|Weekly News Digest
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ReadersFirst Shares a Financial Impact Analysis of the Macmillan Boycott
ReadersFirst (RF) published an article, “Is the Macmillan Boycott Working?” Two library staffers whose libraries are no longer buying Macmillan ebooks “have collaborated on a financial impact analysis of the boycott thus far and asked to publish it with RF.” It states, in part:
As of the date of publication, 79 library systems and consortia have ceased to purchase Macmillan eBooks in protest of their new sales policy, which limits library eLending. These libraries represent 1,163 locations in 28 states, and serve 47.9 million people, which is equivalent to the total population of California plus the population of New York City. …
[T]he boycotting libraries are making a difference, creating an 83% loss in revenue instead of an 8.5% gain. If about one in 10 library systems cease to purchase Macmillan eBooks, they will offset the gains Macmillan hoped to make and ensure that its revenue is flat. For every library that boycotts after that, Macmillan will see a net loss on the embargo strategy. …
In the meantime, we are looking at the results of the boycott to determine impact to patrons. … [W]e conclude that readers who normally would have discovered Macmillan books are discovering Macmillan’s competitor authors instead. …
In our opinion, a national outcry from a valuable customer is reason enough alone [for] Macmillan to drop the embargo. However, it appears willing to gamble that despite libraries’ frustrations, we will continue to pay the bills. The boycotting libraries have said no, and we invite other libraries to join us. Collectively, we can ensure that embargoes are too expensive for any publisher to implement.
For more information, read the article.
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