“The e-book conversation so far has been dominated by concerns over the market share and intentions of Amazon, and, in the library world, whether libraries can license access to frontlist e-books from the major publishers, and if they can, at what price, under what terms, and through which intermediary. But there is a greater, long-term concern with the way our e-book future is shaping up—preservation.” (via Publishers Weekly)
“For the past few years, both the California State University and the University of California libraries have been experimenting with packages that replace paper books with e-books. The advantages are obvious. With e-books, you no longer have to schlep to a library to take out a book. You just log on from whatever device connects you to the web, at whatever time and in whatever state of dress, and voila! the book appears on your screen. But the real attraction is price. Library budgets, along with university budgets, have been slashed, and such companies as Pearson and Elsevier offer e-book packages that make it possible to gain access (I’ll explain the awkward syntax in a moment) to lots of books at what seems like a minimal cost. The savings are multiplied when the package serves the entire system. So instead of each campus buying a paper book, all 23 CSU’s, for instance, share a single e-book. That’s the theory, at least. The reality is very different.” (via Times of San Diego)
“The proportion of Americans who read e-books is growing, but few have completely replaced print books for electronic versions. The percentage of adults who read an e-book in the past year has risen to 28%, up from 23% at the end of 2012. At the same time, about seven in ten Americans reported reading a book in print, up four percentage points after a slight dip in 2012, and 14% of adults listened to an audiobook. Though e-books are rising in popularity, print remains the foundation of Americans’ reading habits. Most people who read e-books also read print books, and just 4% of readers are “e-book only.” Audiobook listeners have the most diverse reading habits overall, while fewer print readers consume books in other formats.” (via Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project)
“His Dark Materials author Philip Pullman is leading a call for writers to be “paid fairly” when their ebooks are borrowed from libraries, after investigations found they may be losing out twice over on digital loans. Pullman takes over from PD James as president of the Society of Authors in August, and is spearheading the body’s campaign on ebook library loans. Not only are authors not paid by the government when their ebooks are borrowed from libraries – they are paid around 6p per loan when physical books are borrowed, but digital titles are not yet part of the agreement – the Society has also found that publishers may inadvertently be underpaying authors for ebook loans, meaning they may be losing up to two-thirds of the income they would have received on the sale and loan of a physical book.” (via Guardian)
Bloomberg – “Apple Inc. and the publisher Macmillan are preparing to be sued as soon as today by the U.S. Justice Department over alleged collusion in the pricing of e- books, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Apple and Macmillan, which have refused to engage in settlement talks with the Justice Department, deny they colluded to raise prices for digital books, the people said. In an antitrust case, they will argue that pricing agreements between Apple and publishers enhanced competition in the e-book industry, which was dominated by Amazon.com Inc.”