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.
Springer announced it’s new pilot print on demand service – MyCopy – for “registered” patrons. The service allows a library’s registered patrons to order a softcover print copy of an ebook the library has ALREADY purchased. The copy is to be used by the patron for personal use. 11,000 titles are currently available, assuming your library owns all of those! Books are printed in black and white with a color softcover.
Publishing will never be the same folks. I hope Springer shares the title data with libraries. That could be a useful collection development tool.
I couldn’t help but think about this on the way home today….but wouldn’t this be the best way for students to buy cheap textbooks? Libraries subscribe to the ebooks of major textbook publishers and they all do print-on-demand for patrons at $24.95. Oh wait, we are talking about textbook publishers here, better make that $99.95!�
I sat in on a Credo Reference webinar earlier this week, to get a better idea of the new interface and discovered something that wasn’t visible to me in the trial. Credo has “Resource Links,” external links to a library’s other resources like the catalog, a metasearch tool, or a particular database. Libraries can set-up the resources in the very detailed administrative module, proxy server stuff and all!
This is a really cool feature as it allows users to start research in Credo, get an understanding of the topic and various perspectives, then continue that search for books or articles in other resources.
More information on this feature and how to set it up in the Admin module are available in a Credo document.
Credo has upgraded its interface. I got a quick trial so I could check out some of the features (old and new). Of course the best part of Credo is the ability to cross reference a search. This allows researchers access to definitions, people, places, and general overviews of their topic from multiple disciplines and sources, a fantastic way to start your research. Here are some highlights:
- over 3 million entries in 366 titles (and growing), all cross-referenced
- nice simple search screen – googlish, with options for advanced search and the concept map
- interface is available in six languages
- browse the collection by subject and title options
- search results have faceted results for subject, pub date, entry type, media, and person
- great multimedia features – audio files, video clips, flash, and dynamic table creation, images, and maps
- optional display of the “gadget tool” with easy access to definitions, people, locations, crossword answers, conversions, quotations, and holidays and festivals (each category has a search box)
- concept map is still there. I believe I had previously called this “brainstorming on steroids.” Nice visual and interactive way to search for concepts that are related.
- store/mark records – easily done with checkbox. ability to export saved results – email, save, print, or export for multiple citation management systems
- cite this source – APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA
- bookmark to social networking sites
- Content sensitive HELP with index to all HELP items
- customize for your institution
- download marketing materials
- lots of usage statistics
and a few snafus:
- faceted results are great, but no way to turn them off, and no breadcrumb trail of facets
- no breadcrumb trail to keep you oriented, but maybe you don’t want to be oriented in a cross referencing tool???
- odd search results with the concept map. my siberian huskies search kept displaying the map of a related person to huskies, maybe there just wasn’t enough content on huskies….
- I was using Firefox. After entering my search term and hitting the enter key my search would sometimes stop. Once I clicked search it was fine.
For more information, visit Credo Reference, and ask David to give you a test drive!
If you are uncertain what titles to purchase, ask for their recommended lists….compiled by several people in the reference reviewing field.
Yesterday I had a wonderful conversation with Cynthia Cleto, Global eProduct Manager for eBooks, Springer. We discussed the Springer content, business models, and results of some usage surveys they have done. IMHO, it’s very informative and touches on some interesting eBook issues like DRM and Interlibrary Loan. Yes, I did just mention eBooks and ILL in the same sentence!
Big news in reference publishing today. ABC-CLIO has licensed the content of Greenwood Imprints. Here’s a clip of the press release:
ABC-CLIO and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt today announced an agreement granting ABC-CLIO a perpetual license to use the imprints and publish the titles of Greenwood Publishing Group, including Greenwood Press, Praeger Publishers, Praeger Security International and Libraries Unlimited. In addition, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will transfer certain assets, including copyrights, contracts and inventory, of Greenwood Publishing Group to ABC-CLIO. This agreement is effective immediately.
According to Ron Boehm, a No Shelf Required Advisory Board Member, oh, and the CEO of ABC-CLIO, they will dramatically be scaling up the eBook program with this combination. I like to hear that news!
Sounds like the perfect October audio interview to me….Ron, you up for it?
Have you heard of DailyLit? – it’s pretty cool. DailyLit provides small installments of books to users through an email message or RSS feed, daily. Hey, since it’s not a piece of paper, I consider this an eBook! It was built on the premise that we don’t have time to read books, but yet we still find time to read email, so they combined the two!
