Has one of your library patrons ever asked why your library had a Kindle bestseller title in print but not as an ebook? Maybe someone who preferred reading e rather than p? Or have you ever wondered the same thing, yourself, when you found an ebook you wanted to read but then found that your collection development people had missed it, or that they had trouble adding it to your collection?
In an earlier article in this column on indies in libraries we looked at indie authors whose ebooks have become bestsellers and discussed why libraries would want to add these to their collections. To summarize what we found, while libraries focus their acquisitions efforts on books from the Big Five, there is a parallel universe of publishing that generates bestsellers and sells them to the public. Some of these bestsellers get into library collections, but not all. The issue for libraries is acquiring as many of these bestsellers as possible to minimize their loss of patrons to Amazon and other ebook services that provide instant access to the titles.
These books are not the old-fashioned self-published books with bad covers and typographical errors that many library and publishing professionals still think of when thinking of independent authors and independent publishing; rather, these are professionally written, edited and produced books (mostly genre fiction) that have been published by highly skilled writers who take advantage of the new realities of publishing. They purchase the editorial and design services of publishing professionals through marketplaces, such as Reedsy, where they can contract for services from editors and others who are current or former employees of the Big Five. They publish and distribute their books on platforms, such as Amazon, that are built to drive sales for them. And they market their books through book blogs, store appearances, and direct email services, such as BookBub.
In this article, we will look at the practical aspects of adding indie ebooks to a library collection, how indie authors distribute their ebooks, and the channels that libraries can use to add these books to their collections. Continue reading What’s the best way to get indies into libraries?
This is the third in a series of articles on ebook models in K-12 or school libraries. The first article was about why school librarians would want to know about anything as abstract as an ebook business model (hint: knowing the basic models will help you choose the best products to meet your library’s goals). The second article examined the four basic models and boiled them down to their simplest levels. One treats ebooks like printed books. One treats ebooks like journal articles. One treats ebooks like books in a bookstore. One treats ebooks like shared resources. Today’s article will show how to use these basic concepts to select the best kinds of ebook products for your library.
Some issues to keep in mind
Before going further, let’s look at some of the issues that come with ebooks in school libraries. We want to have these in mind as we consider how to create a combination of products with different ebook business models. These issues involve three areas: the supplier’s platform and business model, assuring that the ebooks are used to support the educational goals of the school, and bridging the digital divide.
To begin with the platform and business model issues, we need to understand what an ebook platform is, and why it is important. We already know what a business model is and how the four kinds of business models affect school libraries. The platform is the specific technology that an ebook supplier uses to provide ebooks. It includes a web-based interface for student use. It may include apps that make the books readable on mobile devices. It will have an administrative interface or dashboard for you to use so you can control loan periods, track usage, etc. It may also have a teacher interface so that teachers can assign reading to students, and then monitor their progress. If you need to select and purchase individual ebooks before your students can read them, it will also include a book ordering function. In other words, the platform supports everything you, your students and your teachers do with ebooks. Without the platform, you cannot use the ebooks. Continue reading Choosing Ebook Platforms for K-12 Libraries
OverDrive announced today that eBooks from more than 20,000 schools and libraries in its U.S. network are available to be used with Amazon’s Kindle FreeTime. OverDrive is the only supplier of eBooks to schools and libraries with support for Kindle devices. This enables kids and parents to access thousands of Kindle format eBooks from the library and read them within the FreeTime feature using the same parental controls and educational goal-setting that FreeTime offers for other activities. Continue reading OverDrive ebooks now available with Kindle FreeTime
Gary Price and Shirl Kennedy at INFODocket are asking some very important questions about end-user privacy when borrowing OverDrive library books through a third party vendor site (Amazon). The post asks:
- Is Amazon collecting download information?
- Is Amazon saving library download info permanently?
- If not, how long will they keep it? Is there a retention policy?
- Can you provide any info about privacy as it relates to OverDrive/Amazon?
- Will the library books you borrow be used by Amazon to provide recommendations of books for you to purchase?
