“Why do you only have one copy of [super popular e-book or audiobook]?”
One of many things could be happening here.
Is it Before the Book’s Release Date?
This is expected. The library buys a single copy of e-books and downloadable audiobooks in advance of their release dates so that they are in the catalog for you to place holds on them.
The week before the book is released, we buy enough copies for the title to meet demand based on the number of holds on the title at that time. This prevents “over-buying” in the expensive e-book and audiobook formats that often range in price from $55 to $109 per copy. This is how we meet demand while staying within our budget.
Is it After the Book’s Release Date?
There are two possibilities:
- The holds have built up since the librarians last reviewed holds and bought additional copies (this happens once a week). We will buy more copies within the next few days.
- The title is no longer available for the library to purchase and we are unable to add more copies. Titles can be removed from the purchasing catalog for many reasons. One of the most common is that Amazon purchased the rights to the title after the library bought our first copy. Amazon does not sell the digital versions of the titles it publishes or owns the rights for to libraries.
In the case of titles in the second category, librarians do check to see if new editions of any of these titles have been released. If they have, we add them to the collection and move the holds to the “active” copies. When new editions are not available to buy, it just means a really long wait for the title.
One way to check on audiobook availability is to see if the title has an “Only From Audible” banner on the cover on its Amazon page. If it does, the library cannot buy it.
If you have questions about specific titles, please let us know.