Library Suspends Purchasing Macmillan Ebooks

Macmillan ebooks not available

Macmillan ebooks not available due to restriction. Nora Roberts, JD Robb,
Louise Penny, C.J. Box, Mary Kay Andrews, Jeffrey Archer and more.

Macmillan ebooks: What You Need to Know

Macmillan, a major U.S. book publisher, is making significant changes to ebooks purchased by libraries. Beginning Nov 1, 2019, Macmillan Publishers will allow libraries to purchase only one copy of newly released ebooks for the first eight weeks after a book’s release. After eight weeks, libraries may purchase additional copies at a higher price for a 2-year term limit.

Beginning Nov 1, the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, along with several other major public libraries, will suspend purchasing of Macmillan ebooks. We have also decided not to re-purchase backlist Macmillan ebooks requiring a renewal to continue access.

This is a mission-driven decision. Our mission is to spark curiosity and connect our community through literacy and learning. We believe Macmillan’s decision to restrict access to new titles available to library readers is in opposition to our core value of providing free and equal access to books and all types of information.

This is also a business decision. Publishers are key suppliers of ebooks libraries buy. As of Nov 1, we have a supplier that is not performing satisfactorily in terms of pricing or restricted availability. If this were a different type of market, we’d just go elsewhere for this particular commodity, but Macmillan is the sole source for ebooks by certain authors.

The library did have a choice – to buy one copy of an ebook title and not meet our readers’ demand for a popular title or to suspend purchases of Macmillan ebooks and to fulfill our readers’ interest in Macmillan authors with alternatives like print books and digital audiobooks. We’ve chosen to suspend Macmillan ebook purchases. We will divert funds that would have been used to purchase those ebooks to purchase other formats and to do business with publishers who are willing to sell to libraries without restrictions that limit our readers’ access to new ebooks.

This decision does not apply to Macmillan digital audiobooks or Macmillan print books, which are not restricted to libraries. This decision affects Macmillan ebook titles only and applies only to Macmillan ebooks on OverDrive (Libby app), the service the library uses to distribute ebooks.


What is Macmillan’s ebook purchasing policy for libraries?

Macmillan Publishers will limit library sales of newly released ebooks beginning Nov 1, 2019. Public libraries can purchase only one copy of a newly released ebook for the first eight weeks after publication. After eight weeks, libraries can purchase additional ebooks at a higher price for a 2-year time limit.

How does this change affects library ebook readers?

Restricting our ability to purchase newly released ebooks means our readers will have significantly longer wait times for ebooks they want to read. This is an issue about digital equity and providing readers who choose ebooks the same opportunities as readers selecting print and audiobooks. If you want to see the authors who will be restricted visit Macmillan authors.

How is the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library responding to this change?

Beginning Nov 1, 2019, the library will no longer purchase newly released ebooks from Macmillan Publishers. Additionally, the library will not purchase backlist Macmillan ebook titles requiring a renewal to continue access.

The library will purchase digital titles from publishers who do not restrict new books to libraries.

The library will continue to purchase Macmillan titles that are not restricted by Macmillan. This includes print books, audiobooks on CD, and digital audiobooks.

What other publishing brands does Macmillan own?

Macmillan Publishers is the parent company of the following brands:

  • Tor
  • Henry Holt
  • Farrar, Straus & Giroux
  • St. Martin’s Press
  • Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

What can I do to voice concern about Macmillan’s decision to limit libraries’ access to ebooks?

The American Library Association (ALA) has denounced Macmillan’s decision.

ALA asks people to express their concerns by contacting:

Macmillan Publishers

ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office

Tell Macmillan Publishers you demand #eBooksForAll at

How do I find out if a specific ebook is affected by this change?

Visit Macmillan’s website for a list of newly released ebooks. We will not purchase new ebooks published by Macmillan after Nov 1, 2019. Check this list of upcoming Macmillan ebooks we will not order on OverDrive (Libby app).

