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.

Credo Reference launches new interface

Credo Reference Launches New and Improved Interface

Innovative features greatly enhance research experience

Boston and Oxford, September 3, 2008 – Credo Reference, the award-winning online reference library, has completely updated and enhanced its interface. The new and improved platform now features key elements developed as a result of direct feedback and testing with librarians worldwide. Credo’s user-friendly interface has been optimized to address different types of reference questions.

Credo Reference and its continually expanding online collection provide cross-searchable access to more than three million entries from 300+ key titles and 60+ publishers. Now, with the newly revamped interface, Credo Reference users will be able to take advantage of such features as:

·         Faceted browsing – refine searches in many different ways, such as by subject, type of content, person or entries with images or audio.

·         Improved Concept Map – Credo’s visualization tool.

·         Direct linking to the resources of a library’s choice – view search results in another library resource with one click through Credo’s new “Related Resources” feature. Library configurable.

·         Multilingual interface – English, Chinese, French, Polish, Spanish and Urdu are currently available. More languages to follow.

·         Citation management – export saved results to the user’s tool of choice, such as RefWorks or EndNote.

·         Bookmarking in a favorite, social networking site, such as Del.icio.us or Facebook.

·         Explore titles by heading, person, place, image, audio or video. Hover over an entry in the index for a preview.

The beta-testers for this new interface raved about the enhancements. “One of the strongest features of the interface is Credo’s cross-referencing – ‘Related Entries’, which can help our students expand their research beyond their original search,” commented Gloria Rohmann, New York University Digital Access Librarian. “Our researchers will now be able to click directly from a Credo entry to a related topic, with no extra typing required. That will help make their research experience smoother and more thorough.”

“The new interface is a lot more intuitive, which makes it easier to maneuver through,” agreed Anna Grigson, Assistant Digital Resources Librarian at University of Westminster Library. “The vastly improved Concept Map – which is great for visual learners – helps to better visualize the relationships between topics, something that can be invaluable with more complex research topics. It’s great that Credo Reference is reaching out to all researchers no matter what their language or learning style.”

“We’re pleased to launch the significantly enhanced Credo Reference platform,” added John G. Dove, Credo Reference President. “We’ve listened carefully to all the feedback that we’ve received from librarians and end-users and have worked to develop a reference experience that matches our unparalleled and exceptional content.  Our intention is to save time for learners, which is what reference is all about.”

The enhanced Credo Reference interface is available via subscription at www.credoreference.com. Librarians can request a free trial at http://corp.credoreference.com/freetrial.

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Credo Reference, with offices in Oxford and Boston, has been offering completely customizable reference collections for libraries since 1999. Formerly known as Xrefer, Credo’s General Reference and Specialist Reference services combine extensive content from multiple publishers with unique cross-referencing technology, effortlessly delivering authoritative answers to over four million researchers worldwide. Visit www.credoreference.com.

Credo Reference

316 Stuart Street, Suite 301   Boston   MA   02116

Ebrary adds 14 new publishers to ebook collection

Ebrary has added 14 new publishers to their collection.  They are:

Ashgate Publishing
Continuum Books
CQ Press
Georgetown University Press
The University of Washington Press
The University of Alberta Press
The University Press of Kentucky
McFarland & Co.
The International Monetary Fund
Grey House Publishing
The Policy Press
Templeton Foundation Press
Smithers Rapra
Math Solutions

For more info, see the press release.

10 Reasons Not To Write Off Reading From a Screen

Top 10 list in support of ebooks.  From the Writers Handbook Blog.

10 Reasons Not to Write Off Reading From A Screen
Over the past few months there has been much discussion of an impending digital revolution in the way we read books. While much of this is hyperbole there has been incredulity in many quarters that anybody would ever want to read from a screen. We are all attached to books and the idea seems, at first glance, anachronistic. However there are some good reasons why it might not go away as quickly as you’d think.

Here’s why:

1.)    We do it all the time anyway. Whether its emails, blogs, the newspaper or text messages for the bulk of us, most of our reading is already on screen. The New York Times now was 13 million online readers per day against a print readership of 1.1 million.

2.)    Those who read books read the most online. The Guardian reported that “women and pensioners were [the] most active readers” (22/08/08). A recent study showed women, the most enthusiastic readers, dominate social networks; 16% of “silver surfers” spend over 42 hours per week online. Moreover overall internet usage was up 158% in the UK from 2002-2007.

3.)    e-Ink technology removes many of the disadvantages of screens. Using ionized black and white particles it eliminates eye strain and glare, expertly recreating the look and feel of paper and print.

4.)    New devices (using e-Ink) like the Sony Reader and Amazon Kindle are backed by technology giants who know how to make a product work. They come with features like an MP3 player (the Sony) and wireless connectivity (the Kindle). Expect them to only improve in the coming years.

5.)    In Japan mobile phone fiction- keitai novels- have gone from being a niche market to big business, with some novels being downloaded over 200k times a day. It has been reported that half of bestsellers in Japan are now mobile.

6.)    Likewise in China online novels are huge. The most searched for term on Chinese search engine baidu.cn is “novel”. According to Wired 10m “youth” now list reading online as one of their main hobbies.

7.)    The iPhone has changed the parameters again by offering a fantastic reading experience, on a portable easy to use, multi-functioning device. Apps like eReader and Stanza make an already desirable phone a viable ebook reader.

8.)    Paper costs are going through the roof- up 150% this year. With no slowing of the commodity book in site paper and manufacturing costs are likely to increase. Along with the cheapness of delivery the economics of electronic reading start to make sense.

9.)    Government policy is to invest in ereading. Education policy wonks view reading from laptops and PDAs as a handy workaround to encourage book averse but technophile teenagers to read. A school in Birmingham even replaced all textbooks with Palm Pilots.

10.)  The internet offers a whole new way of consuming content. Bundling, chunking, web only content, integrated multimedia elements, exciting new serialisations are only the beginning. This is reading from a screen not as something like lost but as something gained.
No one is saying that we will all run off any read all our books off a screen. Books are here to stay. Reading from one type of screen or another is not about to replace books, rather it is an addition to the varied climate to literature that already exists, a creative challenge, a commercial opportunity and new way for readers to enjoy texts.

Michael Bhaskar is Digital Publishing Executive at Pan Macmillan and blogs at http://thedigitalist.net.

McGill University to digitize materials and print on demand

What a fabulous innovation from McGill University.  They purchased a Kirtas APT BookScan 2400RA  and will be digitizing rare materials from their collection to sell via print-on-demand.  It’s fabulous to see a library embarking on a project like this, one that will bring income!  Wow, the envy I have…..

For the full story see the press release.

A blog discussing the news and issues surrounding eBooks, for librarians and publishers.