Ingram acquires Book Network Int’l Limited, international print and ebook distributor

With this move, Ingram expands its UK footprint. Full press release below:

NASHVILLE, TENN. June 30, 2017 – Ingram Publisher Services LLCan operating unit of Ingram Content Group, has acquired Book Network Int’l Limited (“NBNi”); an international physical and digital book distributor, based in the UK.  NBNi’s client service business will stand alongside Ingram’s wide range of digital, physical and print-on-demand solutions to create a premier global services offering. Continue reading Ingram acquires Book Network Int’l Limited, international print and ebook distributor

Book of the Week: Wild Ideas (Cathy Wild)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

Wild Ideas: Creativity from the Inside Out

A pioneer in somatic counseling, the expressive arts, and the field of life coaching, Cathy Wild has also been featured as a creativity expert on the PBS television series, In the Prime. For many years, she wrote Wild Ideas, a column about personal growth and creative living that inspired her book by the same name.

About BlueInk Review

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

NSR releases its summer 2017 journal issue — Ebook Purchasing in Academic Libraries: Key Issues and Emerging Trends

While the LIS industry has made great strides in improving how ebooks function in libraries the past few years, as any librarian in charge of ebook collection development can attest, ebooks are not always easier to manage than print books. They can, in fact, be more challenging. Many factors come into play and long gone are the days when librarians only needed to order particular titles based on interest or need communicated to them in advance by faculty or researchers.

In 2017, the universe of ebooks and econtent continues to grow at a dizzying rate, making it very challenging to keep up on a title-by-title basis; shrinking budgets and staff reductions have become the norm even in affluent institutions; and to remain competitive research institutions must rely on current scholarship that is constantly refreshed and available to them without restriction.

LIS journals that cover ebooks are overflowing with articles asking the same questions time and again: Can my library afford the new product or service? Will a particular method help streamline workflow? How much high-quality content is readily available? How much will my library be able to own in perpetuity? What will happen if my library doesn’t renew a subscription to a product that no longer serves its needs? Will the library have clear insight into patron usage? How well will the new product integrate into the library’s existing catalog? And, not to be overlooked: who is the content provider and what is its credibility in the library market?

This series of articles aims to elucidate some of the ebook challenges librarians in academic institutions (of all sizes) have had to grapple with in recent years in their ongoing efforts to support research. The goal here is to discuss key issues surrounding ebook purchasing and clarify some misconceptions that still persist within the industry, not only about the nature of ebooks (as explained by Frederick) but, more important, about the ebook business models offered to libraries. These models continue to evolve, of course, as librarians, publishers, and aggregators adjust their expectations and learn from experience.

Read or download the full issue of No Shelf Required’s journal on Ebook Purchasing in Academic Libraries: Key Issues and Emerging Trends here.

Narrating from personal experience

Good audiobook narrators are trained actors who have developed deep skills in voice and breath management. In many cases, they, along with professional directors, bring interpretation to texts with minimal personal contact with their authors as people. This year, the Odyssey Award, an American Library Association’s honor for best audiobook production for the youth audience, feted titles in which that general rule of thumb happened to not be the case.

Among the three Honor audiobooks, Jason Reynolds’ Ghost (Simon & Schuster), we heard from both author and narrator Guy Lockard, reached the ear from the page via the talents of Reynolds’ friend of 20 years. As Lockard told it from the celebration podium, these two “sat on the same couch, eating tunafish sandwiches” and listening to community members holding forth around them. Lockard knows Reynolds’ characters as thoroughly as Reynolds. The result is an audiobook experience that is thoroughly true to the feelings of the author’s word choices, phrasings, and interpretation of experience.

The Odyssey Award this year went to a production that wasn’t quite as uniquely personal. However, Anna and the Swallow Man (Listening Library) made friends of former strangers author Gavriel Savit and actor Allan Corduner, two generations of men whose own ancestors lived some of the experiences on which this story hinges. This shared community memory of the Holocaust through a child’s interpretive capacity informs both writer and narrator at an innate level where no explanation is needed from one to other for a full listening experience to come to being.

