Many of the so-called ‘Big Six’ publishers do not sell eBooks to libraries and those that do impose strict limitations. Here’s what the market looks like right now:
- Hachette: Recently increased their eBook pricing on their backlist by 104%. They do not currently sell front list titles to publishers, but are completing trials with the 3M Cloud Library and Baker & Taylor's Axis 360 to do so in the future.
- HarperCollins: Limits eBooks to 26 checkouts. Libraries then have to repurchase content for continued access.
- Penguin: Currently has an exclusive contract with 3M Cloud Library after ceasing ties with OverDrive, but does require libraries to repurchase content on an annual basis.
- MacMillan: Has launched an eBook pilot for libraries with OverDrive for 1,200 titles from their Minotaur imprint. eBooks can circulate for one year or 52 check-outs; whichever comes first. Additionally, they refuse to sell to library consortias, such as MARINet.
- Random House: Increased its pricing on most titles by 300%.
- Simon and Schuster: Has announced a pilot with 3M Cloud Library and are making their entire catalog available; but will require libraries to repurchase content on an annual basis.
Patrons can purchase bestselling titles, such as Debbie MacComber's Starting Now, for as little as $12.99. A library edition of the same eBook is currently for sale for $78.00. That kind of price mark-up is standard in the library eBook market at this time.