E-Content

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.

Turn Up the Volume

Denver Public Library (DPL) has announced a new service called Volume. The product is intriguing: 37 albums of DRM-free downloadable or streamable music by Colorado artists. The music is available to any DPL cardholder for two years as a downloadable file; after that, it will be archived by the library, and may be rebroadcast.

Hugh Howey’s Defense of Amazon

Responding to four questions in Publishers Weekly August 13, mega-successful author Hugh Howey sticks up for Amazon in its ongoing dispute with Hachette. 

Monkey Selfie

There are a lot of interesting conflicts these days in the world of digital publishing. But here’s one I didn’t see coming: interspecies copyright disputes.

Authors United

Douglas Preston, author of techno-thriller and horror novels, wrote a letter protesting the “thuggery” of Amazon against Hachette authors, and urging his fans to let Jeff Bezos know they were upset, too. The campaign has now attracted the support of many other authors, over 900 names big and small.

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