- Is there a link to scrub all of your personal “library” data from Amazon.com’s servers with a single click?
- Do OverDrive and Amazon.com have any suggestions about how to make the entire process clearer to users?
- How would they respond to the issue that, since the service is being marketed by libraries, users might incorrectly think library privacy policies may still apply?
More information about this issue is available via the INFODocket blog post.
Just received this OverDrive press release in email:
In a move highly anticipated since its initial announcement in April, public libraries and schools in the U.S. can now lend eBooks for the Amazon® Kindle. OverDrive (www.overdrive.com) announced today that it has begun adding Kindle compatibility to all of the U.S. public and school libraries in its network and expects to have all sites updated within days. This is a very significant step in a series of OverDrive WIN platform enhancements to streamline user experience and help libraries meet the increased demand for eBooks.
OverDrive, the leading multichannel digital distributor of eBooks, audiobooks and other digital content, supplies 15,000 public and school libraries worldwide and more than 11,000 in the U.S. To see if your local library is a member of the OverDrive network, visit OverDrive Search. Continue reading OverDrive Press Release about Kindle lending launch – sites up within days
Picked up this news from Nate Hoffelder’s tweet (@thDigitalReader)
From the Amazon Press Release (9/21):
Amazon.com today announced that Kindle and Kindle app customers can now borrow Kindle books from more than 11,000 local libraries in the United States. When a customer borrows a Kindle library book, they’ll have all of the unique features they love about Kindle books, including Whispersync, which automatically synchronizes their margin notes, highlights and bookmarks, real page numbers, Facebook and Twitter integration, and more. For more information about borrowing library books for your Kindle or free Kindle apps, go to www.amazon.com/kindle/publiclibraries. To start checking out Kindle library books, visit your local library’s website. Continue reading Kindle Books Now Available at over 11,000 Local Libraries
Kindle library lending is in beta at two public libraries – King County Library System and the Seattle Public Library. (See article in Seattle Times). News and instructions have been posted on various blogs and articles, but yesterday Library Journal‘s Mike Kelley reported, “Andra Addison, the director of Seattle PL’s communication office, said the library was not publicizing its testing because “It is embargoed until it is available to all partners.”
Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader has been closely following any news of Kindle library lending. He has a really good post about the new service on his blog.
Here is a clip:
“Neither Amazon nor OverDrive have announced anything, and in fact I’m still waiting to hear back from my contacts at Overdrive. But I do know that Amazon’s help pages now refer to the library ebooks as a current feature, and OverDrive already list the Kindle as having beta support. The service is indeed live. Continue reading Kindle library lending in beta
Earlier this week Amazon announced it was “thinking about” providing eBooks as a subscription service to it’s Prime members. According to the Washington Post, “The online retailer is reportedly thinking about making a subscription library service available to Amazon Prime members, adding book rentals to the $79 per year service that now offers online video and an unlimited deal on two-day shipping. The rental subscription, described in the report as a Netflix-like service for books, would offer older titles, and the company would limit the amount of books users could read for free every month.”
Earlier today, eBook Newser blog reported on an announcement for the forthcoming launch of a subscription eBooks service, Afictionado. From the blog post, “Afictionado is scheduled to launch in January of 2012, and according to the site it’s only going to serve the UK market. There’s no word yet on which publishers will be participating, but at the very least you will be able to find Macmillan eBooks offered by the service.” Continue reading eBook subscription services – are libraries screwed?
From Eric Hellman’s Go To Hellman blog. Please offer your comments to Eric at the Go To Hellman blog.
Here’s the third section of my draft of a book chapter for a book edited by No Shelf Required‘s Sue Polanka. I previously posted the introduction; and What does Open Access mean for eBooks subsequent posts will cover Open Access E-Books in Libraries. Note that while the blog always uses “ebook” as one word, the book will use the hyphenated form, “e-book”. The comments on the second section prompted me to make significant revisions, which I have posted.
