“Last week Simon & Schuster signed a deal with 3M and the NYPL to distribute eBooks into libraries. Now all of the “Big6? corporate publishers have some type of agreement selling eBooks into public libraries. Libraries are indispensable. Publishers agree on this. Eventually the business models will all align and every publisher will make available their entire list of digital to libraries.” (via Digital Book World)
“Libraries and big six publishers are at war over eBooks: how much they should cost, how they can be lent and who owns them. If you don’t use your public library and assume that this doesn’t affect you, you’re wrong. In a society where bookstores disappear every day while the number of books available to read has swelled exponentially, libraries will play an ever more crucial role. Even more than in the past, we will depend on libraries of the future to help discover and curate great books. Libraries are already transforming themselves around the country to create more symbiotic relationships with their communities, with book clubs and as work and meeting spaces for local citizens.”
“A new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, Libraries, Patrons, and E-books, offers a glimpse at the current state of American libraries and finds them eager to lend e-books but struggling to do so, primarily because of budget limits and restrictions publishers place on e-book lending.
Of America’s 9,000 public library systems, 76 percent now offer e-books, up from 67 percent last year. But patrons are often unaware that libraries offer e-book lending — 62 percent of those surveyed said they didn’t know if their library lends e-books. Twelve percent of e-book readers have tried borrowing digital books from a library, but indicate the process is cumbersome, with wait lists that can stretch for months, lack of availability for many titles, an inability to renew, and difficulty with the downloading process.”
“The written word is going digital, right? Not so fast, say big publishers, who limit the number of times an e-book can be loaned, offer them at inflated prices or refuse outright to sell electronic copies to public libraries. Macmillan, Penguin Books, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster and the Hachette Book Group refuse to sell e-books to libraries. Others, including Random House and HarperCollins, will sell but with limited “loans” or charging more than three times retail price, Denver Public Library spokeswoman Jen Morris said. “Everyone is getting fed up,” she said.”
via The Denver Post
Goodereader.com – “When ebook platform Bilbary launches sometime in March or April, it will have something that can’t be found in one uniform web location: ebook access from all of the Big Six publishers. Currently, the negotiations surrounding Bilbary’s partnership with those and some 2,300 other publishers are for ebook purchasing, although some of those major publishers are already at work on lending the ebooks to users for a rental fee rather than a purchase price. Founder Tim Coates, the former CEO of Waterstone’s, Sherratt & Hughes, and WHSmith and a long-time advocate for public libraries, developed Bilbary with the intention of bridging the current divide between public libraries who wish to lend ebooks to their patrons and the publishers who have to guard the interests of their companies and their authors. “In all the years that I’ve been involved with books, I’ve never seen a year like last year. Four or five major battles, almost wars, were going on in the industry,” said Coates in an interview with GoodEReader.
Reuters – “Book publishers have survived the first stage of a digital revolution in better shape than the music industry and are now embracing the shift to e-books in their search for new revenue streams and lower costs. The industry has been battered this year by a significant shift from physical books to e-books that has transferred power to Internet retailers led by Amazon and helped put some high-street chains like Borders out of business.”
NPR – “When the popular World War II novel From Here to Eternity was first released in 1951, the subject of homosexuality in the military was taboo. The new version of the book, which comes out Tuesday, restores passages that were censored in the ’50s. And it’s being released neither in hardcover nor in paperback, but as an e-book by Open Road Media — a company that is banking its future on digital publishing.”