A colleague forwarded me an Outsell article about a new venture, BookRiff. Ned May, who wrote the article, states, “Bookriff, yet another digital publishing platform, will soon go live. Yet while it is entering a crowded field, this one is worth a close look as it has the potential to take hold, and significant potential to disrupt.”
According to the BookRiff blog, users can create their own book by piecing together chapters, articles, or other content. Users pay for content which is delivered in a variety of formats (print-on-demand coming soon) and rights holders are given royalties. The BookRiff goal is to be fun and easy to use.
More from the Outsell article: “What makes BookRiff unique is its focus on enabling the creation of new works by providing a seamless platform for supporting the necessary business rules. Leadership of the company believes there is a broad market for these new compilations of content if they can be effortlessly assembled while respecting all the rights, permissions and pricing of the underlying parts. To that end, they have built a core technology platform that enables a license holder to easily upload, separate, tag and set a price for content while also setting rules for redistribution. By default, books are broken into chapters for resale but the system will accept any subdivision the content creator wants to offer. The required file format for ingestion is ePub and the platform checks the integrity of the file before posting to the system as well as using the underlying coding to determine chapter breaks.”
Yesterday we had a visit from our Elsevier Account Manager who updated us on the SciVerse Hub as well as e-book content within ScienceDirect. I learned several interesting things during the session including:
- ScienceDirect e-books can be downloaded for offline reading in EPUB and Mobipocket formats. I believe they said chapters, not the entire book. This was launched in May.
- E-books contain no DRM, so there are no limits on printing, copying, etc.
- E-books follow the same rules as journals for ILL (at which they said their ILL rules finally allow for the direct download/sharing of a PDF rather than printing and faxing/scanning)
- ScienceDirect has an application called “related reference work articles” which lists relevant articles from their encyclopedias and new SciTopics content for any search done in the interface. The applications are available for download in the applications marketplace and can be customized by individuals or institutions for the SciVerse interface.
- In the ScienceDirect use logs, they find that most users who are looking for books get to ScienceDirect via the University Library site, as compared to those looking for journals, who primarily come from Google.
Additional information on the use of e-books on ScienceDirect is available in a white paper, “A Study on the Usage, Application, and Value of Online Books on ScienceDirect in an Academic Environment.” It can be downloaded from their site at no cost, but registration is required. The white paper includes the charts/graphs showing how users get to content on ScienceDirect.
More great news for OverDrive users. The new Windows phone app is available for download from the Windows Phone Marketplace.
More from the press release: Readers at 15,000 public, school, and corporate libraries can now download eBooks and audiobooks directly to their Windows Phone with the free OverDrive® Media Console™ app. This new app enables users to find a library that offers digital books, and then download and enjoy EPUB eBooks, as well as MP3 audiobooks, on their device. Libraries offer bestselling titles, such as “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen and “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand, which can now be borrowed and enjoyed on popular Windows Phone devices, such as LG Quantum™, Samsung Focus™, and HTC Trophy™. Continue reading
From Eric Hellman’s blog, Go To Hellman – The fourth section my book chapter on Open Access eBooks looks at theier relationship with libraries. I previously posted the Introduction, What does Open Access mean for eBooks and Business Models for Creation of Open Access E-Books. I’ll be posting one more section, a conclusion.
Thank you for all of your comments; the completed chapter (and OA eBook) will be better for them.
Libraries and Open Access E-Books
One of the missions of libraries is to provide access to all sorts of information, including e-books. If an e-book is already open access, what role is left for libraries play?
Here’s a thought-experiment for libraries: imagine that the library’s entire collection is digital. Should it include Shakespeare? Should it include Moby Dick? These are available as public domain works from Project Gutenberg; providing these editions in a library collection might seem to be superfluous. Many librarians have been trying to convince their patrons that “free stuff on the Internet” is often inferior to the quality information available through libraries. There are certainly e-book editions of these works available for purchase with better illustrations, better editing, annotations, etc. Should libraries try to steer patrons to these resources instead of using the free stuff? Continue reading
Great news from NISO about a new special interest group: The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) and its Architecture Committee are pleased to announce the creation of a Special Interest Group focused on E-books (the NISO E-book SIG). Simultaneous with the formation of the group, NISO is issuing a call for participation in the E-book SIG and its associated monitoring group. The E-book SIG will explore a range of industry best practices and standards related to the creation, distribution, discovery, delivery, and preservation of digital book content. The primary responsibilities of the group will be to continuously monitor and review the state of the industry for e-books and to suggest areas for new initiatives within NISO or areas where NISO can engage with other communities on e-book work underway outside of NISO. The group will also host thought leader meetings and commission relevant research to advance the state of the industry. Continue reading