Category Archives: Business Models/Pricing

What do you want from us? Reference Publishers want to know.

The last question asked during the ALA panel was asked by panelist, Michael Ross from Encyclopaedia Britannica.  He wanted to know from the librarians in the audience, “what do you want from us?”

Librarians were not shy in extending several responses:

§  I need to make my purchasing decision based on reviews. So, I need to find reviews and awards information easier on a publishers site, to determine and justify my purchase decision

§  More creative pricing models – to support many sizes and needs of institutions (ie. 2 simultaneous users, own, subscribe, collections)

§  Reference sources are duplicated too much. We have dozens of articles with same information. Can you all publish unique things?

§ Consistency in search protocols across platforms – boolean, truncation, plurals, default search, etc (better yet, how about one single platform, SP)

Librarians, what else is on your wish list for reference publishers?  Place your comments here so our panelists can see them.

eBooks and ILL, is there a solution?

I’ve been hearing lots of conversation about eBooks and the inability to use them for ILL requests.  With a shift in purchasing to electronic, how will this affect the ILL service? Should we be getting ILL rights with purchase?  How would that work in the world of authentication and proxy servers?  Are librarians thinking about ILL needs when purchasing electronic titles over print? What are your thoughts?

Sue

SUNY Press to Offer Electronic Editions of Frontlist Books for just $20.00

From LJ Academic Newswire:

SUNY Press To Offer Electronic Editions of Frontlist Books With the launch of its new DirectText (DT) initiative this week.

SUNY Press has become the first university press in the United States to offer electronic editions of its frontlist titles. With monographs becoming increasingly expensive, often exceeding $75, SUNY Press officials say the new program is aimed at getting content into more readers’ hands. Under the program, SUNY Press’ frontlist titles will be available for download for just $20 directly from the Press’s web site.

Users can download and print PDF versions. A free preview option allows one to view the table of contents, the first two pages of each chapter, and an index of DT titles before purchasing. Dan Flynn, Director of Sales and Business Development at SUNY Press told the LJ Academic Newswire that making chapters or portions of SUNY Press books available for sale is also being planned. To download a book, the purchaser of a DirectText book must register with PublishersRow.com, the program’s vendor, to get a username and password, which places the book in the purchaser’s “bookshelf.” Users may register up to three computers to access a book in their bookshelf, Flynn explained, (for example, their home, work computers and a laptop). “The registered computers may view the DirectText book for 180 days online, may download the book as a PDF document, and may print all or portions of the book.” Press director Gary Dunham, who joined SUNY Press in January of this year, said the DT initiative is about “creating instant access to just-published scholarship” at an affordable rate. “If you want a prestige, jacketed cloth edition, you can still have it,” Dunham said, “but affordability and immediacy are really the cornerstones of this program.” The DT initiative went live on March 30 with 20 titles. Approximately 50 titles will be available by the end of June, and an additional 60 will be available by the end of the year. Dunham says press officials will evaluate DT seasonally. “We look forward to its evolution,” he said.

Now that’s what I call a business model! Wow – price less than print, available before print, browse before you buy, and soon purchase only the chapters you need. (sp)

Berkshire Publishing’s Bookshop launched

Here’s a new spin on eBook publishing and business models. Berkshire Publishing offers FREE searching/browsing of reference titles before purchase. Libraries and/or end users can subscribe to the content, directly from the site for an annual fee. Example: Pricing for their new title, Global Perspectives of the United States, is $49.00 annually. The print list price is $275.00. If you only wanted to own titles for a couple of years, this might be a more economical way to purchase.

http://www.exacteditions.com/berkshire

Paying for eBooks – Business Models

I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a generalization that all librarians think eBooks are overpriced, whether they are reference, textbooks, techy, or monographs. Many librarians comment that eBooks should be comparable, if not cheaper, than the print counterparts due to lack of printing/binding/shipping. Publishers, on the other hand, price eBooks higher due to the costs involved with maintaining multiple formats, creating searchable databases, and the value added benefits of the ebook – 24/7 simultaneous users, multimedia, cut/paste/email/cite, etc. Whatever the price, the eBooks are sold though many business models – own, subscribe, lease, as collections, buy xml content and choose your aggregator, and the list goes on.

What do you think? How do you like to purchase eBooks? How do you prefer to pay for them? What do you think of the costs? ….And, I know you all have an opinion. So let’s hear them.

Should eBooks be updated?

One question asked by many librarians, now that I’m purchasing my reference titles electronically, should publishers be updating those titles and fixing errors prior to (or rather than) releasing a new edition?

How does this impact the print copy? Which copy is the official copy, print or electronic?
Should the eBook title be an exact replica of the print title? Are eBooks meant to be “living” and growing things? If so, how do we archive the older material?

How does this impact pricing? Should subscription based models include updates automatically? What about titles purchased to own (a one time fee)?

What are your thoughts?

Book Sales Increase at Year’s End

Book Sales Increase at Year’s End

February 13, 2008, New York, NY:

Sales of University Press Hardcover books were up by 3.3 percent in December with sales of $6.8 million; sales were also up by 8.1 percent for the year. University Press Paperback sales posted an increase of 0.6 percent for the month with sales totaling $10.1 million; sales were up 3.2 percent for the year. Sales in the Professional and Scholarly category were down by 12.4 percent in December ($99.0 million); however sales were up 2.9 percent for the year.

The Association of American Publishers is the national trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry. AAP’s more than 300 members include most of the major commercial publishers in the United States, as well as smaller and non-profit publishers, university presses and scholarly societies—small and large. AAP members publish hardcover and paperback books in every field, educational materials for the elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and professional markets, scholarly journals, computer software, and electronic products and services. The protection of intellectual property rights in all media, the defense of the freedom to read and the freedom to publish at home and abroad, and the promotion of reading and literacy are among the Association’s highest priorities.

NOTE: All sales figures cited in this release are domestic net sales