E-Content

Simon & Schuster Drops "Buy It Now" Requirement

Simon & Schuster (S&S) announced November 20 that it will no longer require libraries to display a “Buy It Now” (BIN) button in order to lend its ebooks. Instead, libraries will be able to opt into the BIN program at their option. This change eases tension among S&S, libraries, and ebook vendors, and it opens the door to a full partnership with S&S and greater access for library patrons to the publisher’s ebooks.

Simon & Schuster Allows Opt-in to "Buy It Now" Program

ALA and its Digital Content Working Group (DCWG) welcomes Simon & Schuster’s announcement that it will allow libraries to opt into the publisher’s “Buy It Now” program.

Libraries and Buy It Now: A Difficult Decision?

When Simon & Schuster (S&S) announced in June that it was extending to the entire US a pilot project originally started with the New York City Public Libraries, it became the last of the Big Five publishers to license its ebooks for loan by libraries. The American Library Association applauded the announcement in a press release, as it has applauded all such announcements.

After Privacy Glitch, the Ball Is Now in Our Court

On October 23, Adobe announced that with its software update (Digital Editions 4.0.1), the collection and transmission of user data has been secured. Adobe was true to its word that a fix would be made by the week of October 20 correcting this apparent oversight. 

DCL Ebook Report for October 2014

Here’s your monthly fix of ebook price comparisons, compliments of the Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries Ebook Report. This kind of data is critical in supporting our arguments that ebooks cost darn too much.

Macmillan’s Ebooks Now Available to Library Consortia

OverDrive announced this week that Macmillan has lifted its restriction on licensing its ebooks to library consortia. Of the Big 5, only Hachette now has any restriction on consortium access and they continue to evaluate consortia on a case-by-case basis.

Alison Lazarus, Macmillan Sales Division president, confirmed in an email that the publisher has been working with its vendors to amend their agreements to permit licensing to consortia.

The Gates Legacy

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation seems to be getting out of the world of libraries, which is a shame. One result of their investments has been the fascinating research conducted by the Pew Research Center.

Judging an Ebook by its Cover

It doesn’t matter if a book is paper or pixels: Covers matter. We are drawn to images, and the brighter and more appealing the image, the more briskly the book circulates.

But there’s a problem. For many public domain, Creative Commons, and self-published works, no image is available. And so libraries sometimes use totally generic covers—the title of the book with a book or film icon to indicate format, for instance.

But it’s boring and works against the discovery of appealing titles.

DCL Ebook Report September 2014

Read the Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries Ebook Report as a PDF file.

There are some distinct oddities in this month's report.

On the library pricing for print, Ingrams seems consistently cheaper than Baker & Taylor. And in one case (Dragonfly in Amber) Baker & Taylor charges twice as much.

Following the Money

Every now and then someone publishes a link that should be slipped into every board packet in the nation. I'd like to highlight this report: "Exploring Connections: Independent Publishers and Research Libraries," by Amy Ballmer, Albert Municino, Judith Schwartz, and Robert Weiss for the Metropolitan New York Library Council.

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