There are two other Honor titles in this year’s Odyssey Award season, each of which contributes an unusual performance experience based on the parameters of the author’s storytelling. Dream On, Amber, by Emma Shevah and performed by Laura Kirman (Recorded Books) involves the need for the narrator to speak as family members whose linguistic heritages include Italian, Japanese, and 21st century American English Tween. Nimona, a graphic novel by Noelle Stevenson, was produced by a full cast—and appropriate sound effects (Harper Audio) to move an original format that relies on visual content as well as verbal from page to ear.

All in all, this year’s Odyssey seems to be a celebration of relationships as much as production skill sets. And, as ever, every title makes grand reading by ear.

Indie book reviews: Separating the wheat from the chaff

If you want to add indie ebooks to your library, how do you pick the good ones and avoid the duds? It’s not as if an ebook that never circs is going to clutter your shelves, but at the same time you want to focus your energy on acquiring ebooks that your patrons will enjoy. You need ebooks with positive reviews–and not only positive reviews but positive reviews from credible review sources you can trust. After all, reading the reviews takes effort. You don’t want to have to evaluate the sources of the reviews, too.

Or, if you’re an indie author, how do you get a review that librarians will respect, so they will buy your book? An author may also ask, do I even need a review?

When I began research for this article, I wanted to know two things

  • How the review process works for indie author
  • How librarians can find credible reviews of indie books so they can make good choices of what to buy for their collections

I began with a little online research.

Jane Friedman wrote an excellent post on paid reviews for indie authors, and PW has a recently updated  article on the same subject by Daniel Lefferts and Alex Daniel in the BookLife section for self-publishing authors. Some authors find that paid reviews do create additional book sales, while others do not. Continue reading Indie book reviews: Separating the wheat from the chaff

Book of the Week: A Chance to Say Goodbye (Lisa J. Shultz)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

A Chance to Say Goodbye: Reflections on Losing a Parent

Lisa writes and lives in Breckenridge, Colorado.  She an award-winning author of several books.  She loves reading and reviewing books for Goodreads. Continue reading Book of the Week: A Chance to Say Goodbye (Lisa J. Shultz)

When ebooks are ‘free’ through libraries for two weeks (like Harry Potter)

We learned last week that Pottermore will make J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone ebook available to UK library users for two weeks in order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its publication. The ebook will be available through library distribution apps OverDrive, BorrowBox from Bolinda and Askews & Holts from June 26 until July 7. During that time, the U.K. library system (which signed an agreement with Pottermore) will offer unlimited number of loans to the first book in the massively popular series.

We also learned that Pottermore is supplying participating libraries with posters, flyers, social media materials and competition ideas to help them publicize the free loans (as they are called) and, in essence, help publicize the book and the series in digital format.

Those of us who have worked with ebook vendors and engaged publishers (big and small) to consider alternative ebook business models (for consumers and especially for libraries) have long been aware of the resistance on the part of established, traditional publishing houses to expose their content digitally in ways other than through the one copy-one user model.

So when a publisher such as Pottermore decides to provide a Harry Potter title in ebook format through a library in ‘unlimited’ ways (which means no restrictions are placed on how many readers can read at the same time during the two-week period, and only during that period), the first reaction is certainly one filled with hope that a new trend may be on the horizon showing signs that publishers hesitant to embrace less restrictive ebook models in libraries are embracing innovation by making some bold digital moves. What’s more, some are touting this move as a great way to ‘support’ public libraries in the U.K., which have been struggling.

The second reaction, however, is one of hesitation. Continue reading When ebooks are ‘free’ through libraries for two weeks (like Harry Potter)

Listening to writers, writing to be heard

Human language involves a plethora of two-way avenues: we listen to others, we speak to be heard; we read language documented in writing and write our own language for briefer or longer preservation. Two-way streets can hold one-way traffic so we don’t create expressed language with the requirement of an audience. We couldn’t, however, listen to others or read their expressions before those others put together the words we meet with ears and eyes. We also speak from what we’ve read, listen to once-written—and never-written—texts. It’s a glorious interchange in which we develop and exercise so many skills that blend and fold and emerge from each other.