Titles Not Available


  • Upon the Midnight Clear: A Lady Emily Christmas Story by Tasha Alexander
  • Beating About the Bush: Agatha Raisin Mystery Series, Book 30 by M. C. Beaton
  • Trace of Evil: Natalie Lockhart Series, Book 1 by Alice Blanchard
  • Anything for You – A Novel: Valerie Hart Series, Book 3 by Saul Black
  • Chameleon: Stephanie Patrick Series, Book 2 by Mark Burnell
  • Gemini: Stephanie Patrick Series, Book 3 by Mark Burnell
  • The Third Woman – A Stephanie Patrick Thriller: Stephanie Patrick Thrillers Series, Book 4 by Mark Burnell
  • Twenty-one Truths About Love: A Novel by Matthew Dicks
  • Forever My Duke – Unlikely Duchesses: Unlikely Duchesses Series, Book 2 by Olivia Drake
  • When Old Midnight Comes Along: Amos Walker Novels Series, Book 28 by Loren D. Estleman
  • The Worst Kind of Want: A Novel by Liska Jacobs
  • Murder Off the Page: The 42nd Street Library Mystery Series, Book 3 by Con Lehane
  • Shatter the Night: Detective Gemma Monroe Series, Book 4 by Emily Littlejohn
  • Chokehold: The Final War Series, Book 3 by David Moody
  • Blind Search: Mercy and Elvis Mystery Series, Book 2 by Paula Munier
  • The Book of Lost Saints by Daniel Jose Older
  • The Rise of Magicks: Chronicles of The One, Book 3 by Nora Roberts
  • Thin Ice: A Mystery by Paige Shelton
  • An Irish Country Family – An Irish Country Novel: Irish Country Books Series, Book 14 by Patrick Taylor
  • Dead Astronauts: A Novel by Jeff VanderMeer
  • The Dog I Loved: A Novel by Susan Wilson


  • Weeknight Keto: 75 Quick & Easy Recipes for Delicious Low-Carb Meals by Kristy Bernardo
  • The Power of Heart: When and How to Get Out of Your Brain by Amy Bloch
  • Life Isn’t Everything: Mike Nichols, as remembered by 150 of his closest friends by Ash Carter
  • Revolutionary Brothers: Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship that Helped Forge Two Nations by Tom Chaffin
  • JAY-Z: Made in America by Michael Eric Dyson
  • Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee by Danny Fingeroth
  • With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace by Nikki R. Haley
  • Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5’s Secret Nazi Hunter by Robert Hutton
  • Wounded Shepherd: Pope Francis and His Struggle to Convert the Catholic Church by Austen Ivereigh
  • 1973 – Rock at the Crossroads by Andrew Grant Jackson
  • Jet Girl: My Life in War, Peace, and the Cockpit of the Navy’s Most Lethal Aircraft, the F/A-18 Super Hornet by Caroline Johnson
  • Labyrinth of Ice: The Triumphant and Tragic Greely Polar Expedition by Buddy Levy
  • Ready, Set, Dough!: Beginner Breads for All Occasions by Rebecca Lindamood
  • In the Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado
  • An Elephant in My Kitchen: What the Herd Taught Me About Love, Courage, and Survival: Elephant Whisperer Series, Book 2 by Francoise Malby-Anthony
  • Manhunters: How We Took Down Pablo Escobar by Steve Murphy
  • Conversations with RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law by Jeffrey Rosen
  • The Russian Job: The Forgotten Story of How America Saved the Soviet Union from Ruin by Douglas Smith
  • Carrie Fisher – A Life on the Edge by Shelia Weller

Young Adult

  • Children of Virtue and Vengeance: Legacy of Orisha Series, Book 2 by Tomi Adeyemi
  • All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney
  • Eight Will Fall by Sarah Harian
  • Refraction by Naomi Hughes
  • Sisters of Shadow and Light: Sisters of Shadow and Light Series, Book 1 by Sara B. Larson
  • Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean
  • Supernova: Renegades Series, Book 3 by Marissa Meyer


  • Incredible LEGO® Creations from Space with Bricks You Already Have: 25 New Spaceships, Rovers, Aliens and Other Fun Projects to Expand Your LEGO Universe by Sarah Dees
  • The Winterhouse Mysteries: Winterhouse Series, Book 3 by Ben Guterson
  • 100 Easy STEAM Activities: Awesome Hands-On Projects for Aspiring Artists and Engineers by Andrewa Scalzo Yi

I am the Technical Services Manager at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library. I manage a team focused on physical and digital library collections. I work directly with customers and suppliers to build and sustain library collections and products that support a diverse community of readers and learners.