Macmillan Publishers announced in September of last year that they were developing the infrastructure to start their library eBook initiative. Libraries all over the USA will be able to borrow Macmillan titles starting this March.
ALA President Maureen Sullivan said in a statement “I am so pleased Macmillan Publishers is beginning to sell e-books to America’s libraries so that we may connect their authors and our readers in the digital age. This is a welcome acknowledgment of our advocacy and the importance of the library market. We have always known that library lending encourages patrons to experiment by sampling new authors, topics and genres. This experimentation stimulates the market for books, with the library serving as a critical de facto discovery, promotion and awareness service for authors and publishers.
She went on to say that “Almost exactly one year ago, the ALA began this conversation with Macmillan CEO John Sargent and his leadership team, and regular communications have continued as the company stated it would launch its pilot last September. While today’s announcement is only a first step, we look forward to the release of more details about the pilot and continuing work together to bring even more Macmillan e-titles to libraries in the future.
Macmillan and Penguin both are now running eBook pilot programs. Many of their front-list titles are not available as both publishers gather data on trends and statistics. Almost all of the eBooks issued by both companies will have mainly backlist titles and seldom have anything new or on any bestseller list.
Update: Macmillan Released a statement just now. The pilot program is set to launch before the end of first quarter in 2013. Under the agency model, and working with multiple distributors, Macmillan will offer over 1,200 backlist eBooks from its Minotaur Books mystery and crime fiction imprint, a part of the St. Martins Publishing Group. The titles cover all sub-categories of crime fiction from thrillers to cozies, hard-boiled crime to psychological suspense and include many award winners. Once purchased by a library, the titles will be available to them to lend for 2 years or 52 lends, whichever comes first. All of the books in the program will have the same digital list price.
The titles will be available through a number of distributors, and at the launch through Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360 Digital Media Library, OverDrive and the 3M Cloud Library.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.