E-Content

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.

Used Ebooks

So much hinges on copyright. The doctrine of First Sale meant that publishers couldn’t lock libraries out of the market. But digital works, like software, got swept under licensing agreements, with the power to place all kinds of restrictions on the sale resting almost entirely with the copyright holder.

DCL Ebook Report for August 2014

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

As my colleagues at Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries have called to my attention, the DCL report has thus far mostly illuminated the difference between what libraries and consumers pay for ebooks. Alas, as this report again makes clear, that staggering inequity continues.

Macmillan’s Full Catalog of Ebooks Now Available to Public Libraries

Macmillan announced last week that it is adding its frontlist titles to its backlist pilot for public libraries, making its complete ebook catalog available for the first time. All of their titles are available for a 2-year/52-loan period (whichever comes first). Macmillan ebooks are available to individual public libraries only, not to consortia.

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