Category Archives: Tech Updates & Upgrades

Free WebCast – eBooks vs. Apps: The Pros, the Cons, the Possibilities

eBooks vs. Apps: The Pros, the Cons, the Possibilities – a free webcast sponsored by Aptara, a community partner of Digital Book World.

Between the overwhelming popularity of the iPad and the increased adoption and continuing evolution of ePub, the opportunities and sales channels for digital books have exploded over the past 12 months.  Most publishers agree that some ebook titles justify the extra investment for enhancement, but determining the degree of interactivity and technical approach best-suited to the book and your budget can be daunting.  In this free WEBcast, Ebooks vs. Apps: The Pros, Cons, and Possibilities, we will explore the production and budgetary benefits and pitfalls of developing applications versus enhancing ebooks. Continue reading Free WebCast – eBooks vs. Apps: The Pros, the Cons, the Possibilities

Digital Book 2010 Presentations online

I’m a bit late with this post, but the IDPFs Digital Book 2010 Conference presentations are now online (have been since June 3rd – alas I had a vacation).  There are some interesting ones out there on:

  • the eBook revolution
  • ePUB
  • DRM, copyright protection  and biz models of the future
  • marketing and selling eBooks
  • digital magazines and newspapers

Some of these include the audio as well. Enjoy!  Lots of food for thought.

OverDrive – audio interview with Steve Potash

Last Saturday while exploring the ALA Annual exhibit hall, I had the chance to sit down and chat with Steve Potash, CEO of OverDrive.  There is always so much going on with OverDrive, and the interview highlights so much of this.  Have a listen.

Interviews with Steve Potash and over 20 other individuals are available on the NSR interviews page.

Mad World of eBooks, part two – ALA discussion

For the introductory material on the session, please see part one of this blog post.

Second group – Lenny Allen, OUP, Erin Igoe, Cambridge UP, Tony Horava, OCUL, Joy Kirchner, COPPUL

  • Lenny – budget and workflow are concerns, always looking a year in advance.
  • Erin – CBO general ebook platform focused on perpetual access of titles; forthcoming developments – digital collections from Cambridge Libary, New Cambridge history of Islam; discussing the best use of delivering print materials in a digital format that will be most useful, relevant and user friendly.  Always looking at discoverability and functionality, they really want to be at the simultaneous release of p and e, it’s the workflow issue that is holding things up.  Lots of opportunities for ILL, PDA, metadata (better and more consistent fashion), use reports. Suggests that librarians keep pushing the envelope with publishers. Continue reading Mad World of eBooks, part two – ALA discussion

EPUB logo is here

The new ePUB logo is here.  Considering the camel text, I guess I will now start typing ePUB instead of EPUB. The logo is available in color, black/white, and gray scale versions from the IDPF site.  The IDPF held a contest for the logo design and it was won by Ralph Burkhardt of Stuttgart, Germany.  The contest gleaned 203 entries from 18 countries.

Open Letter to E-Book Creators and Sellers from Library Customers

Reposting this open letter from an LJ article, thanks to @mlharper for the tweet.

An Open Letter to E-Book Creators and Sellers from Library Customers

Libraries and their customers have a long and mutually beneficial relationship with authors, publishers, and vendors, based on the printed word — books. Now, with the emergence of popular e-books and e-book readers, libraries are positioned to continue that partnership with these exciting new products.
Libraries have much to offer e-book sellers as you work to establish a new successful business model around the e-book format. At the same time libraries need e-book providers to offer e-pub materials in ways that enable and support use by libraries and library users. Here is the deal. Continue reading Open Letter to E-Book Creators and Sellers from Library Customers

Patron Driven Acquisition – Librarian Survey

I had the opportunity to work with Publishers Communication Group to present the hot-off-the-press results of their study of library deployment of  e-book patron driven acquisition (PDA) programs.  The study was conducted by PCG’s Head of Research Emilie Delquie.  She is still looking for survey respondents so please contact her if your library has a PDA program in place or if you plan to implement in 2010.

The results were presented at the Spring Conference of the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) which was held in Cambridge, MA this week.  The conference was attended primarily by publishing executives, and the theme was “Users, customers, practitioners & librarians talk – Publishers are you listening?”