Business Models for Creation of Open Access E-Books
Any model for e-book publishing must have a business model for recouping the expenses of production: reviewing, editing, formatting, design, etc. In this section, we’ll review methods that can be used to support Open Access e-book publishing. Continue reading Open Access eBooks, Part 3
A study of how University of Washington graduate students integrated an Amazon Kindle DX into their course reading provides the first long-term investigation of e-readers in higher education.
Details on the study:
The researchers interviewed 39 first-year graduate students in the UW’s Department of Computer Science & Engineering, 7 women and 32 men, ranging from 21 to 53 years old.
By spring quarter of 2010, seven months into the study, less than 40 percent of the students were regularly doing their academic reading on the Kindle DX. Reasons included the device’s lack of support for taking notes and difficulty in looking up references. (Amazon Corp., which makes the Kindle DX, has since improved some of these features.) Continue reading University of Washington Kindle Study – Results in
Reprinted from the Go To Hellman blog from Eric Hellman. Here’s the second section of my draft of a book chapter for a book edited by No Shelf Required‘s Sue Polanka. I previously posted the introduction; subsequent posts will include sections on Business Models for Open Access E-Books, and Open Access E-Books in Libraries. Note that while the blog always uses “ebook” as one word, the book will use the hyphenated form, “e-book”. The comments on the first section have been really good; please don’t stop! Comments can be directed to Eric via the Go To Hellman blog.
What does Open Access mean for e-books?
There are varying definitions for the term “open access”, even for journal articles. For the moment, I will use this as a lower-case term broadly to mean any arrangement that allows for people to read a book without paying someone for the privilege. At the end of the section, I’ll capitalize the term. Although many e-books are available for free in violation of copyright laws, I’m excluding them from this discussion.
The most important category of open access for books is work that has entered the public domain. In the US, all works published before 1923 have entered the public domain, along with works from later years whose registration was not renewed. Works published in the US from 1923-1963 entered the public domain 28 years after publication unless the copyright registration was renewed. Public domain status depends on national law, and a work may be in the public domain in some countries but not in others. The rules of what is in and out of copyright can be confusing and sometimes almost impossible to determine correctly. Continue reading Open Access eBooks, Part 2. What does Open Access Mean for e-books?
I never thought I’d see the day! Great news Amazon and OverDrive. News release from Kindle here.
From a Publishers Weekly article: Amazon announced this morning that Kindle owners will soon be able to borrow books from public libraries. Working with vendor OverDrive, which manages e-book lending for the vast majority of public libraries, the deal will make thousands of titles available via more than 11,000 of OverDrive’s public library partners. To date, Kindle has been noticeably absent from library lending, as OverDrive’s service worked only with ePub-enabled devices, including the Sony Reader, the Nook, iPads, and smartphones. Amazon officials said that with Kindle Library Lending, library-ebooks managed by OverDrive will now be available for all generations of Kindle devices and for use with free Kindle reading apps on most other devices, including Android, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone.
The service will launch later this year.
Worldreader is a very interesting non-profit venture to get e-reading devices to those in developing countries. Very similar to the one laptop per child concept. Here’s the information from their about page:
Worldreader.org’s mission is to make digital books available to all in the developing world, enabling millions of people to improve their lives. We identify schools, train teachers, work with communities, and partner with publishers to bring millions of books to underserved children and families in the developing world. Continue reading Worldreader, making digital books available in the developing world
This CIL session was presented by Chad Mairn, Information Services Librarian at St. Petersberg College and Al Carlson, System Administrator for the Tampa Bay Library Consortium.
- Library automation, the internet, and EPUB are the three big things he feels have hit the library industry during his career.
- The book is the content and not the package, ebook is just another package.
- Diagnosing the DVD Disappointment: A Life Cycle View by Judson Coplan – this article from 2006 is one that Al recommends to read as a comparison to how quickly ebooks may be adopted.
- History suggests that ebooks will rapidly invade the codex space
- Books aren’t dead, they are just changing Continue reading CIL Conference – Empowering the Reader in a Digital World