Category Archives: Formats

Overdrive Promises more Content, Less DRM

From the TeleRead blog:
OverDrive: ‘Much more content without DRM’ promised for libraries in ‘09
By David Rothman

image Again and again I’ve asked the IDPF to please consider a logo for DRMless ePub books. OverDrive founder Steve Potash is also president of the IDPF, and recently he told Library Journal:

“OverDrive is the leader in bringing downloadable MP3 audiobooks to libraries. [It] is leading the library market in bringing all formats of digital media to readers—including much more content without DRM during 2009.”

I hope that includes copyrighted e-books, too, not just MP3. Like Steve, I’m keen on writers and publishers getting paid, and there are ways for this to happen without DRM. For now, I’ll regard the above statement as indicating at least some flexibility.

Meanwhile check out other comments in the LJ piece, headlined Apple’s DRM News said to have little effect on libraries for now.

(Thanks to Ed Klopek.)

Serials Solutions now includes eBooks

From a marketing email I received from Serials Solutions:

Serials Solutions KnowledgeWorks now includes 800,000 eBooks

With more budget resources being dedicated to the purchase of eBook databases and titles, a new challenge is to help patrons easily find these valuable resources and increase their usage.  <what about the catalog?> sp

Serials Solutions KnowledgeWorks, the authoritative e-resource knowledgebase, now integrates over 800,000 eBook holdings into Serials Solutions 360 e-resource access services to benefit your patrons.

* Help patrons find eBooks in your OPAC using 360 MARC Updates OPAC updating service
* Enable patrons to browse an A-to-Z title list of e-resources include eBooks using 360 Core
* Provide access to eBooks from citations or a citation search form using 360 Link OpenURL link resolver
* Help patrons discover eBooks through 360 Search federated search service

Other vendors are also offering this service, like the Ebsco A to Z list.

We have the Ebsco product at WSU and are electing to not display the ebooks at this time.  Our patrons use our A to Z list to locate electronic journals (which are also in our catalog), so I really don’t like to clutter the product with other formats, particularly since ebooks are a growing collection.  At some point the ebooks will outnumber the journals.

Does anyone know if Serials Solutions categorizes these formats so that they can easily be searched by journal, ebook, or database?  Ebsco A to Z does not currently do that.  If they did, I might consider adding the ebooks since I could default to a journals search on the patron screen, but have the ebooks and databases search available.

This arrived via email a couple hours after the post – thanks Serials Solutions, you guys are on the ball!

Sue -

One of my colleagues sent me a link to your blog post discussing the Serials Solutions eBook functionality, and I wanted to quickly follow-up to explain how our A-Z list works with regard to eBook content.

Currently, all of the library’s content is displayed together in a combined A-Z list for browsing purposes. For searching, however, there are content type selectors that are available, so that your patrons can specify which type of content they are searching for (Journal, eBook, Other, or ALL). It’s also possible to place “mini-search” boxes anywhere on your library website for the A-Z list that are tailored to one or more of the content types – this requires a little bit of programming work, but is relatively straightforward (there is an example on our Support Center forums that I can direct you to if you’d like to see how that works).

Sincerely,
Cliff Gilley
Product Manager – 360 Link/360 Core/E-Journal Portal
Serials Solutions

Penguin and Ingram Digital, Partners

Ingram Digital will host, manage, and distribute ebook and audio book content for Penguin.  About 11,000 titles are currently available, with many more to follow.  For more info, see the press release.

penguin.gif

Penguin ebooks can be downloaded in Microsoft Reader, Adobe, or Palm formats.  In addition to lots of fiction, bestsellers, and self-help titles, they have about 300 reference titles, many of which are the “idiots” guides.

e-content will overtake traditional books in sales by 2018

Just one of the findings from the Frankfurt Book Fair survey of over 1,000 industry professionals.  All of the survey results are in the press release.

Here’s a snippet about the challenges, which I find interesting:

Challenges facing the industry

70 per cent of respondents may feel ready for the digital challenge, but industry professionals nevertheless recognised the need to work together to tackle certain issues. The following top four concerns will be discussed at length during this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair:

• copyright – 28 per cent – typical…
• digital rights management – 22 per cent  – Oh, that nasty DRM
• standard format (such as epub) – 21 per cent  – how about one platform while you’re at it
• retail price maintenance – 16 per cent – hopefully this will filter to library price maintenance too

Independent Publishers – Meet Constellation, your answer to eBooks

I think you all know that I love ebooks, particularly in my reference collection.  My main gripe, the small independent publishers don’t have the resources to publish their titles electronically.  Now, there is a solution.  Yesterday, the Perseus Books Group launched Constellation – an eBook solution for independent publishers.

Constellation will convert print ready PDFs into .epub and other formats in order to distribute them to various eBook content providers.  Ebrary and Overdrive are both on the list, in addition to Amazon and Sony.

Librarians, spread the word to your favorite independent publisher.   Check out the press release from Perseus.

EPUB Standard now on Sony Reader

From Publishers Weekly:

Sony Adopts EPUB Standard for Reader

By Jim Milliot — Publishers Weekly, 7/24/2008 7:16:00 AM

The International Digital Publishing Forum’s epub e-book standard received a big vote of support this morning when Sony announced that effective immediately its Sony Reader will now support the standard. Beginning in August, all new devices shipped will use epub, and right now owners of existing devices can go to http://esupport.sony.com to update their device’s software for epub support.

Brennan Mullin, v-p of Sony Audio, said the company was adopting the epub standard to encourage more vendors, booksellers and publishers to get involved in the e-book market and to broaden the amount of content that can be viewed on the Reader. The move to use epub is a significant change in approach for Sony, which has used its own standards and restricted consumers to buying e-books for the Reader from its own store. The use of epub will allow consumers to buy titles from a variety of outlets and will grow the number of titles compatible with the Reader to well passed the 45,000 now available through its online store. Another avenue for new material will be Adobe: Sony also annouced today that the device will support Adobe e-books with DRM and will also have the capability to reflow standard PDF e-books and other documents.

Publishers, who generally favor the one-format approach made possible by epub, welcomed Sony’s decision. “Sony’s support of epub is an important step forward in the cooperation of publishers and portable digital book manufacturers to create better experiences for readers,” said Brent Lewis, v-p digital & internet for Harlequin. “We’re thrilled with the upgrade.”  IDPF, of which Sony is a member, approved epub as an industrywide standard in an attempt to foster interoperability among e-book reading devices.

Mullin said sales of the Reader have been steady and that sales of titles have increased. Interest in e-books has grown and although reluctant to credit a competitor, Mullin acknowledged that the buzz around Amazon’s Kindle “has been good for everybody in the e-book market.” Amazon, however, has not adopted the epub standard.

In addition to adopting the epub standard, Sony has announced it has started offering the Reader in the U.K.