Macmillan Changes - Info for patrons

On behalf of the WPLC Steering Committee, WPLC project managers have put together a Q&A for patrons about the Macmillan changes. Systems and libraries can use the below information to share directly with their patrons. This information was also sent out to the WPLC patron focus group (a group of over 5,000 Wisconsin Library patrons who have opted in to provide feedback to the WPLC).


For WPLC Patrons:

Macmillan is taking steps to limit libraries' purchasing of their ebooks and digital audiobooks for 8 weeks after titles are published. This change will impact how quickly you will be able to read any new titles from Macmillan in Wisconsin’s Digital Library.
We've prepared a brief Q&A below about the change.  We hope you'll take the time to read it, take action if you are so motivated, and share it with others.
Thank you, as always, for your support of Wisconsin’s Digital Library!


Q&A about Macmillan changes

What’s happening with Macmillan? 
Macmillan, one of the “Big 5” publishers in the United States and publisher to many best selling authors, including Stephen King and Nora Roberts, has decided to severely limit the number of e-book and digital audiobook copies that libraries are able to purchase in the first eight weeks after a title’s publication. This is called an “embargo.” After this embargo period, libraries will be able to provide full access to these titles, but at increased prices. 

What does this mean for Wisconsin's Digital Library patrons?
There will be extremely limited access to Macmillan titles the first eight weeks after publication. We will be allowed to purchase 16 copies of any title for the entire state.  Assuming two-week lending periods, only 84 patrons in Wisconsin will have the opportunity to read these titles during the first eight weeks.
Hold times for Macmillan titles will increase. Because there will be more unmet demand from the first eight weeks of publication, hold lines will be longer unless we choose to purchase many more copies of Macmillan titles. It’s unlikely that we will choose to spend more money with Macmillan, given their unfriendly policies toward libraries.  We want to invest money with publishers that support libraries and library patrons. We may be making purchasing choices to redirect money away from Macmillan. 

What can I do to help? 
The American Library Association (ALA) has a petition that you can sign to tell Macmillan you don’t agree with this policy. Visit to sign the petition and learn more.