The Portable Stories project offers writers a path for reaching original publication in professionally performed audio. To date it’s gone through one full cycle from short story theme announcement, to writing contest submissions and judging, through casting and recording the winner. The second cycle’s writing portion closed last month and announcement of the winning text happens next month. Then it’s on to recording and producing that audio short story, along with the next theme announcement. Continue reading Listening to writers, writing to be heard

Reading by Ear: A superb collection of articles on audiobooks, audio literacy, and the art of listening

A few months ago, NSR launched the Reading by Ear column, written by audiobook and audio literacy authority, librarian Francisca Goldsmith. The column discusses audiobooks as a medium through which contemporary readers are invited to explore literary culture, performance arts, and multimodal literacy capacity building. In her thought-provoking, scholarly yet accessible writing, Francisca addresses why audiobook listening expands, rather than derails, our access to literature and the written word. She also takes on the issue of prescribing audiobooks as a ‘print reading’ support versus listening to audiobooks as a way to build information and aesthetic experiences and critical thinking about auditory experiences in their own right.

Francisca has been working in libraries for many years. Her professional background includes services and collections for teens in public and school libraries, for New Americans, and providing reference services and managing collections for adults and teens. Her contribution to No Shelf Required is immense and we are grateful to have her on board. Continue reading Reading by Ear: A superb collection of articles on audiobooks, audio literacy, and the art of listening

Honoring local authors in their hometown libraries: This is how San Jose PL does it

Wouldn’t it be great if your library could host one author event after another, with every event well attended by both authors and appreciative readers? San Jose Public Library (SJPL) has a strong record in this area, and in this article we will look at how they do it without working themselves to death in the process.

Serving a diverse population of nearly one million, SJPL comprises fourteen branches. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, The King Library was named after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and occupies a corner of the San Jose State University campus. It is SJPL’s main branch and consistently produces top-flight local author events. This large, nine floor library provides services to residents of San Jose, as well as to the students and faculty of San Jose State University, home of the renowned SJSU School of Information. I don’t have to tell you that it’s a busy place and that library staff have a lot going on, besides author events.

Librarian Deborah Estreicher manages the author events, and she was kind enough to give me an hour of her time on the phone. Speaking in a calm, thoughtful voice, she explained what she does and how she does it. Managing the author events is not a full-time job for her. The rest of the time she is a reference librarian. She did not initiate the local author events at the library; rather, SJPL had been putting on author events for several years after another librarian started them, but when that librarian left the library,  the events fell to Deborah and her supervisor to take over. These events are not held on Indie Author Day, but rather they are scheduled to fit the needs of the library and the community. Continue reading Honoring local authors in their hometown libraries: This is how San Jose PL does it

Book of the Week: Federal Prison Handbook (Christopher Zoukis)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

Federal Prison Handbook: The Definitive Guide to Surviving the Federal Bureau of Prisons

Continue reading Book of the Week: Federal Prison Handbook (Christopher Zoukis)

ALA and NSR will launch a new eCourse on ebooks in July; registration now open

ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions has recently announced a new iteration of its popular eCourse, Understanding E-Books: All You Need to Know Now and for the Future. NSR’s Mirela Roncevic will serve as the instructor for this 4-week facilitated eCourse starting on July 10, 2017.

More information below or on ALA’s site.


Estimated Hours of Learning: 24
Certificate of Completion available upon request

After completing this eCourse, you will understand:

  • The basics of how e-books function and their place in the current publishing marketplace
  • How e-books are currently being used in libraries, including circulation and lending policies
  • The key issues that librarians are likely to face with e-books in the future

The popularity of e-books exploded with the emergence of tablets and e-readers like the Kindle and has risen steadily ever since. For librarians, this growth has meant the development of a new area of service and content delivery. For the librarian who is new to e-books and e-readers, this can be intimidating. Where do you start? How can you learn what you need to know to provide the services that your patrons expect?

Mirela Roncevic has been involved with e-books and e-readers since their emergence, and in this new eCourse she’ll give you the foundation you need to make e-books work for your library and your career. Requiring no prior knowledge of e-books, this eCourse will sketch in their history while showing you how they function in libraries, exploring issues ranging from file formats to delivery mechanisms and lending policies and what they mean for libraries both now and in the future. Continue reading ALA and NSR will launch a new eCourse on ebooks in July; registration now open

Voices for Canada

Canada, in spite of its southern neighbor’s too frequent assumptions, is not a cultural outpost of US art, literary, and literacy practices. Canadians create and take pride in the richness of Canadian books, authors, and artists. When it comes to identifying, collecting, and promoting Canadian authors, publishers, librarians, and journalists engage in ongoing projects to discover and make discoverable, through meta-tagging, explicit selection and deselection curation rules, and title page verso reference to national and provincial agencies dedicated to the promotion of books.

