Downloads Blog

At Night We Walk In Circles book cover
Marin County Free Library is excited to participate in One Book One Marin 2015, to read and discuss this year’s book selection, At Night We Walk in Circles by Daniel Alarcón, a finalist for the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction....

Why aren’t all eBooks available as Library eBooks?

The “Big Five” publishers put limitations on sales of eBooks to libraries and often increase the prices to libraries and consortia.  Here’s what the market looks like right now:

  • Hachette: The initial purchase price for an eBook is three times the hardcover price. They also do not make their full range of eBooks available to consortia like MARINet.
  • HarperCollins: Limits eBooks to 26 checkouts.  Libraries then have to repurchase content for continued access.
  • MacMillan: Library eBooks can circulate for one year or 52 check-outs; whichever comes first. Additionally, they have only recently begun selling eBooks to library consortia such as MARINet.
  • Penguin Random House: Increased its pricing on many Random House titles by 300%. Penguin titles much be repurchased on an annual basis.
  • Simon and Schuster: Is making their entire catalog available, but requires libraries to repurchase content on an annual basis. 

Patrons can purchase bestselling titles, such as Jodi Picoult’s Leaving Time, for as little as $10.99. A library edition of the same eBook is currently for sale for $84.00. That kind of price mark-up is standard in the library eBook market at this time.

For more information, the American Library Association provides regular updates: