This month, libraries across North America that work with hoopla digital will be able to provide access to some 15,000 (backlist) titles by HarperCollins, one of the ‘big five’ publishers that have resisted working with non-traditional ebook business models and adhered to the one-copy-one-user approach, resulting in less-than-ideal user experience for public library patrons. The news came the day before the official launch of the American Library Association conference in late June (see original press release here) and has already received ample coverage, much of which has revolved around statements that with this move HarperCollins was changing the game, breaking new ground, and giving libraries something exciting to look forward to.
While HarperCollins deserves credit for being the first of the Big Five (others include Penguin Random, Macmillan, Hachette, Simon & Schuster) to go a step beyond the restrictive one copy-one user model (it was also the first to provide ebooks to libraries when others weren’t ready), HarperCollins isn’t the first publisher to embrace alternative models and certainly isn’t the one that is breaking new ground with this move. In fact, as many already know, hoopla has offered the cost-per-circulation model (which pays publishers per ‘loan’ instead of paying fixed fees to acquire titles) for a few years.
What’s more, other companies and other players in the ebook market have even gone beyond this model (e.g., Total Boox, Odilo) to provide instant, simultaneous access to ebooks in libraries and beyond. The fact that this move by HarperCollins is leading so many to call it game-changing is on some level a testament to how our industry (including publishers and libraries) views and values change and innovation. We often center our sentiments on what the most powerful do. Continue reading Great to see major publishers embrace alternative ebook models in public libraries, but let’s give credit where credit is due
ALA TechSource has just opened registration for the upcoming webinar series on e-books and e-readers. I hope you can join us.
Integrating E-Books and E-Readers into Your Library
with Sue Polanka
Two 90-minute sessions
Thursdays 8/4/11 and 8/11/11
2:30 — 4:00 PM EDT | 1:30 — 3:00 PM CDT
12:30 — 2:00 PM MDT | 11:30 AM — 1:00 PM PDT
With the exploding popularity of e-books and e-reading devices, librarians are grappling with how to effectively integrate them into their services and collections. Sue Polanka is back by popular demand to present this two-session ALA TechSource workshop on how to go about it. With her practical guidance you will learn how to begin purchasing and lending e-books for your library, and how to purchase e-reading devices for patron use. Continue reading ALA TechSource webinar series – Integrating E-Books and E-Readers into Your Library
From OverDrive: Author and self-publisher J.A. Konrath (a.k.a. Jack Kilborn) will be a featured speaker at Digipalooza 2011. Konrath has authored 22 eBook titles that are available through OverDrive public, school, and college libraries. He has sold more than 300,000 eBooks. OverDrive’s 3rd international user group conference will be held in downtown Cleveland, July 28-31, 2011. The biennial event will provide hundreds of librarians interaction with representatives from HarperCollins Publishers, Books on Tape (a division of Random House), John Wiley & Sons, AudioGO, Blackstone Audiobooks, and Brilliance Audio. Digipalooza has been recognized as a leading forum for librarians to network and share “best practices” on maximizing the value and circulation of eBooks and digital audiobooks while interacting with publishers and industry leaders. Continue reading Self-publishing author J.A. Konrath to headline OverDrive’s Digipalooza 2011
The Equitable Access to Electronic Content (EQUACC) Task Force met for the first time at a meeting held at ALA Midwinter and had a more substantive session at a one-and-a-half day retreat at the Washington Office, March 7-8, 2011. The retreat happened to coincide with the announcement that HarperCollins would limit loans for its e-books. Throughout the retreat, the significance of the HarperCollins decision factored into most of the discussions. In addition to addressing this timely issue, the Task Force made significant progress toward identifying challenges and solutions for improved electronic access, use, distribution, and preservation. The Task Force focused on long-term strategic issues given that there could easily be a situation similar to the HarperCollins decision in the future and ALA must be prepared to respond effectively.
The interim report is available here.
Two great articles in Library Journal yesterday. The first article summarized the comments of Josh Marwell, president of sales at Harper Collins regarding the 26 check-out rule. Marwell sat on a panel as part of “eBooks: Collections at the Crossroads,” a symposium organized by the Connecticut Library Consortium (#clctrendspotting, #clcebooks).
Clip from article:
“Is 26 set in stone? No. It’s our number for now, but we want to hear back. Immediately. Honestly, it doesn’t make sense that one size fits all. We consider it a work in progress. But this is the number that we have now,” he said.
“I invite you to test the water. Use it. Give us feedback. We’re in the water. We want to be here,” he said, noting that the company wants to sell ebooks to libraries and has been doing so for ten years. Marwell pointed out that HarperCollins has been hearing “quietly” from some librarians who are going to see how the new policy works for them.