The key messages I tried to convey to publishers were: include your titles in the aggregator e-book services; release the electronic copy the same day as the print copy; and make the content available in epub format for download to handheld readers.

The survey shows tremendous rapid adoption of patron driven acquisition.  Two hundred and fifty libraries were contacted.  From that sample: 32 have PDA programs deployed; 42 planned to have a program deployed within the next year; and an additional 90 plan to deploy a  program within the next three years.  Of the 32 libraries that currently have PDA programs 47% began their program in the past six months.

Thank you to all of you who have already participated in the survey!

Slides are attached for your viewing pleasure: PDA Survey Spring 2010

Ingram to provide publishers with access to Apple’s iBookstore

Ingram announced that it will provide publisher content to Apple’s new iBookstore.  Using their CoreSource® program, Ingram’s solution for the storage, management, and distribution of digital content, publishers will be able to submit eBooks to iBookstore for availability on Apple’s new iPad.  Ingram will help manage the relationship between publishers and Apple.  This will enable a publisher’s catalog to be ingested, converted into ePub, Apple’s required format, and submitted to the iBookstore.   To learn more about Ingram’s Apple Referral Program and CoreSource, visit: www.ingramcontent.com/apple.

EPUB logo contest

The IDPF is hosting a contest for the design of the EPUB logo.  All individuals, companies, educational institutions and other groups are eligible to submit entries.  Entries must be received by May 7th at 2400 hours.  The winning design will receive $1000 cash and two tickets to attend the IDPF Digital Book 2010 at BEA.  For more information, see the IDPF website.  Thanks to teleread for the tip.

Designing eBooks for ePUB reading engines

Caught this presentation link on Twitter from Liza Daly at Three Press Consulting.  Liza gave a presentation recently on designing eBooks for 2 epub reading engines rather than designing eBooks for 99 different readers (and counting).   What is a reading engine you ask?  According to slide #7, “A reading engine is the part of the ereading software that actually places text on the screen.  It’s the most basic, primitive, component of any ereader.”  Her presentation focuses on designing eBooks for 2/3 of the popular epub reading engines – Adobe Reader Mobile SDK (RMSDK) and WebKit.  Liza says that thinking about reading engines can really simplify issues around eBook design.

Liza has also designed her own ereader – the Ibis Reader.  With Ibis, you can read epub books on a computer or mobile device and your content is stored online, so you can access it anytime.

Top eBook/eReader Trends of 2010

Really interesting lists of eBook and eReader trends on the Kindle Review blog (posted March 5th).  Some of the things I was happy to see on the list include:

  • Multi Purpose Devices vs. Dedicated Readers – Will the dedicated readers be able to survive?
  • Rise of ePUB
  • DRM – is it possible we rid of it? ….unfortunately that is followed up by Is it possible it becomes more onerous and widespread?  Clearly this is a trend that can go either direction.
  • Rise of eTextbooks
  • Arrival of Textbook Readers (Entourage eDGe or Kindle DX 2?)

One thing I saw that concerns me –

Libraries and the Kindle – Libraries are flocking to eReaders and eBooks in general and the Kindle in particular.

I hope libraries are looking at the bigger/broader picture of eBooks as well.  I’d hate to see everyone latching on to the Kindle when there are so many new multi-purpose devices coming on the market that allow much more flexibility in eBook downloads/reading.  (Ibis, Blio, Kobo are examples, but not all will work with libraries….yet.  OverDrive is also branching out into DRM free EPUB and PDF for viewing on multiple devices)

Digital Divide Data – eBook Conversion with Social Responsibility

I was introduced to a company at the TOC Conference by the name of Digital Divide Data.  I had no idea what they did, but upon learning more about them, became very impressed with them.  DDD is an international non-profit organization involved in the conversion and digitization of books, journals, and other content.  They can create eBooks in ePUB and formats to fit with the Kindle, iPhone, and other eReading devices.  But the most impressive part of DDD is how they digitize.  They recruit and train young Cambodians and Laotians who are trapped in the circle of poverty.  These individuals are trained in various IT skills for 6 – 8 months.  If they meet the DDD requirements, they are hired to perform IT services for global companies and spend half of their day in school, earning a degree in 3 to 4 years.  DDD often hires graduates for management positions and many move on to other careers and fields where they can earn nearly 6 times the local salary.  For more information on DDD, visit their site – particularly the area for getting involved.

