Showing posts with label lending. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lending. Show all posts

Saturday, March 30

Are Libraries 'Sitting Close To Satan'?

Are Libraries 'Sitting Close To Satan'?

Do Publishers View Libraries As Their Adversary?

Did you know that some publishers refuse to sell ebooks to libraries? Or that some publishers have made ebooks impossibly expensive for all but the best funded libraries to purchase?
In publishers’ eyes librarians are “sitting close to Satan”, declared Phil Bradley, president of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. He was addressing indignant librarians who recently gathered in London to swap tales of e-lending woe. Some publishers have refused to sell their e-books to public libraries, made them prohibitively costly or put severe restrictions on their use. Although 71% of British public libraries lend out e-books, 85% of e-book titles are not available in public libraries, according to Mr Bradley. In America the average public library makes available only 4,350 e-books (Amazon, an online retail giant, stocks more than 1.7m).
 That's incredible! Especially this line:
Although 71% of British public libraries lend out e-books, 85% of e-book titles are not available in public libraries ... 
(All quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from: Folding shelves.)

Owning vs Licensing

If I go to the bookstore and buy a book, a physical book, something I can hold in my hands, under copyright law I'm allowed to lend that book out. We've all done this, we loan books out to friends as well as borrow them. But ebooks are different. When I buy an ebook from Amazon all I have bought is a license to use the book. Unless the author/publisher allows it I can't lend that book out.

Under copyright law, anyone who buys a printed book can lend or rent it, but the same does not apply to digital works. Libraries do not own these outright. Instead they must negotiate licensing deals for each book they want to lend. They put the e-collections on servers run by computer firms such as OverDrive and 3M, which typically charge around $20,000 annually, plus a fee for each book.
Also, publishers often limit the number of times a book can be lent out by a library before the licence has to be re-purchased (see: Publisher's fear of e-books is hurting libraries).

I generally like to put a positive twist on my articles--I love happy endings!--but this particlar cloud seems to come without a silver lining.

But we can make one.

In a recent post Joy Konrath said he would make any of his books available to any library who wanted it for a flat fee of $3.99 per ebook. The library would then own the rights to use that book forever. Here are his complete list of terms:
1. Ebooks are $3.99

2. No DRM.

3. The library only needs to buy one ebook of a title, and then they can make as many copies as they need for all of their patrons and all of their branches.

4. The library owns the rights to use that ebook forever.

5. The library can use it an any format they need; mobi, epub, pdf, lit, etc. And when new formats arise, they're free to convert it to the new format.
That quotation is from: Ebooks For Libraries, a post which Joe Konrath made on August 29th of last year. Here's another post Joe made about the same topic: E-books in Libraries: They Still Don't Get It.
Question: Would you offer any of your books to a library under Joe Konrath's terms?
Thanks to The Passive Voice Blog for the link to the article in The Economist.

Other articles you might like:

- How To Write A Great Opening For Your Story
- Creating Flawed Characters
- Amazon Is Acquiring Goodreads

Photo credit: "Blend - Mistery of the forest - wallpaper - version 2" by balt-arts under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0.

Thursday, August 9

Smashwords Puts Books In Libraries!

Smashwords puts books in libraries

Library Direct, a service that allows libraries to acquire and loan out books available from Smashwords, has the ability to put your book in front of new readers.
We have already received purchase commitments from three library systems, each of which will acquire some variation of our top 10,000 best-selling titles.  The purchase commitments approach $100,000 in total.

The first delivery is on schedule to occur next week to Douglas County Libraries in Colorado, which will purchase an opening collection drawn from the top 10,000 best-selling titles at Smashwords.  Douglas Country, under the leadership of director Jamie LaRue, has been an outspoken proponent of what is becoming known as the "Douglas County Model."  The Douglas Country Model aims to replicate for ebooks the process by which libraries have traditionally acquired print books.  The library acquires the book once, owns the book, and manages the checkout systems where they limit the checkout to one copy at a time for each title they own.  Douglas Country monitors the number of "holds" on each book (the number of people waiting to check it out), and if the hold count exceeds a certain number of patrons, the library purchases additional copies.
 .  .  .  .
Like all new Smashwords distribution channels, authors and publishers have the option to opt out of Library Direct, if they choose, from the Smashwords Channel Manager.  Later today we'll notify all 45,000 Smashwords authors and publishers of this new channel.
To read more about Library Direct, go here: New Library Direct Enables Libraries to Acquire Large Opening Collections of Smashwords Ebooks.

Further reading:
- Twylah: Turn Your Tweets Into A Blog
- 50 Shades Of Alice In Wonderland: Another Indie Success Story
- Fifty Shades of Grey - Oh My!