The State of Libraries, eBooks and Publishing Today

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Information about The State of Libraries, eBooks and Publishing Today

Published on March 3, 2014

Author: csldld



Alan S. Inouye of the American Library Assocation Office for Information Technology Policy probes the history and present day status of libraries, ebooks and publishers in America.

Connecticut State Library Ebook Symposium February 28, 2014 Alan S. Inouye American Library Association

Agenda • • • • A little bit of history Where are we today? Challenges and opportunities The bigger picture: (E)book lending and the role of libraries • Question / answer time 2

The Way We Were: Late 2011 to Early 2012 • In wake of HarperCollins blowback from spring 2011 – initiation of 26 circulation model • Simon & Schuster, Macmillan out of library ebook market entirely • Penguin pulls back from library ebook market • Random House imposes substantial price increase 3

What To Do? • • • • • Many possible avenues to pursue; lots of advice What are ALA strategic advantages? What would have value in the longer run? Need to focus energies Conclusion: Direct engagement with publishers – Later, expanded to publishing ecosystem – Always subject to revision 4

Two Plus Years • ALA leadership visits to NYC: – 8 multi-day trips • Conferences: ALA, PLA, AAP, BEA, DBW • Communications – Publications – Articles, op-eds, “Open Letter to Publishers,” media and communications toolkit, Authors for Library Ebooks campaign – Informal 5

Publisher Perspectives • Start: Sales displacement, friction, security • Large, complex, multinational organizations • Libraries 101: Library marketing staff v. digital business staff and general managers – Misconceptions – Fears (library and non-library based) • Supporting many platforms and models 6

Publisher Perspectives (2) • • • • Value of ebook >> print book The distributor black box The megaplayers: Amazon, Apple, and Google What is the little local public library just around the corner? 7

Library Perspectives • Start: Unfairness, hostility • Publishers are real people • Publishing 101: Didn’t know much about publishing, and digital publishing – Exacerbated because of rapidly evolving marketplace 8

Library Perspectives (2) • Making the business case v. library needs • More than publishers: authors, distributors, retailers, and readers • Libraries far from homogeneous too • More than “libraries” – state libraries, cooperatives, … 9

Big Five Current Status • • • • • HarperCollins Penguin Random House Hachette Book Group Macmillan Simon & Schuster 10

Some Issues • • • • Progress in 2013, but… Pricing Business models: Too many yet too few Remaining restrictions on availability – Frontlist – Pilots – Consortia 11

Some Issues (2) • Facilitating sales: How far can/should libraries go? • Library platforms • Intermediary platforms -- transferring • Archiving / preservation • Privacy • And more 12

Value Proposition of Library Ebook Lending: For Publishers • Analog to digital: Fundamentally changes the value proposition • Libraries represent direct sales; especially helpful for the backlist • Ebook discovery/exposure via brick and mortar facility – Decline in physical outlets; rise of Amazon; B&N? – Increasing possibilities of libraries as sales outlets? • Discovery /exposure: The “growth” area? 13

Libraries: Facilitating Ebook Discovery and Exposure • Analogues from print book world still in play • Leveraging the digital environment – Library Reads – Illinois Author Project – Orange County (FL) Shake It app – Gimme (a clue), Scottsdale (AZ) library – Digital review copies (Edelweiss, Net Galley) 14

The Evolving Library • Library as publisher – Promotes community engagement & (digital) literacy • Reframing: The publishing ecosystem – Implications and possibilities for libraries – And then more than ebooks… • Brainstorming: The future of libraries – Working with Connecticut resident Roger Levien 15

Think Beyond Replicating the Book Model in the Ebook World Reader Library/ Bookseller Distributor Publisher Author (& Agents) Author Library/ Reader (& Agents) Bookseller Publisher Distributor 16

Discussion - Questions Alan S. Inouye ALA Office for Information Technology Policy Washington, D.C., 202-628-8410 Resources • American Libraries E-Content Blog • American Libraries Supplement on Digital Content 17

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