OverDrive offers DRM free EPUB & PDF and much much more

Received a press release from OverDrive announcing many enhancements to the OverDrive interface and digital content offerings.  The announcements were made today, just shy of the start of the Public Library Association Conference in Portland, Oregon.  Those attending the PLA Conference should stop by the OverDrive booth(2347) for demos of all these new features.  My favorite is “Open eBooks” – DRM free eBooks in EPUB and PDF formats which can be downloaded and read on nearly all EPUB enabled devices.  Here are just a few things mentioned in the press release: Continue reading OverDrive offers DRM free EPUB & PDF and much much more

Removing print books meets resistance in academic libraries

Interesting article on E-Library Economics in Inside Higher Education.  Discussion surrounds Syracuse University’s plan for a more digital library and transformation of the physical library to student study space, which met with resistance from faculty and students.  The author, Steve Kolowich, sites various studies on the economics of digital libraries and the design of the future library.  “Taken together, these studies point to twin conclusions: The sooner professors and students embrace e-books, the sooner their libraries can start saving money — but that might not happen for a while.”  Kolowich goes on to discuss issues with eBooks, eReaders, and standard formats like EPUB.

10 Takeaways from the O’Reilly Tools of Change Conference for Librarians

Earlier this week I attended the O’Reilly Tools of Change (TOC) Conference for the first time.  Over 1250 attendees gathered in New York City to discuss and network   about issues and trends in publishing, in particular, digital publishing.  While much of the information presented was for the publishing industry, I did manage to find several great ideas and concepts that relate to libraries.  I’d like to share these with you, in no apparent order. Continue reading 10 Takeaways from the O’Reilly Tools of Change Conference for Librarians

PubFactory

During the TOC Conference I got a demo of iFactory’s new platform, PubFactory from Tom Beyer, Director of Publishing at iFactory.

PubFactory is an online publishing platform for publishers or libraries that is xml based, and supports ePub, DocBook, TEI, and NLM Journal formats.  They also support ONIX and RDF for metadata and PDF (metadata and full text searching/viewing).  Continue reading PubFactory

TOC – Tools of Change Keynote Speakers

Day One, TOC Conference, about 1200 attendees in the North and South Ballrooms of the Marriott Marquis in Times Square.  Good lineup for keynotes this morning including:  Peter Collingridge with Enhanced Editions, William Patry with Google, Skip Prichard from Ingram Content Group, Sameer Shariff from Impelsys, and Arianna Huffington from the Huffington Post.

Andrew Savikas, Program Chair started us off with intros.

Highlights are below from each speaker. Continue reading TOC – Tools of Change Keynote Speakers

Tools of Change – Practical Ebook Formatting Workshop

Practical Ebook Formatting: Limitations and Optimizations – Joshua Tallent (Ebook Architects) and Phil Frank (Hendrickson)

  • TOC Conference, Monday, Feb. 22nd 9 – 12:30, Mariott Marquis, NYC
  • About 200 folks in the room, 1/2 do the ebook formatting on a regular basis, 1/2 are managing people who do this, and me.
  • I decided to attend this session b/c I know nothing about it 😉  Please keep this in mind as you read my notes. Continue reading Tools of Change – Practical Ebook Formatting Workshop

The new iPad, it sounds like a dream date

Been watching the twits about the iPad – “extraordinary,”  “a dream to type on,” “much more intimate than a laptop,” “the best browsing experience you’ve ever had.”  Sounds like they are describing a dream date (sans the laptop and browsing). Oh wait, now they are talking about pinching folders, ouch.

Seriously – it appears to be a bigger and better iPod Touch.  Multimedia viewing, full keyboard, pictures, email, ebooks, music, google maps, existing apps, yadda yadda.  I’m sure I’ll own one soon, but it doesn’t sound like they’ve introduced anything we haven’t seen in other devices – it will just be better of course because it’s Apple.

Not too much on ebooks thus far and nothing on textbooks.  Anxious to find out more about that.

added later – just read a nice post on teleread about the ebook options on the new ipad.   iBooks – EPUB…this really is a dream date!