They have over 950 titles either for free or a small access fee. Many are classics and now, some are provided by none other than Oxford University Press!
It’s easy to set-up a free account and get started. You can determine how frequently you want the installments delivered, and even choose the time of day. For my first title, I chose Tom Peter’s 100 Ways to Succeed and Make Money. My first installment (of 100) was a simple read of 362 words – all about being neat and tidy!
But my next title will definitely be: Skinny Bitch in the Kitch: Kick-Ass Recipes for Hungry Girls Who Want to Stop Cooking Crap (and Start Looking Hot!) hmmm.
They have a blog, rating and review area, and plenty of ways for their members (over 125K) to converse. Check it out. I’m off to clean my desk
This morning I “attended” the Springer webinar on eBook usage. It was very informative and obviously focused on Springer content, but it did confirm some of my suspicions about eBook usage. Here are some highlights:
They use COUNTER, as do most other eBook publishers/aggregators. COUNTER is incredibly detailed with usage stats….are you using yours to investigate usage and trends? why not?
2007 – over 25 million eBook chapter downloads, the numbers for 2008 thus far are higher. I’m seeing this in my eBook usage from various aggregators and publishers.
Handbooks had the highest number of downloads, textbooks were next in line, followed by reference works. Most of my eBook collection is reference, so that gets the highest use, but I do have a ton of Springer titles, and stats show my users are finding the handbooks and textbooks.
The older eBooks were still used a lot, older defined as 2005 and 2006.
Springer confirmed a couple of things from the ebrary student and faculty eBook surveys:
- students want more eBooks in their subject areas – yeah, who wouldn’t!
- faculty prefer electronic material over print
How do you drive usage to your eBooks? Discoverability is the key.
- Are you cataloging ALL of your eBook titles with MARC records in the catalog? The SuperBook Project from the University College of London confirmed that cataloged books get 2 times as much traffic as non-cataloged books. Makes sense to me.
- Do you have link resolvers in place to drive users from A & I services to the eBook titles?
- Are the eBooks you own indexed in google? According to Springer, 2/3 of their eBook visits came from google – that’s any part of google, not just scholar. Check with your publishers and aggregators to see if they allow google to index the eBook metadata or fulltext. And if they do….how are those users getting to the eBook via your library?
eBook usage internationally is big – I’m hearing this from most publishers. Springer compared eBook usage to eJournal usage. Internationally, Hong Kong and Munster had approximately 51% journal and 49% eBook usage but U.S. libraries had more of the 80/20 breakdown.
The webinar was hosted by Wouter vander Velde, eProduct Manager, eBooks, Springer
Wouter had a lovely powerpoint with the charts/stats available, but I haven’t heard from him if I can share that on the blog. If you would like to see it, you could probably email him.
If you are one of the 8,500 libraries using the OverDrive Media Console for digital audiobooks, you now have a new feature – compatibility with Microsoft’s Zune. Both DRM-free and DRM-protected (Digital Rights Management) audiobooks are compatible. This now opens up the direct transfer of audiofiles to Zune, iPod, and virtually all other mp3 devices.
For the full story, check out OverDrive’s press release.
or, skip the full story and just download the Media Console.
Super cool! Duke University Press has just released their scholarly eBook collection. The collection includes over 100 titles and is run on the ebrary platform. If you are not familiar with ebrary, they are an eBook aggregator and offer institutions the opportunity to load their own material into the ebrary platform. Clearly, Duke University Press has taken advantage of this option, which is the first I’ve seen. The Duke content is not part of other ebrary collections, but can be cross searched with titles libraries already own in ebrary.
Those who purchase the eBooks can also get access to 900 backlist titles, depending on which years they purchased the print. And, for an extra $500.00 libraries will receive the cloth editions of all titles from a given year.
Duke was actually bold enough to post their pricing – way to go Duke! And, it’s incredibly reasonable. For the 100 title collection, prices range from $500 to $6000 depending on a library’s Carnegie classification. So, if my math is right (which usually isn’t), that’s 100 titles for $5.00 each up to $60.00 each. No, that’s not a typo, I didn’t misplace the decimal point! I’d like to see those kind of prices for all my eBooks
University Presses, jump on the ebrary wagon. This is awesome. Hey ebrary, will you work with independent publishers too? If so, Kevin Sayer, then you’re truly a rock star!