“In the world of e-books, you largely have a choice between Amazon’s Kindle and everyone else. Amazon.com Inc. distributes its e-books in a proprietary format that isn’t compatible with other devices and systems. Other companies have embraced a format called EPub. In theory, that means books bought for one non-Kindle device can be read on another. This is important because the device you own today might not be the one you’ll want five years from now. You won’t want to buy all your e-books again.” (via The Associated Press)
“E-book subscription services Oyster and Scribd have added another big five publisher, announcing they both are adding 1,000 titles from Macmillan. Oyster now claims to offer over 1 million titles; Scribd claims more than 500,000, and both say the number of frontlist titles on their lists is growing. Macmillan joins Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins in offering titles through Oyster and Scribd as both services added such Macmillan authors as Ursula K. LeGuin, Mario Vargas Llosa, Michel Foucault, and Orson Scott Card.” (via Publishers Weekly)
Memories of the library typically conjure up rows and rows of delightfully musty-smelling books — but these days, almost all U.S. libraries have embraced the e-book, too. A whopping 95 percent of American public libraries now offer e-books to their patrons, according to a recent report from the publications ‘Library Journal’ and ‘School Library Journal’ (spotted by tech blog Gizmodo). That figure is up sharply from 89 percent in both 2012 and 2013. And the remaining five percent of libraries aren’t against e-books. It’s “far and away” budget problems that keep them from going digital, according to the report.” (via TODAY.com)
“Sometimes we get spoiled in North America with the sheer of amount of options available to borrow eBooks from the library. Statistically over 90% of all libraries in North America have a digital collection and patrons can access all of the content remotely. Things are different in the United Kingdom where only a few major libraries have bothered with a modern eBook collection. In May 2013 the UK government funded a review looking into the viability of allowing customers to borrow eBook, without all of the drama. The Sieghart Review said publishers should not limit the supply of e-books in the same way that physical book loans are controlled, including the lending of each digital copy to one reader at a time, securely removing eBooks after lending and having digital books “deteriorate after a number of loans”. (via Good eReader)
“Publisher Hachette and Amazon ended Thursday an acrimonious feud over online book sales that highlighted Amazon’s market dominance and fuelled protests from leading authors like John Grisham and Stephen King. After six months in which Amazon clamped down on sales of Hachette Publishing Group books on its website, the two announced a multi-year agreement on ebook and print book sales in the US market.” (via AFP)
“E-books have made impressive inroads into the English-reading world, but their success in Europe — even among wealthy, tech-savvy countries with robust publishing industries — remains spotty at best. In the United States and Britain, sales of e-books represent between a quarter and a third of the consumer book market and, by 2018, will edge out printed and audio books as the most lucrative segment, according to projections by the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. But the picture is radically different in continental Europe. Last year, digital books made up 8 percent of the consumer book market in France, less than 4 percent in Germany and Italy, and 1 percent in Sweden and Norway.” (NYTimes.com)
“When John Ashbery, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, first learned that the digital editions of his poetry looked nothing like the print version, he was stunned. There were no line breaks, and the stanzas had been jammed together into a block of text that looked like prose. The careful architecture of his poems had been leveled. He complained to his publisher, Ecco, and those four e-books were immediately withdrawn.
That was three years ago, and digital publishing has evolved a lot since then. Publishers can now create e-books that better preserve a poet’s meticulous formatting. So when Open Road Media, a digital publishing company, approached Mr. Ashbery about creating electronic versions of his books, he decided to give it another chance.” (via NYTimes.com)
“An institution’s decision to drop print books for ebooks may rankle traditionalists, but at the University Colorado at Boulder, it’s the open-to-innovation crowd that is speaking out. CU-Boulder is one of many institutions that have moved away from stocking print books to signing ebook subscription deals with publishers. Such deals often come with a score of benefits beyond cost savings. For example, new books automatically appear in the library at regular intervals, often packaged with tools to speed up the discovery and research processes. The shift from print to digital also frees up room previously devoted to stacks, giving the library room to add more collaborative space, 3D printers and whatever other amenities 21st-century library-goers desire.” (via insidehighered)
“A partnership between the Henderson County Public Library and the Daviess County Public Library is aiming to help new writers find a market with electronic publishing. Library officials say the effort will also help published writers sell more books.
Interested authors can access a website — epublishorbust.com — and do the publishing themselves.
“We don’t publish the books for them,” Henderson library Director Essy Day told The Gleaner (http://bit.ly/1BZ5r5l). “We provide the resources to help them do it themselves. It’s like a one-stop website that gives you tools and resources, and we also have a calendar where they can book a date at a library to come and promote their work.” (via Louisville)
“When Sullivan penned this letter as President of the American Library Association, she was worried about the future of libraries. The ALA sought public support over a dispute between libraries and Big 5 publishers in much the same way that Hachette Book Group is currently enlisting authors in its fight over book pricing with Amazon. The problem was simple. Library patrons were reading more and more eBooks. Libraries were locked out of purchasing half of the most popular books electronically. Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Penguin would not sell libraries eBooks at any price. Other large publishers imposed Draconian lending limits – requiring books to be repurchased after a year or setting a limit on lends. Worst of all, some publishers were charging seventy dollars or more for libraries to buy the same eBook consumers could purchase for ten dollars or less.” (via Forbes)