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
From the OverDrive blog:
NOOK Media, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), and OverDrive, the leading eBook platform for libraries, today announced a new partnership to enable public libraries to provide readers with access to hundreds of the most popular digital magazines and newspapers from the NOOK Newsstand®. Utilizing OverDrive platforms integrated with library catalogs, library patrons in the U.S. and U.K. will be able to discover, access and read a huge selection of NOOK Newsstand titles on their NOOK tablet device and on tablets, smartphones and PCs via the suite of Free NOOK Reading Appsâ„¢. The new service is expected to roll out to customers in the coming months. Continue reading Nook and OverDrive partner to provide digital magazines and newspapers to libraries
Apple’s new in-app selling rules are in effect, requiring retailers to give Apple 30% of revenues from book sales. As a result, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Google Books have stopped selling books through their apps. SONY’s app was rejected back in February for the same reasons. There’s lots of news coverage, a few are linked below:
On Tuesday, May 3rd I recorded a 15 minute segment for the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education on Think TV, the local public television station in Dayton, Ohio. My topic was the rise of digital textbooks and options available for students and faculty to access and produce textbooks and learning materials. Below is a snapshot of my general comments with links to various sources for more information.
Our current textbook system is broken. We have arrived at $200 textbooks and have students who cannot afford them. As a result, students try to borrow a textbook from the library or a friend (sometimes the older edition), purchase a used one, or go without. Neither of these options provides revenue to the publisher, thus resulting in higher price points in an effort to recover the costs or production. What can we do about this catch 22? Continue reading Digital Textbooks and Open Educational Resources – Summary of SOCHE Think TV session
Reprinted in full from PAFA.net – http://www.pafa.net/archives/3129
Lendle.me, one of the new and very popular ebook lending services, was shut down today. Amazon has pulled the plug on them. The API that connects them to the Amazon database has been revoked. According the a@lendleapp tweet, Amazon said Lendle doesn’t “serve the principal purpose of driving sales of products and services on the Amazon site.” Other lending sites have also had their API pulled according to this statement from Lendle. Continue reading Amazon Pulls Plug on Lendle.me
Springer, who has existing eRetail partnerships with Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and others, announced this week the addition of the Google eBookstore for Springer eBook titles.
From their press release: Springer eBooks can now also be purchased via Google’s eBookstore. Google currently holds the biggest collection of Springer eBooks with more than 52,000 books, which is a combination of physically scanned books published prior to 2006 and PDF file submissions since 2006. Springer adds 4,000 newly published titles per year.
Springer eBooks are also available on Amazon for the Kindle, and in the near future Barnes & Noble for the NookStudy.com platform, Kobo Books, B&T BLIO, Entourage and Apple’s iBooks, which is now receiving books in the free and open ebook format ePub. Springer will soon also deliver books in ePub format to Amazon for the Kindle. Continue reading Springer eBooks now also available in the Google eBookstore
Reprinted in full from One Librarian’s Perspective, by Tim Kambitsch, Director of the Dayton Metro Library.
It is fashionable to declared Digital Rights Management (DRM) dead. And maybe in the world of music it is. For eBooks in the library marketplace, however, DRM is alive and well. The book publishers who may be more conservative than the music industry in trying to protect their intellectual property are willing to stymie sales in electronic formats to maximize their sense of security.
In the ideal open-yet-market-driven eBook environment there won’t be DRM, but regardless of whether DRM lives on, the closed vertically integrated world of eBooks sales to libraries presents a bigger problem; it is that environment that needs to change. For libraries to both offer electronic collections and maintain their role of building collections for the long term we need a layered environment where the purchase of materials is separated from the where those purchased materials are hosted. Further, library patrons deserve distinct choices for the programs and devices they use for readings. Continue reading Opening the eBook Market
My friend and colleague, Erik Christopher (@eBookNoir), recently wrote a two part article on lending eBooks for Publishing Perspectives. Cleverly titled, “Friends Romans, Librarians: Lend Me Your eBooks” (parts 1 and 2), Christopher discusses lending issues with Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and OverDrive.
Friends, Romans, Librarians: Lend Me Your E-book (Part 1)
I attended this fabulous and informative session during the Charleston Conference on building an eReader collection by Aisha Harvey, Nancy Gibbs, and Natalie Sommerville of Duke University Libraries. I wanted to run my notes past the presenters first, to ensure accuracy, thus the tardiness of this post.
First and foremost, according to the librarians, the eReader lending program is a team approach and impacts every aspect of the way we build collections in libraries – access, selection, cataloging, ref, circ, etc.
Aisha Harvey, head of collections spoke first and provided an overview of the program. Details: began circ of kindles in January of this year, began with 18 kindles and then added 6 addition ones and 15 nooks. Kindle has 1:6 title distribution on the kindle. So, they call 6 kindles a “pod” and purchase multiple pods. Pay $10 per title and share with 6 devices, average of $2.00 per title. Continue reading Building an eReader Collection, the Duke University Library experience
Barnes and Noble unveiled the nook color at their press conference today. The website has all the details on the $249.00 device.
The Book Industry Study Group, along with a variety of corporate sponsors, launched a study in late 2009 about consumer attitudes toward e-book reading. Consumers were asked a series of questions in Nov. 2009, Jan. 2010 and again in July 2010. Some initial results were released during a twitter #followreader discussion hosted by O’Reilly TOC. The following is an excerpt from the TOC post: (note that “library” is reported for 7% of ebook downloads) (after original post found out that Kelly from BISG said that library downloads are so much in their infancy they don’t have a large enough sample. They hope to do a survey soon regarding this.) Continue reading BISG Study – 7% of eBook downloads are from a library