November 24, 2014

Audiobook Giant Recorded Books Sold To Private Equity Firm

Recorded Books logo

Recorded Books, one of the industry leaders in the audiobook market and a major supplier of the audiobooks, ebooks, and other electronic content to libraries has been purchased by the private investment firm Wasserstein & Co., LP. The company was sold by Haights Cross Communications, which has owned it since 1999. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Digital Firsts

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The U.S Department of Commerce (DoC) has been collecting public comment on the topic of the first sale doctrine and digital files in recent weeks; the agency was scheduled to meet about the issue on December 12 in Washington, DC. First sale doctrine is a set of exemptions to U.S. copyright law that permit consumers to resell used books or DVDs and libraries to loan books without seeking permission from publishers. Yet for reasons examined in more detail below, first sale exemptions have not translated well for digital content. The DoC’s call for public comment could mark the beginning of a campaign to reassess what copyright and first sale mean in the modern digital era, notes one expert.

Librarians, Distributors Weigh in on Macmillan Ebook Lending | PubCrawl

Francine Fialkoff

Ebook distribution to libraries took another leap forward on October 17 when Baker & Taylor, OverDrive, 3M, and RBDigital (Recorded Books) told their customers that Macmillan’s entire ebook backlist, 11,000 titles from lead imprints St. Martin’s, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Henry Holt, Macmillan Children’s, and Tor, would now be available to their patrons.

Open Road Capitalizes on Success | PubCrawl

Francine Fialkoff

The recent infusion of $11 million into Open Road Integrated Media by private equity firm NewSpring Capital and others should come as no surprise to those librarians familiar with company CEO Jane Friedman. In only a few years, the former HarperCollins CEO and her team took the digital publishing and multimedia marketing company from distributing a handful of pre-1994 titles by major 20th-century authors like William Styron to over 4,000 titles from 500 authors.

Q&A: David Burleigh, Director of Marketing for OverDrive

OverDrive Director of Marketing David Burleigh

“The next series of innovations will come as a result of the accelerating demand in the education space. Serving students and learners of all ages (Pre-K–12, higher ed, and lifelong learning) will provide new engagement with library users and drive the next wave of innovation.” David Burleigh, Director of Marketing for OverDrive

Openness to Textbook Alternatives is Growing | From the Bell Tower

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Both the higher education and mainstream media tend to report on studies relating college students’ lack of openness to non-print textbooks. More research and experimentation in this area suggest student attitudes may be starting to change.

Q&A: Scott Wasinger, Vice President of Sales for eBooks and Audiobooks at EBSCO Publishing

Scott Wasinger

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. EBSCO is a platinum sponsor of the event, and LJ reached out to Scott Wasinger, Vice President of Sales for eBooks and Audiobooks at EBSCO Publishing, in the third of a series of interviews addressing how the ongoing digital shift is transforming the libraries of today and tomorrow.

Q&A: Recorded Books VP Matt Walker

Matt Walker

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.

Q&A: Gale VP and General Manager Jim Draper

Jim Draper

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 Make More Than Noise | PubCrawl

Francine Fialkoff

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.