Solving the Digital Loan Problem: Can Library Lending of eBooks be a Win-Win for Publishers and libraries?
Ruth Liebmann, Random House, Micah Bowers, BlueFire Reader, Katie Dunneback, Librarian and Consultant
Katie set the stage with a broad introduction to libraries. The people inside give the libraries meaning. Libraries develop relationships with their customers and advise on books to read (readers advisory). Libraries are discovery centers through the readers advisory services. Libraries are where individuals experiment with new formats at low investment. Libraries can help save the reader time. Katie suggested ways that publishers can benefit from libraries, particularly by introducing slicker DRM and using the sills of MLS librarians who know cataloging and metadata. Katie then demonstrated a 21 step process to download a public library ebook and download it to an eReader device. Katie walked us through the readers advisory process, describing how she interviews patrons on their likes/dislikes of an author and recommend similar authors/series. She also discusses eReaders with patrons and provided us with a list of eReader topics that she discussed with 2 patrons the previous week. Topics included: price, lighting, territorial rights, covers, library access, etc. Continue reading
Summary of Tools of Change session, reprinted in full from Teleread.com by Paul Biba
Bill Godfrey (Elsevier), Rich Rothstein (HarperCollins Publishers), Andrew Savikas (O’Reilly Media, Inc.)Moderated by: Abe Murray (Google, Inc. )
Savikas: first foray in 1987. Stared with cd books and online books in 2001, which was first substantial digital presence. Wish is that Amazon would adopt epub as their standard. Digital is now about a decade for O’Reilly, and one of the biggest changes is that there are many more markets for digital products. Can’t imaging what it will be like in 10 years. Book will not go away – neither the package nor the long form narrative type of content. There will be a whole new category of new media that probably can’t be called books any more. Over the last 100 years more and more layers built up between publishers and consumers and web is bringing us back to a more direct relationship. In his experience the interest in enhanced ebooks seems to come from the publishers more than it does from the reader. Now that books can know that they are being read this can lead to enhanced opportunities. Databases are prime examples for turning into enhanced books. Not convinced that advertising will be as much of the future of newspapers and magazines it has been in the passed. Newspapers have lost the monopoly of being a source of local information. There is what value and need for what newspapers provide, but the package is obsolete. Publishers should be taking a stronger role in advocating with the retailers and device makers. Big piece of the epub 3 revision is to support dynamic delivery to different devices. Continue reading
Panel discussion on eTextbooks in Higher Education: Practical Findings to Guide the Industry. Panelists included Jade Roth, Curtiss Barnes, Nick Francesco, David McCarthy, Jacob Robinson, and Susan Stites-Doe. Panelist names/titles are available on the conference website.
Notes are my own interpretation and my best attempts were made to ensure accuracy.
Some overview data: 15% of textbook content is avaiable in digital format, yet only 1 – 3% of higher education sales are digital, sales are across all disciplines, there is no clear winner in the format.
14% of students have purchased digital materials, primarily for cost savings, 18% purchase for features, and 10% for curiosity. Continue reading
Reprinted in full from One Librarian’s Perspective, by Tim Kambitsch, Director of the Dayton Metro Library.
It is fashionable to declared Digital Rights Management (DRM) dead. And maybe in the world of music it is. For eBooks in the library marketplace, however, DRM is alive and well. The book publishers who may be more conservative than the music industry in trying to protect their intellectual property are willing to stymie sales in electronic formats to maximize their sense of security.
In the ideal open-yet-market-driven eBook environment there won’t be DRM, but regardless of whether DRM lives on, the closed vertically integrated world of eBooks sales to libraries presents a bigger problem; it is that environment that needs to change. For libraries to both offer electronic collections and maintain their role of building collections for the long term we need a layered environment where the purchase of materials is separated from the where those purchased materials are hosted. Further, library patrons deserve distinct choices for the programs and devices they use for readings. Continue reading
Very interesting blog post at ireaderreview.com on why Amazon will never work with libraries. The blog is not an official Kindle site, and the writer is portraying his views from a big business perspective, so keep this in mind before you shoot through the roof with anger, librarians. The comments are colorful as well, and worth a look. Let’s say this IS true, and Amazon will never work with libraries. Does this change your attitude toward loaning Kindles and buying content from Amazon to support the Kindles? If nook, SONY, Kobo, and others are better suited for library content, would you rather buy, loan and promote these devices in your library? I would.
ALA Midwinter 2011: ALCTS Panel Considers the Impact of Patron-Driven Acquisition on Selection and Collections
No one seems to have this magic answer, but a recent article interviewing Brian O’Leary of Magellan Media offers some insight. O’Leary described a 2 1/2 year study with O’Reilly media, stating:
“We undertook research two-and-a-half-years ago with O’Reilly, and we’ve been studying Thomas Nelson as well, to measure the impact of piracy on paid content sales. We approached it as if it were cooperative marketing. We would look at the impact of what sales looked like before there was piracy, say for four to eight weeks, and then we’d look at the impact of piracy afterward. Essentially, if the net impact of piracy is negative, then you would see sales fall off more quickly after piracy; if it were positive, the opposite.
Data that we collected for the titles O’Reilly put out showed a net lift in sales for books that had been pirated. So, it actually spurred, not hurt, sales. But we were only looking at O’Reilly and Thomas Nelson. The results are not emblematic of publishing overall. It could be more conservative, it could be less conservative. We just don’t have enough data. I’ve tried to get other publishers to join in, but it really hasn’t been a successful mission. Even at a low- or no-cost offer, publishers seem reluctant to collect the data required to reveal the true impact of book piracy.”
Later in the interview, O’Leary states, “Any good pirate can strip DRM in a matter of seconds to minutes.” If you’d like to be one of these pirates, a recent blog post on WIRED offers step-by-step instructions on just how to remove DRM from eBook formats, compliments of the Apprentice Alf.