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Macmillan Publishing’s New EBook Release Policy Will Delay Customer Access


October 11, 2019

Due to a new policy related to eBooks that was recently announced by Macmillan Publishers, libraries nationwide, including Mid-Continent Public Library, will be limited to a single copy of new eBook titles during the first eight weeks following their release. The policy goes into effect on November 1, 2019.

Library Director Steve Potter was interviewed by 41 Action News on Saturday, September 28 about this issue that will affect many of our customers.  

We understand that Macmillan’s new policy will cause many MCPL customers to experience a minimum of an eight-week delay in receiving access to popular eBook titles.  

MCPL will purchase embargoed Macmillan titles as they become available to the Library, and following the embargo will add additional copies to do our best to accommodate customer requests.

These are a few of the authors that may be impacted by Macmillan Publishers’ policy:

  • Cherry Adair
  • Piers Anthony
  • Jeffrey Archer
  • C.J. Box  
  • Ben Bova
  • Rhys Bowen  
  • Meg Cabot  
  • Lee Child
  • Tom Clancy
  • Michael Connelly  
  • Janet Evanovich  
  • Kristin Hannah  
  • Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Stephen King
  • Laurie R. King  
  • George R. R. Martin  
  • Liane Moriarty  
  • Richard North Patterson  
  • Louise Penny  
  • J. D. Robb/Nora Roberts 
  • Karin Slaughter  
  • J. R. Ward  

See the full lists of authors whose new releases will be affected.

How can you help?

To support MCPL’s and other libraries’ rights to purchase newly released eBooks for their customers, visit and sign the American Library Association’s online petition. If you choose to post about this topic on social media please include #eBooksforAll so that ALA can include your comment. 


Macmillan’s approach is ridiculous. As long as the do this I will not purchase a Macmillan book. Example, I read my first Taylor Jenkins Reid book in March 2019 through the library. I loved it - Daisy Jones and the Six - so much, I bought it. Then I bought 5 more books by this author. Public Libraries expose me to new authors that I would otherwise not consider.

From Marlee Davis (not verified)
Fri, 11/01/2019 - 06:09pm

E books should be available to all at the same time.

From Pat McCarthy (not verified)
Fri, 11/01/2019 - 08:56pm

As a tax payer who is obligated to support local public libraries I feel we have to right to have more access to ebooks.

From Antonia Andrews (not verified)
Sat, 11/02/2019 - 12:09pm

Please lift the embargo against libraries.

From Meta Smith (not verified)
Sat, 11/02/2019 - 07:39pm

Wow, well I can no longer access Sherrilyn Kenyon, title rented.

From Andrea I (not verified)
Sun, 11/03/2019 - 09:15pm

This is all about trying to sell more books and have people not utilize libraries. Who ought to be protesting are the authors themselves. Libraries aren’t restricted in purchasing volumes in hard copy; they should not be restricted by providing ebooks either. This is about greed, by the publisher and the authors.

From Nancy (not verified)
Mon, 11/04/2019 - 08:48pm

I am transcribing information I found on a different library system and I feel it is important to share regarding the drastic difference in this is gouging:

CITY OF GIRLS by Elizabeth Gilbert
List Price: $28.00
Amazon Book Price: $17.00
Amazon eBook Price $15.00
Library Book Price: $15.00 (plus processing charges)
Library eBook Price.....[are you ready for this...] $55.00. (AND....this is for 24 months, it must be re-purchased....)

List Price: $45.00
Amazon Audiobook Price: $34.00
Audible Download Price $28.00
Library Audiobook Price: $40.00
Library eAudiobook Price: $95.00

(prices as of August 2019)

From Lisa Dewey (not verified)
Sun, 11/10/2019 - 11:45am

Everyone desvres a chance to read. Mot only is this ethically questionable, you are denying people the magic of reading just for more money. Shame.ONE ebook and, say, 1000 people... it's NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. NO ONE can wait that long. Be honest, dear publishers. This is basiclly not letting libary users not have the book they want for months. Reading isn't something to be expolited. It isn't something to force high prices on because of too-long wait lists, denyning poor people books because they can't buy the insanly overpriced hardbacks. It's sometimthing that belongs to everyone. Something to share. The libary isn't something to be bought or sold, and the publishers are just turning reading into another way of revune, and nothing else. But reading has always been so much more.

This is a fight for the readers, each and every one. So join the fight at #ebooksforall.


From MCPL ebook user (not verified)
Sat, 11/30/2019 - 12:49pm

Greed, just pure greed

From Bill thorne (not verified)
Mon, 12/02/2019 - 05:55pm

This is absolutely heartbreaking to learn about. Macmillan Publishers' is actually stealing from all of our communities'. They are taking the right to free knowledge and the magic of a story from our children's minds.

This is one of the saddest, most selfish policies put in place to earn some extra money.

I truly hope our voices and disappointment are heard.

#MacmillanPublishersNoMore #ebooksforall

From Emely (not verified)
Mon, 12/09/2019 - 09:23pm

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