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Like many technologists, I may have had some vague notion that librarians had something to contribute to discussions about information and metadata and standards and access, but my concept of what librarians did and what they knew probably had more to do with stereotypes and anecdote than on an understanding of reality. Which is a shame. Although in the last few years I think we’ve done a really good job of making clearer connections between libraries and technology, I don’t think anyone is surprised when librarians are omitted from discussions about and between prominent technologists, such as the one facilitated by the Setup. (Note: by “librarians” I mean anyone who works in, with, or for libraries. Hat tip to Eli Neiburger for saying what I’d been thinking, only less clearly, for some time before he said those words out loud.)
Science-fiction author Cory Doctorow has spent the past year tracking how much money he's spent and made by self-publishing his book With a Little Help and giving it away for free on the Internet.
I found this article in my Google Reader this morning and, I will admit, it has been awhile since I have been so excited and flabbergasted at the same time. I was excited about the possibilities and flabbergasted at the implementation. Take a moment to click on the link and go read it so that you too can join me in such a mixture of emotions. Or, for those who want to get to the meat of the situation, carry on. -- Read More
The Publishers Association has set out an agreed position on e-book lending in libraries that will see library users blocked from downloading e-books outside of the library premises. Faber c.e.o. Stephen Page announced the new guidelines this morning (21 October) at the CILIP Public Library Authorities conference in Leeds.
Page told conference delegates that "all the major trade publishers have agreed to work with aggregators to make it possible for libraries to offer e-book lending" with the addition of certain "controls". He said the guidelines had been developed because of concerns over free e-book lending offered by some libraries to lenders "wherever you are" in breach of publisher contracts.
(Thanks, Jenny, Andy, etc...)
CALI's Executive Director, John Mayer, gave a presentation at the Chicago Law.Gov Workshop on May 21, 2010 about the future of legal education, eLangdell, and open access education. It's about 30 minutes long, but worth a listen if you're interested in the project.
First reported a few days ago, the pundits are now adding their 2 cents.
This from Dan Gillmor at Salon: When America's book publishers wrested control of e-book prices from Amazon earlier this year, I expected two results. First, prices would go up. Second, I'd buy fewer new Kindle books. I got that part right.
What I didn't expect, however, was that publishers would be so incredibly foolish as to start raising e-book prices to the point that they were close to, and in a few cases above, the hardcover prices. Here's a non-literary term for this policy: nuts.
I've been keeping loose track of this trend for months, and had noticed that some hardcover books were getting close to the Kindle prices. Then the barrier fell, as the New York Times reported this week, when at least two books actually were more costly to read on Kindle devices than the actual physical book.
How did this happen? It's a classic Traditional Media vs. the Digital Age story. The key players are Amazon, the major book publishers and Apple.
"You could say that everyone is a publisher these days, with blogging, Twitter and Facebook (amongst hundreds of other social media tools). What's more, there are many new devices on which to deliver content - tablets, smart phones, video web sites and more. Ultimately it's a much larger and diverse media ecosystem than it was even a couple of years ago, so the increasing irrelevance of the word 'publish' probably doesn't matter much."
Further to our earlier story about an associate professor at Missouri State U. who referred to the young adult novel "Speak" as "soft pornography," the Penguin Young Readers Group has taken out a full page ad in today’s New York Times to defend the novel by Laurie Halse Anderson.
In an op-ed piece earlier this month in the Missouri News-Leader, Wesley Scoggins wrote that Speak was not appropriate for students of the Republic School District and also challenged Slaughterhouse-Five and Twenty Boy Summer.
From Publishers Weekly: “That such a decorated book could be challenged is disturbing,” said Penguin’s Shanta Newlin about the decision to run an ad. With Banned Books Week now in full swing (Sept. 25-Oct. 2), Penguin believes the ad points to the larger issue of books still being challenged in large numbers across the country, Newlin added. The ad, in fact, notes that "every day in this country, people are being told what they can and can't read," and it asks Times readers to "read the book. Decide for yourself." -- Read More
A Modest Proposal For Publishers and Authors
So, what’s the future of publishing?
For both authors and publishers, it’s largely about who controls access to the tribe.
Because, they are no longer anonymous, random purchasers. They have faces, names, desires, interests and the ability to not only read what you create, but help craft, support, interact with and evangelize it…