Macmillan to launch two-year ebook library lending pilot. Big-six publisher Macmillan, which has kept its ebooks out of libraries until now, is launching a pilot lending program, the company announced Thursday.
The pilot is limited to 1,200 older titles from the Minotaur Books mystery and crime fiction imprint (part of Macmillan’s St. Martins division). Libraries will be able to lend out the ebooks for two years or 52 times, whichever comes first, before having to buy a new copy. According to Library Journal, each ebook will cost $25. The ebooks will be available through three different digital library distributors at launch: OverDrive, 3M Cloud Library and Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360. Macmillan CEO John Sargent said in a statement, “Among the many titles we publish, mystery and crime fiction makes up one of the largest categories and Minotaur Books is the primary source. Publishers have been reluctant to offer ebooks to libraries in part because they fear that it will cut into sales. Photo courtesy of Flickr / Eric Mueller.
Note to publishers: Your addiction to DRM is killing you. The Department of Justice’s lawsuit against two major book publishers — for allegedly colluding with Apple to keep the price of e-books artificially high — continues to make its way through the courts, and it has set off a frenzy of finger-pointing about who to blame for the destruction of the book industry at the hands of Amazon’s evil monopoly.
I have argued that there’s a little bit of evil on both sides of this issue. But one thing seems fairly certain: If the publishers dislike the power Amazon has over them, they need to recognize they shoulder much of the blame, since they helped to forge the DRM chains that have kept them shackled to the company’s platform. Why not break those chains and try to set their content free instead? By foolishly insisting on DRM, and then selling to Amazon on a wholesale basis, the publishers handed Amazon a monopoly on their customers. Has DRM prevented piracy? Post and thumbnail images courtesy of Flickr user Christine Zenino and Marcus Hansson. PLA - If Books Are Our Brand. . . By Carson Block - firstname.lastname@example.org on October 24, 2012 According to a 2010 Perceptions of Libraries study from OCLC, books remain the brand of the public library.1 Simply put, when people surveyed for the study think of the public library, they think book.
The number is actually increasing. In 2010, 75 percent of Americans associated libraries with books, up from 69 percent in 2005.2 The study also points out that e-books are books. While it’s true that e-books are books, it’s also true that e-books are not books. The comparison and contrast––and ultimately the paradox––is reminiscent of a Zen kōan (or saying) which is sometimes used to find a truth by juxtaposing two confounding statements. This broadening of the definition of book complicates one of the primary functions of the public library, which is connecting people to information, education, and enrichment (mostly in the form of books) at no direct cost to the seeker as a taxfunded public good. Should Libraries Get Out of the eBook Business?
Or get out at least until there is a better system?
I know what you are going to say, I can hear it already – “We can’t! Our patrons demand ebooks!” Except the truth is our patrons want a lot of things we can’t give them – to always be first on the waiting list for the new James Patterson, to not pay fines when their books are late, for the library to be open earlier or later, or to have a system besides Dewey because despite using it their entire lives they still cannot figure it out. When it comes to ebooks, we cannot give them what they want, not really, we cannot give them books from Simon and Schuster or MacMillian or new books from Penguin or Hatchet, and not more than 26 times from HarperCollins, and probably not many books from Random House.
What we can do, what maybe we should do, is spend their tax money wisely, and I am no longer convinced that spending it on the current ebook system is a wise move. The Demand: First let’s look at the demand. The Supply The Process A Mess. Alternative Uses for the Pesky eBook Budget. Not happy with an eBook collection that has limited checkouts or paying three times the price for the “privilege”?
I’m willing to bet that there are better uses for that eBook budget money that would yield a higher rate of return on investment, better community outreach and involvement, and/or make more fiscal sense for your library’s stakeholders. So, I brainstormed a few ideas but I’m hoping that you can help me think of more possible uses. Let’s begin! (Note: Your results may vary. Not all ideas are suited for all library types, shapes, and sizes. Programming! I understand that this list represents a variety of complexity in execution, but they are alternatives paths to spend library budget money in productive ways for the benefit of the community. If you have other ideas, leave them as a comment or a pingback and I’ll add them to the post. Like this: Like Loading... Stop Branding Your Library!! Ok, so I’m totally going to admit when I’m wrong but in my defense it wasn’t my fault.