“We try to be intelligent about our policy,” he said. “And when we landed on 26, the information that we had was that most books don’t circulate 26 times. In terms of the long tail, this particular number probably works for a different part of the collection. We realize it doesn’t work for the best sellers.” Continue reading “26” not set-in stone, OverDrive challenged on access fees
Check out Eric Hellman’s article, Simon and Schuster is looking at limited lending library eBook Models. Eric highlights a Publishing Point interview conducted by Michael Healy with Simon and Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy. Below is a clip from Eric’s article about library lending:
“Healy’s last question concerned Harper-Collins and the “eye of the hurricane” that they’ve found themselves in regarding their change in ebook lending policies. Reidy’s answer was succinct:
Simon and Schuster does not yet sell ebooks to libraries. We have not yet found a business model that makes us happy. That’s why we’re not in it Continue reading Simon and Schuster and Library eBook Lending
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
From OverDrive (note one of the sponsors at the bottom): Public and school librarians from around the world will come together with publishing industry leaders at OverDrive’s third international user group conference, Digipalooza (www.digipalooza.com), July 28-31, 2011, in Cleveland. Held every two years, this four-day educational and networking conference will address the massive surge in library eBook borrowing with panels on industry trends, best practices, marketing and outreach, and upcoming enhancements to the OverDrive (www.overdrive.com) service. A roundtable featuring representatives from several of the world’s leading publishing houses will provide librarians with the chance to ask questions, in-person, about the future of library eBook lending. Continue reading Digipalooza III to be held July 28-31, 2011
Reprinted in full from an ALA email and press release:
First and foremost, I want to thank you for your patience. I held back on a public statement on the recent decision by Harper Collins to restrict the lending of e-books until the Equitable Access to Electronic Information Task Force (EQUACC) met last week. Please know that I heard your voices of concern about the impact of additional costs on your libraries and ability to meet the needs of the communities you serve. A press release
was issued today that speaks to our shared alarm at announced and potential limitations to the access to knowledge, information and the creative written works of authors in the electronic era. We know that libraries are essential to an informed nation and therefore our democracy. I have been and will continue to highlight our commitment to access in every media interview I give. Continue reading ALA President Responds to Restrictions on E-book Lending
Summary of Tools of Change session, reprinted in full from Teleread.com by Paul Biba
Bill Godfrey (Elsevier), Rich Rothstein (HarperCollins Publishers), Andrew Savikas (O’Reilly Media, Inc.)Moderated by: Abe Murray (Google, Inc. )
Savikas: first foray in 1987. Stared with cd books and online books in 2001, which was first substantial digital presence. Wish is that Amazon would adopt epub as their standard. Digital is now about a decade for O’Reilly, and one of the biggest changes is that there are many more markets for digital products. Can’t imaging what it will be like in 10 years. Book will not go away — neither the package nor the long form narrative type of content. There will be a whole new category of new media that probably can’t be called books any more. Over the last 100 years more and more layers built up between publishers and consumers and web is bringing us back to a more direct relationship. In his experience the interest in enhanced ebooks seems to come from the publishers more than it does from the reader. Now that books can know that they are being read this can lead to enhanced opportunities. Databases are prime examples for turning into enhanced books. Not convinced that advertising will be as much of the future of newspapers and magazines it has been in the passed. Newspapers have lost the monopoly of being a source of local information. There is what value and need for what newspapers provide, but the package is obsolete. Publishers should be taking a stronger role in advocating with the retailers and device makers. Big piece of the epub 3 revision is to support dynamic delivery to different devices. Continue reading TOC – Publisher CTO Panel, the future of ebook technology, TeleRead
Below is the press release from K-NFB announcing the official availability of the blio reader for Windows. There’s been a lot of chatter on twitter today about reviews, download issues, complaints from MAC users, etc. The CNET coverage of blio is worth a look. For a more colorful review, try The Digital Reader. KNFB responded the next day – first day jitters.
I had some download issues of my own, the attempted download froze up Firefox two times, so I had to revert to IE, which worked just fine. I also noticed in the small print on the blio site than an accessible version will be out in October. So, MAC users and those requiring the accessible version will have to wait for the blio experience. Continue reading blio available for download today – mixed reviews
From an OverDrive Press Release:
OverDrive Expands International Distribution for eBooks & Audiobooks
Leading booksellers and libraries in Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, Norway, and the UK join global network
(Las Vegas, NV, January 5, 2010) — Consumer Electronics Show — OverDrive (www.overdrive.com), the global leader in eBook and audiobook distribution, announced today that it recently entered into agreements with top booksellers, publishers, and libraries on five continents. OverDrive will demonstrate its global network and success in enabling access to 400,000 digital books on popular devices, including PC, Mac®, iPod®, iPhone®, Zune®, Sony® Readerâ„¢, nookâ„¢, and DROIDâ„¢ by Motorola®, at CES booth #12145 on January 7-10, 2010.
Continue reading OverDrive Expands International Distribution for eBooks & Audiobooks
In honor of Banned Books Week, NetLibrary and HarperCollins are featuring Burn This Book: PEN Writers Speak Out on the Power of the Word, edited by Toni Morrison as the eBook of the month. The book is freely available from October 1 – 31, 2009.
From NetLibrary – Published in conjunction with the PEN American Center, Burn This Book explores the meaning of censorship, and the power of literature to inform the way we see the world, and ourselves. Contributors including Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, Orhan Pamuk, David Grossman, Nadine Gordimer and other literary heavyweights, discuss the importance of writing from various views, both political and social. They illustrate the need for freedom of speech and human rights, and they emphasize the target writers become in a tyranny.