Less than a year after launching a pilot with its Minotaur Press imprint, Macmillan officials today confirmed that it will expand its library e-book offerings to include its entire e-book backlist, more than 11,000 titles. Alison Lazarus, president of Macmillan’s sales division, confirmed the news to PW, saying the decision to expand library lending was made as part of the publisher’s “ongoing evaluation of e-lending.”
Frontlist titles will not be included in the program at this time. Titles will be available to libraries through OverDrive, 3M and Baker & Taylor, and also Recorded Books. There were no reported changes in the model Macmillan uses or pricing at this time. Once purchased by a library, e-book titles will be available to lend for two years or 52 lends, whichever comes first, and titles in the pilot were priced at $25.
The expansion is more good news for libraries in the e-book realm. Matt Tempelis, 3M cloud library global business manager said the company was excited about Macmillan’s decision to expand access. “As you know, 3M has been involved in multiple pilots expanding publisher access and reach into library,” Temeplis told PW. “For 3M and our customers, it is more confirmation that the library digital lending business is accretive to publisher sales and margins.”
The Macmillan news is the latest expansion in library e-book lending in a year that has seen something of a breakthrough in icy publisher/library relations over e-books. Last month Penguin announced that it had reinstated more than 17,000 titles for lending through OverDrive. In May of this year, Hachette opened its entire catalog for lending. In April, Simon & Schuster, the final holdout in the library e-book market, launched a pilot with vendors 3M and Baker &Taylor.
Random House, whose e-book lending remains separate from Penguin following the merger of the two companies, continues to offer its entire catalogue for “perpetual access” at a higher price to libraries, while HarperCollins offers its e-books for around the same price as print, but for a 26-lend period before books must be re-purchased.