Big news fom the Digital Library blog at OverDrive about their pilot project with Project Gutenberg records – it’s live and available for libraries. From the blog post: OverDrive’s Project Gutenberg eBook collection, featuring over 15,000 EPUB titles that are free to your library and to your customers, is out of beta and available on more than 125 ‘Virtual Branch’ websites. Since we launched this feature in August, library customers have downloaded 100,000 eBooks from the collection. That’s great news for all libraries with these free EPUB eBooks because each download can count as a circulation for your library, even though no authentication is needed to access these ‘always available’ titles.
More information, including instructions on viewing the “Gutenberg Report” within one’s Content Reserve account, is in the post.
Jeff Shelstad, Founder and CEO of FlatWorld Knowledge spoke first.
Jeff provided some stats on higher education:
- 19.1 million students in 2010 in college
- $850 avg spent on textbook
- so, it’s about a 10billion industry
- Cengage, Pearson, McGraw-Hill are the big 3 publishers along with many other small ones
Problem is that the industry has outworn their value proposition and is not willing to pay for the product the industry is offering. Affordability is a huge problem.
36% of community college student in a study said that the cost of textbooks had caused them to leave/dropout Continue reading
Michael Pastore has released a revised and expanded edition of his book – 50 Benefits of eBooks. It is packed with information about how to understand, and enjoy, the digital reading revolution. The book, soon to be released as a 368-page paperback, is now available in ebook editions which contain all the same information as the paperback — yet sell for less than four dollars.
Published by Zorba Press (in Ithaca, New York), ==50 Benefits of Ebooks== is a lively introduction to the brave new worlds of ebooks and electronic publishing. This revised edition (now 66,000 words) is 25% larger than the September 2009 edition, and contains ten new chapters. The ebook — now available in PDF and EPUB — is priced at $3.99.
To buy the ebook, visit the ebook’s web page: http://www.zorba.us/?page_id=142
Full News Release is here: http://www.zorba.us/?page_id=318
Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak with Ken Petri, the Director of the Web Accessibility Center at The Ohio State University, about the accessibility of eBooks and eBook readers. Ken is incredibly knowledgeable on the topic and offered a great deal of information during the interview. It’s about 25 minutes in length, so I strongly encourage you to download the file before listening due to it’s size. Ken provided us with a great list of resources for various aspects of eBook accessibility, which are below. Thanks Ken!
NSR offers monthly interviews with librarians, publishers, and others involved in the eBook industry. Have a listen from the interviews page. Continue reading
The wait is finally over, well only if you own a Windows based device, for the blio reader from K-NFB and it’s partner Baker and Taylor. There is a full story in Business Wire, but the highlights include:
- free to download
- available immediately (Sept. 28th) for all Windows-based devices
- applications for iOS and Android operating systems following soon after
- full-color, interactive and immersive content
- today’s best-sellers as well as rich media content that’s simply not available on e-ink e-readers
- B & T signed over a hundred publishers Continue reading
From an O’Reilly Media press release:
For years O’Reilly Media has supplied digital files of our books to Bookshare, a non-profit that provides accessible reading material to the print disabled. For qualifying readers, these ebooks are made available worldwide. And now, through a collaboration with Bookshare, we’ve started making the easy-access DAISY (Digital Accessible Information Systems) formats available within our ebook bundles on oreilly.com for more than 800 titles. Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a new book by Elizabeth Castro called EPUB Straight to the Point, which was brought to my attention by Michael Pastore of Zorba Press and Epublishers Weekly. Michael, author of 50 Benefits of Ebooks, just completed a full review of this new EPUB title and emailed the link to me. His conclusion: Publishers, authors, book designers — everyone interested in making EPUB ebooks — can buy Castro’s book with complete confidence; the book will teach you to build a better ebook than you’ve ever built before. Thanks, Michael.
Last Friday, the Boston Public Library added 15,000 Project Gutenberg books to it’s virtual library, supported by OverDrive. This new project between OverDrive and Project Gutenberg is currently in beta and allows libraries to provide access to these public domain titles at no charge. The titles are DRM free EPub books and users will not run into holds, checkouts, or authentication.
The full press release from OverDrive is available and current OverDrive customers who are interested in adding the Gutenberg titles to their own virtual library should contact OverDrive’s partner services group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m thrilled to inform you that No Shelf Required: E-books in Libraries will be released in late August. This edited book, published by ALA Editions, discusses a variety of eBook topics for school, public, and academic libraries. Since I have a bit of clout with the publisher, I’m able to release the TOC and introduction for your review and consideration. It is below. Of course, it will be available in a variety of eBook formats, and print too. Continue reading