I got my MLIS at San Jose State when all they could talk about is branding and how important it is to brand your libraries and I went into library school after managing a heavily branded retail chain. In fact I was so enamored with the idea of branding libraries that I wrote all of these posts about it. But then, I had my interview at the library system I currently work at and I spent exactly 5 minutes in a room with Martin Gomez and realized everything I thought about branding libraries was absolute crap. While I could never even dream to express what he said to me as eloquently as he did in those five minutes, and it’s taken me years to come to terms and process what he said to me, I am going to write about why I now think I was so wrong. 1) What is the goal with branding? 2) How many people go to multiple libraries in the system? 3) Part of a consortium? 5) Same services available? Like this: How the e-book landscape is becoming a walled garden. Just as a few massive chain stores eventually came to dominate the traditional printed book market in North America, the e-book marketplace is a kind of oligopoly involving a few major players — primarily Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble.
And while bookstore owners of all kinds are free to decide which books they wish to put on their shelves, these new giants have far more control over whose e-books see the light of day because they also own the major e-reading platforms, and they are making decisions based not on what they think consumers want to read but on their own competitive interests. That is turning the e-book landscape into even more of a walled garden. Author and digital-marketing maven Seth Godin highlighted this issue in a recent blog post, in which he described how his new book was turned down by Apple because it contained hyperlinks to books sold by Amazon (with whom Godin has a partnership). Should e-bookstores only carry their parent company’s titles?
$2 BILLION FOR $1 BILLION OF BOOKS: THE ARITHMETIC OF LIBRARY E-BOOK LENDING. Library Renewal wants to help libraries build a powerful new way to get econtent to their patrons.
We envision a new infrastructure, one that is vastly improved, equitable and fairly priced (with hidden costs eliminated). In order to figure out exactly how to make something like that a reality and create an actionable plan we have been busy doing research and meeting with experts from a variety of areas. We’ve naturally talked with plenty of library folks, but we have also actively included and sought out others that have legal, business and publishing expertise. Jonathan Chambers, the author of this piece, fits that bill perfectly and has worked directly with us a great deal over the past year. Here you’ll see the sort of approach some folks working with Library Renewal are thinking about. Prior to the price increases announced by Random House I looked up the prices for 70 books from a recent New York Times bestseller list – fiction and non-fiction, hardcover and paperback.
With KDP Select, Amazon Gains Authors’ Exclusivity—Cheap. Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) released some select Kindle Owners’ Lending Library numbers today, aiming to position its KDP Select program as a good deal for self-published authors.
The program is indeed a good deal for some self-published authors. But it is also a good deal for Amazon. The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library allows Amazon Prime members who own a Kindle to “borrow” one e-book per month. In exchange for agreeing to sell their e-books exclusively in the Kindle Store, self-published authors can add those books to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library through a program called KDP Select. Authors who participate in KDP Select are paid, per borrow, out of a monthly fund. Let’s go through the interesting parts of the press release, shall we? – “Since launching the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library in November 2011, selection has grown by over 20 times.”
I think the main thing to keep in mind is that the $1.8 million is a pretty good deal for Amazon. Here’s a better way to think about it: by BOOK. Why Book Publishing Can Survive Digital Age: Echoes. Justice Department Threatens Apple, Publishers over E-Book Pricing. Did you notice that e-books became a little more expensive after Apple entered the game with iBooks?
So did the U.S. Department of Justice, which may be threatening to sue Apple and e-book publishers for allegedly colluding to raise prices. The Wall Street Journal reports that along with Apple, five publishers are facing a potential government lawsuit: Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group, Macmillan and HarperCollins. Some publishers are trying to settle before the Justice Department takes legal action, but not every publisher is involved in negotiations, the Journal reports. (MORE: Please, Apple, Stay Out of the Book-Vetting Business) At issue is a change in e-book business models that took hold when Apple opened its iBookstore in 2010. When Apple entered the market, it offered a different model. So naturally, the agency model became a lot more popular after Apple entered the business.
