CIL 2011: EBook Publishing – Practices & Challenges

Speaker: Ken Breen (EBSCO)

In 1997, ebooks were on CD-ROM and came with large paper books to explain how to use them, along with the same concerns about platforms we have today.

Current sales models involve purchase by individual libraries or consortia, patron-driven acquisition models, and subscriptions. Most of this presentation is a sales pitch for EBSCO and nothing you don’t already know.

Speaker: Leslie Lees (ebrary)

Ebrary was founded a year after NetLibrary and was acquired by ProQuest last year. They have similar models, with one slight difference: short term loans, which will be available later this spring.

With no longer a need to acquire books because they may be hard to get later, do we need to be building collections, or can we move to an on-demand model?

He thinks that platforms will move towards focusing more on access needs than on reselling content.

Speaker: Bob Nardini (Coutts)

They are working with a variety of incoming files and outputting them in any format needed by the distributors they work with, both ebook and print on demand.

A recent study found that academic libraries have significant number of overlap with their ebook and print collections.

They are working on approval plans for print and ebooks. The timing of the releases of each format can complicate things, and he thinks their model mediates that better. They are also working on interlibrary loan of ebooks and local POD.

Because they work primarily with academic libraries, they are interested in models for archiving ebooks. They are also looking into download models.

Speaker: Mike (OverDrive)

He sees the company as an advocate for libraries. Promises that there will be more DRM-free books and options for self-published authors. He recommends their resource for sharing best practices among librarians.

Questions:

What is going on with DRM and ebooks? What mechanism does your products use?

Adobe Digital Editions is the main mechanism for OverDrive. Policies are set by the publishers, so all they can do is advocate for libraries. Ebrary and NetLibrary have proprietary software to manage DRM. Publishers are willing to give DRM-free access, but not consistently, and not for their “best” content.

It is hard to get content onto devices. Can you agree on a single standard content format?

No response, except to ask if they can set prices, too.

Adobe became the de facto solutions, but it doesn’t work with all devices. Should we be looking for a better solution?

That’s why some of them are working on their own platforms and formats. ePub has helped the growth of ebook publishing, and may be the direction.

Public libraries need full support for these platforms – can you do that?

They try the best they can. OverDrive offers secondary support. They are working on front-line tech support and hope to offer it soon.

Do publishers work with all platforms or are there exclusive arrangements?

It varies.

Do you offer more than 10 pages at a time for downloads of purchased titles?

Ebrary tries to do it at the chapter level, and the same is probably true of the rest. EBSCO is asking for the right to print up to 60 pages at a time.

When will we be able to loan ebooks?

Coutts is working on ILL.

thing 5 & 6: flickr

So, we’ve been doing this thing at work following the Learning 2.0 model that Helene Blowers developed for the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County a few years ago. We’re on week three and thing five & six, which involve posting something on Flickr (been doing that since March 2005), adding it to the pool, and then blogging about the experience. Alternatively, participants can find an interesting photo on Flickr and include it in a blog entry (with proper attribution, of course).

For me, doing the basics was nothing new, so that part was… well… boring. However, it leads into thing six, which is to explore Flickr mashups. I made this using the Spell with Flickr tool:
E C coloured card disc letter l DSC_1576 c T C
DSC_1410 Copper Uppercase Letter I Brass Letter B _R (2 days left) A R i a in the pavement, kalmar, sweden McElman_080417_6572_N

I have played with Tag Galaxy before, and I have an old Librarian Trading Card. I decided to make a new card, and I’ve bookmarked the color pickr for later use.

For my fellow TechLearners and anyone else out there who cares, I suggest you don’t use Flickr’s Uploadr if you need to upload a bunch of images (as in, more than 10). Something broke with version 3.0 and more often than not I get upload errors when I try to use it. I have not tried it on the Mac, so it’s possible that my problems are Windows-specific.