Why doesn’t the York County Library
have more eBook titles?
Unlike printed books, ebooks are considered digital content and are treated differently by the
publishers and the companies who manage digital content licensing. Therefore, these companies will
not allow the library to provide certain ebooks.
Some authors might have more than one publisher due to contracts earlier in their careers, giving one publishing house the rights to new material and the original publishing house the rights to previous works. Sometimes authors negotiate the rights to all works through one publisher or their contract awards all print rights to a specific publisher, but they can hold on to electronic rights.
Audiobooks and e-audiobooks are governed by different principles than ebooks. The fact that they must be narrated makes for unique legal circumstances between the publisher, author, audio producer, and libraries.
The following is a list of the seven largest publishers, some of their popular authors, and their imprints, which are similar to a brand name and allow publishers to focus on different market segments.
Hachette does not sell their newest ebooks to libraries, but will sell titles published prior to April 2010.
Imprints: Little, Brown & Company, Grand Central Publishing (formerly Warner Books), and Orbit.
Authors: David Baldacci, James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, Stephenie Meyer, and Ted Dekker.
HarperCollins sells ebooks to libraries, but limits them to 26 checkouts before they must be repurchased to allow for further checkouts.
Imprints: Avon, William Morrow, Amistad, and Greenwillow.
Authors: Dorthea Benton Frank, J.A. Jance, Mary Daheim, Michael Crichton, and Dennis Lehane.
Macmillan does not sell ebooks to libraries, with the exception of their Palgrave Macmillan line of scholarly ebooks, but not their bestselling fiction.
Imprints: Farrar Straus and Giroux, Henry Holt & Company, St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur, and Tor.
Authors: Lisa Scottoline, Jeffrey Eugenides, Iris Johansen, Barbara Taylor Bradford, and Jeffrey Archer.
Penguin sold ebooks to libraries using OverDrive until February 2012. Libraries that purchased Penguin-published ebooks prior to that point can keep them, but cannot purchase new Penguin-published content.
Imprints: Dutton, Putnam, Viking, Berkley, Plume, Dial, Philomel, Puffin, and G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
Authors: Tom Clancy, Kathryn Stockett, Catherine Coulter, Nora Roberts, Luanne Rice, and Clive Cussler.
Random House sells ebooks to libraries, but at a cost of up to three times as much as a hardcover print book.
Imprints: Crown, Knopf, Ballantine, Bantam, Dell, and Doubleday.
Authors: Stieg Larsson, Dan Brown, Elmore Leonard, Danielle Steel, Janet Evanovich (with Macmillan until July 2010), and John Grisham.
Scholastic Corporation does not sell ebooks to libraries, with the exception of the Harry Potter series, whose ebook rights are held by the Pottermore website and were negotiated to be sold through OverDrive.
Imprints: Arthur A. Levine books, Little Scholastic, Graphix, and Klutz.
Authors: Tedd Arnold, Blue Balliett, Jim Benton, Meg Cabot, Patrick Carman, Suzanne Collins, Christopher Paul Curtis, Gordon Korman, Cynthia Lord, Ann M. Martin, Jon J Muth, Dav Pilkey, J.K. Rowling, Matthew Reinhart, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Allen Say, Brian Selznick, David Shannon, Jeff Smith, Maggie Stiefvater, Mark Teague, and Walter Wick.
Popular Series: Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, The 39 Clues, The Magic School Bus, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and Dear America.
Simon & Schuster does not sell ebooks to libraries.
Imprints: Atria, Aladdin paperbacks, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Gallery Books, Pocket Books, Pimsleur, and Scribner.
Authors: James Lee Burke, Richard Paul Evans, Mary Higgins Clark, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, and Jeffery Deaver.