December 18, 2014

SELF-e Comes to Cuyahoga | Self-Publishing and Libraries

James LaRue

SELF-e is the partnership between Library Journal and Charleston, SC’s BiblioLabs. A BiblioLabs product, Biblioboard, is a platform that seeks to bring (among other things) self-published works into the library ecosystem. I spoke recently with Hallie Rich, Cuyahoga County Public Library’s communications and external relations director, about the library’s pilot project with the platform.

Librarians React to Simon & Schuster Dropping “Buy It Now” Requirement

Simon & Schuster logo

Simon & Schuster (S. & S.) last week announced that it will no longer require libraries to offer a “buy it now” option with the publisher’s ebook titles. In June 2014, following the conclusion of an extensive one-year pilot program, S. & S. became the last of the big five publishers to enable libraries to license its ebook titles. However, in a move that elicited criticism from many librarians, the publisher required participating libraries to make S. & S. titles available for patrons to purchase through the library’s website via OverDrive’s Library BIN (Buy It Now) option, 3M’s Buy and Donate option, Baker & Taylor’s MyLibraryBookstore customized ecommerce sites, or links to S. & S.’s website.

Librarians, IT Experts Respond to Adobe Spying Accusations

Adobe logo

Adobe this week confirmed reports that it has been logging data on the reading activity of people who use the free Adobe Digital Editions service, and that the company has been transmitting those logs to its servers as unencrypted text files, raising privacy and security concerns.

With All “Big Five” Ebooks Now Available, Ebook Vendors Assess the Road Ahead

140806_Libraryebooks

Shortly after Simon & Schuster’s June 26 announcement that it had concluded a 15-month pilot test and would make its entire ebook catalog available to all U.S. libraries, Macmillan last week announced that it will make all frontlist ebook titles available to U.S. libraries as well. These moves mark a milestone in terms of the availability of popular ebooks, as Macmillan and Simon & Schuster became the final two of the “big five” publishers to allow U.S. libraries to license and loan all titles in their ebook collections.

Librarians, Media React to Launch of Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited

In a long-expected move, Amazon on July 18 announced the launch of Kindle Unlimited, a new subscription service that will give users unlimited access to a selection of 600,000 ebooks and more than 2,000 audiobooks on Amazon Kindle devices and any device with a Kindle app for $9.99 per month. The online retailer’s financial resources, marketing clout, and massive base of Kindle users alter the competitive landscape for all providers of ebooks, including libraries.

Library Vendors Make Business Case to Publishers | BEA 2014

"The Untapped Retail Channel: Public Libraries” panel on Friday, May 30 at the 2014 BookExpo America (BEA) conference in New York

When ebooks or other digital materials are not readily available in libraries, publishers “are missing a key conduit to a market that [they] can’t tap any other way,” Rebecca T. Miller, editorial director for Library Journal and School Library Journal, stated in her opening remarks for the “The Untapped Retail Channel: Public Libraries” panel on Friday, May 30 at the 2014 BookExpo America (BEA) conference in New York. Leaders from top library ebook and streaming media companies weighed in on this issue during an hour-long discussion.

Smashwords and OverDrive Ink Distribution Agreement

Smashwords Logo

Smashwords, the world’s largest distributor of self-published ebooks, on May 20 announced a new partnership with OverDrive that will make more than 200,000 ebooks from 80,000 self-published authors and independent presses available to libraries and their patrons via the OverDrive platform. All titles will be sold as perpetual, non-expiring licenses with no loan caps, and will be made available to patrons under a one ebook, one user model.

Total Boox to Offer Free Ebook Access During National Library Week

Total Boox logo

In recognition of National Library Week, Total Boox, the “pay-as-you-read” metered ebook platform, will make its entire collection of more than 20,000 titles free to read from April 13 through April 20. The week-long promotion will allow anyone with an Android, Apple iOS, or Kindle Fire tablet to download the free Total Boox ereader app at www.totalboox.com/freereading and access fiction and nonfiction ebooks.

“Buy-to-Unglue” Ebook Crowdfunding Model Goes Beta

Unglue.it logo

Unglue.it, the crowdfunding platform developed to encourage publishers to make ebooks DRM-free and open access under a Creative Commons license, in January launched a beta test of “Buy to Unglue,” a new crowdfunding model that will offer ebook licenses in exchange for donations.

EBSCO Acquires Altmetrics Provider Plum Analytics

EBSCO acquires Plum Analytics

EBSCO Information Services today announced the acquisition of Plum Analytics, the developer of PlumX, a tool that gives researchers and institutions a more complete view of the impact of their publications by harvesting and aggregating alternative metrics (altmetrics) data in five major categories: usage, captures, mentions, social media, and citations. Plum will continue to offer the same services, with the same management team, operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary of EBSCO.