The DOJ isn’t the only entity looking to ding Apple and publishers over e-book prices. Pick your monopoly: Apple or Amazon. Could a little anti-competitive behavior actually be pro-competitive? That is what five leading book publishers are arguing in explaining why they simultaneously accepted an offer from Apple, just before the release of the iPad, to change the way e-books are priced and distributed. Their actions moved the industry from a “wholesale” model, in which they sold e-books to retailers and let them set the retail price, to an “agency model,” in which the publishers set the retail price and pay the retailers a fixed commission on every sale. In the process, they managed to break up Amazon’s e-book monopoly and raise the price of online books by 30 to 40 percent. Now you might ask at this point why breaking up a monopoly would raise prices rather than lower them. The answer has to do with how Amazon went about building its e-book monopoly in the first place — namely, by setting a price that was lower than what Amazon was paying publishers for the book.
Scott Turow of the Authors Guild on e-book price collusion investigation. Photo by Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images Last Friday, I wrote about a Wall Street Journal report alleging that the Department of Justice had warned Apple and five book publishers about price collusion over e-books. I and others thought that this sounded like it would be good for readers and for Amazon.com, if not for publishers. The same day, writer Scott Turow, president of the Authors Guild, wrote that this was actually “grim news.” Should the DoJ go ahead and penalize Apple and the publishers, Turow warns, it may only further solidify Amazon’s grip on the publishing world—and hasten the demise of the bookstore. He writes that the publishers that allegedly colluded with Apple had no real choice (except the largest, Random House, which could bide its time – it took the leap with the launch of the iPad 2): it was seize the agency model or watch Amazon's discounting destroy their physical distribution chain.
I would quibble with one part of Turow’s statement. Justice Dept. Investigating Apple & “Big Six” On eBook Pricing - eBookNewser. If the government makes agency go away. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Justice Department has notified the Agency Five (Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster) and Apple that it plans to sue them for colluding to raise the price of electronic books. I have no standing to comment on the law here. But if this does mean the end of the agency model, it would seem to be a cause for celebrating at Amazon and a catalyst for some deep contemplation by all the other big players in the book business. Agency pricing, for those who have not been following the most important development in the growth of the book market, enabled the publishers to enforce a uniform price for each ebook title across all retail outlets. This was Apple’s desired way to do business, and it addressed deep concerns the big publishers had about the effect of Amazon’s loss-leader discounting.
To Kobo, it would mean that they also will need to devote cash resources to subsidizing price cuts to match Amazon. The rise of e-reading. Released: April 4, 2012 21% of Americans have read an e-book. The increasing availability of e-content is prompting some to read more than in the past and to prefer buying books to borrowing them. By Lee Rainie, Kathryn Zickuhr, Kristen Purcell, Mary Madden and Joanna Brenner One-fifth of American adults (21%) report that they have read an e-book in the past year, and this number increased following a gift-giving season that saw a spike in the ownership of both tablet computers and e-book reading devices such as the original Kindles and Nooks.
In mid-December 2011, 17% of American adults had reported they read an e-book in the previous year; by February, 2012, the share increased to 21%. The rise of e-books in American culture is part of a larger story about a shift from printed to digital material. Those who have taken the plunge into reading e-books stand out in almost every way from other kinds of readers. Key findings: For device owners, those who own e-book readers also stand out. Bowker Releases Results of Global eBook Research. Bowker Releases Results of Global eBook Research Australia, India, the U.K. and the U.S. lead the way in adoption; Brazil and India set for greatest growth London, UK - March 27, 2012 - Australia, India, the U.K. and the U.S. are leading the world in e-book adoption rates, according to Bowker Market Research’s Global eBook Monitor, The study tracks consumer attitudes to and purchasing of e-books in major world markets.
Bowker Market Research is a service of Bowker, an affiliated business of ProQuest. “The market for e-books is experiencing exponential growth internationally, with news each week of new e-readers and specialist e-tailers,” said Kelly Gallagher, vice-president, Bowker Market Research. “Publishers and retailers must adapt to a very changed landscape. Research for Bowker’s Global e-book Monitor was conducted among the online population in 10 countries – Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. – in early 2012.
About A.T. 28% Of U.S. Adults Read On eReader Or Tablet - eBookNewser. AAP Reports eBook Sales up 72% in December - eBookNewser. A Guide to Publishers in the Library Ebook Market. How to Talk to Your Patrons About Penguin & Other Publishers Not Loaning eBooks to Libraries. What book publishers should learn from Harry Potter.