On October 16, Library Journal and School Library Journal will host “The Digital Shift: Reinventing Libraries.” Our fourth annual online event has itself been reinvented in a new format, offering program tracks focused around community, instruction, and getting beyond the container to new content. Recorded Books is a gold sponsor of the event, and LJ reached out to Matt Walker, vice president of Recorded Books, in the second of a series of interviews addressing how the ongoing digital shift is transforming the libraries of today and tomorrow.
On October 16, Library Journal and School Library Journal will host “The Digital Shift: Reinventing Libraries.” Gale, part of Cengage Learning, is a gold sponsor of the event, and LJ reached out to Jim Draper, Vice President and General Manager, Gale, in the first of a series of interviews addressing how the ongoing digital shift is transforming libraries.
Audio publishers are moving way beyond their core audience to capture sales to both libraries and consumers. In June, Random House Audio Group launched an online/radio/print ad campaign that reinforces what librarians already know: you don’t have to be a commuter or road-tripper to listen. Working out? Knitting? Ironing? The campaign website, TryAudiobooks.com, even features a “personal audiobook assistant” that can match how long your project will take to titles of similar length. The ad campaign caught the attention of the New York Times.
Publishers worried about public libraries lending ebooks have not been restricted to the U.S. In 2010, the UK’s Publishers Association (PA), warned libraries that they were considering preventing remote borrowing of ebooks unless certain protections were put in place, an announcement which caused a great deal of concern on the part of librarians and library ebook distributors.
At first glance, a partnership between libraries and airports may seem a case of strange bedfellows. Libraries offer space for concentration and relaxation, while airports are notoriously stressful and full of distractions. But the venues do have one thing in common: in both, users are looking for something to read.
When I was a kid, I used to play with the girl who lived across the street. But I never got to choose the game. When we were at her house, she would say “It’s my house, so I get to pick.” When we were at my house, she’d say, “I’m the guest, so I get to pick.” I would’ve been fine with either of these rules, but I was not fine with her choosing whichever was to her advantage at that moment. Visiting BookExpo America (BEA) last week, it occurred to me that, on the question of whether an ebook is “sold” or “licensed,” many publishers are dead ringers for that little girl across the street.
“When is a Sale Not a Sale? Selling vs. Licensing Digital Content” the International Digital Publishing Forum’s Digital Book 2013 conference asked. The panel, which took place on May 30 during the co-located BookExpo America last week in New York, featured Bill Rosenblatt, founder of GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies, who gave a point-by-point overview of the current state of digital copyright law.
After coming down to the wire, with a trial scheduled to start June 3, Penguin announced May 22 that it will settle the remaining ebook price fixing class action suits, as well as claims filed by 33 states. The publisher had already settled similar Federal claims with the Department of Justice in December 2012. Under that settlement, Penguin agreed to end its allegedly anticompetitive agreements with Apple and other retailers for a period of two years.
The BookStats 2013 survey, co-produced by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), released some provisional numbers on May 15. (A few statistics are being recalculated, but won’t impact the trend). BookStats found that trade publishing overall saw significant growth since 2011, despite the closures of many brick-and-mortar stores during the same period. Not surprisingly, publishers’ revenue from brick and mortar retail fell 7 percent, but more than made up the ground online, growing 21 percent. Overall, trade net revenue rose 6.9 percent to just over $15 billion in 2012. The number of books sold also grew, by 8.1 percent, to $2.291 billion.
OverDrive and Sourcebooks are preparing to launch an innovative and ambitious pilot program whose goal is to clearly demonstrate the impact libraries have on book sales and author recognition.
OverDrive sent a letter today to about 35,000 librarians worldwide and invited them to opt in to a program that will run from May 15 through June 1 and allow all participating libraries to feature simultaneously on their OverDrive home page, at no cost, a single title from Sourcebooks.