Comparisons between 2014 and 2015 surveys of adult audiobook listeners in Canada show that the format has gained solid traction and an increasingly invested listening audience. [1] Canadian listening readers, like their counterparts in the US and other countries, continue to enjoy increasing numbers of titles from which to select. However, as with book publication, the search for Canadian content indicates greater potential than current actuality. And with audiobooks, the product has several points at which its Canadianess—or lack thereof—can be judged: author, audiobook publishing company, and narrator talent. Continue reading Voices for Canada

Libraries in New York City launch Subway Library, a new initiative that provides subway riders with free access to ebooks

Subway riders in New York will now be able to read free ebooks. It’s all orchestrated by the city’s three main library systems. Good for them.


Just in:

“We’re excited to announce the launch of Subway Library, a new initiative between The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Library, the MTA, and Transit Wireless that provides subway riders in New York City with free access to hundreds of e-books, excerpts, and short stories—all ready to read on the train.

As part of the Subway Library celebration, don’t miss the specially wrapped “Library Train,” with the interior designed to look like NYPL’s Rose Main Reading Room! The train will alternate running on the E and F lines, running through Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.

How to Access the Subway Library
To access the Subway Library, MTA customers in underground subway stations can connect to the free TransitWirelessWiFi through their network settings and click on the SubwayLibrary.com prompt to start reading from a large selection of titles for all ages. The site was developed with the same technology we used to create our free SimplyE e-reader app.”

Read more here.

 

Indie Author Day: Librarians and authors sound off on the benefits of participating

In anticipation of Indie Author Day 2017, to take place on October 14, this article will summarize what I found after speaking with several librarians and an author who had participated in Indie Author Day last October.

Four themes emerged:

  • The Indie Author Day name sends too narrow a message
  • Libraries need to do more, and earlier, promotion to bring in readers as well as authors
  • The most successful aspect of Indie Author Day was networking among the authors. In one case, this resulted in the founding of a writers group at a library.
  • …and what about paying the authors for the books?

Mel Parish, the author who organized Eastchester Public Library’s Indie Author Day 2016 spoke to me at length about her experiences with it. 

“It was good to get together with other authors,” she said. However, the name of the event conveyed the message that it was a day for authors, and not for  readers (and book purchasers). 

Calling it Indie Author Day sends the message that it is a day for authors, rather than for readers, so it attracts authors. At Eastchester, several of the people in the audience were actually either writing books or planning to, and they wanted to learn more about how to become an indie author. It wasn’t clear that the event was for readers as well as for authors, so people thought that it was especially for authors who hoped to get their books into public libraries, which can be difficult, since librarians see being published by one of the Big Five as the stamp of approval for a book, and they won’t buy books from the smaller independent presses or from indie authors. 

Continue reading Indie Author Day: Librarians and authors sound off on the benefits of participating

Self-publishing platform Pronoun adds Overdrive and Bibliotheca, expanding distribution to libraries for indie authors

Just in:

Pronoun, a self-publishing platform for easy ebook design, distribution, and marketing, now includes library distribution.

NEW YORK — June 7, 2017 — Pronoun today announced the addition of library distributors OverDrive and Bibliotheca to its retail distribution, which includes Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Google Play.

Authors are now able to add OverDrive and Bibliotheca as distributors when publishing on Pronoun, adding their ebook to catalogs from which over 20,000 libraries can purchase for circulation.

Library distribution expands Pronoun’s already easy-to-use self-publishing platform including free ebook conversion, Author Pages, book tracking, data-powered marketing tools, and one-stop distribution across all major ebook retailers.  Authors can set their own price for books distributed in library catalogs and can earn 70% royalties. Continue reading Self-publishing platform Pronoun adds Overdrive and Bibliotheca, expanding distribution to libraries for indie authors

Book of the Week: GPS For Everyone: You Are Here (Pratap Misra)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

GPS for Everyone: You are Here

Continue reading Book of the Week: GPS For Everyone: You Are Here (Pratap Misra)