director, Will Release Book About “Ethical Leadership”

James Comey sure knows how to make headlines. Between his investigations into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, and possible Russian collusion in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Comey has become a household name. 

 

Publishers have taken notice. Flatiron Books will release Comey’s currently untitled book, which is expected to be finished in spring 2018.

 

Flatiron says the book will explore “what good, ethical leadership looks like and how it drives sound decisions.” This may raise eyebrows on the left and right, as his decisions as FBI director were not without controversy. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have taken issue with Comey’s decision-making over the past year.

 

James Comey and Donald Trump shaking hands.

via CNBC

 

The book will contain “yet-unheard anecdotes from his long and distinguished career.” His career stretches back much further than his position as FBI director. He also served as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and the U.S. deputy attorney general during George W. Bush’s presidency.

 

James Comey and Barack Obama

via CBC

 

Comey’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearing last month attracted 19.5 million viewers, and was dubbed “Washington’s Super Bowl.” During that hearing, Comey put on full display his extreme attention to detail. It will be fascinating to hear some of his currently unheard anecdotes, though, he will not be able to share classified information.

 

Feature image courtesy of Politico.