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Independent publishing in this country is alive vigorous and vital. There are more than 100 active publisher members of the Association of Canadian Publishers. These publishers are doing the same thing today as they did last week, and indeed, as they will do next week — working like hell to publish books by Canadian authors and illustrators for readers across Canada and around the world. Our strength lies not in the size or the reach of any one publisher, but in the diversity and breadth of the publishers considered as a whole.
Pearson, the British media conglomerate that owns Penguin, said Thursday that it was discussing a potential deal with Random House’s owner, Bertelsmann of Germany. The merger, if completed, would create a combined entity that would control nearly 25 percent of the United States book market and feature an elite roster of authors like Dan Brown, Toni Morrison and John Grisham of Random House and Junot Diaz and Patricia Cornwell of Penguin.
“A combined Random House and Penguin would be a supplier so large it would be very difficult for any anyone to dictate terms to,” said Mike Shatzkin, the founder and chief executive of the Idea Logical Company, a consultant to publishers. He added: “You’re allowed to collude if you’re combined.”
[Update] Gary Price Says It’s official. A deal bringing Penguin and Random House together is a GO according to official announcements from Pearson (Penguin’s owner) and Bertelsmann (Random House owner).
Self-published books make up 43 percent of the print titles released in 2011 and helped to drive the first growth in print production since 2007, according to a new study from Bowker.
What happens to all these self-published books, one may wonder? Do they mostly end up in boxes in the authors' garages? Not necessarily.
I guess the opposite of Open is Closed? "Open access. Two bland words that have obliged scholarly publishers, librarians, scientists, funders, and governments to rethink their most basic assumptions, and in some cases begin to tamper with a business model that has held up for more than a century.
Open access (OA) calls for scholarly publications to be available online at no cost and without barriers. Arguments in favor include a broader and more rapid distribution of research results, and the essential fairness of allowing taxpayers who paid in part for the research to access it without paying again.
But publishers worry that making manuscripts freely available would weaken the scientific peer review process, because libraries, the main source of revenue for most publishers, would no longer have to pay for subscriptions to the journals. "
[Thanks to Graham for the link]
The Book Industry Study Group’s annual membership meeting on Friday concluded with a panel discussion among four industry executives who have leadership roles in the group. They are also four of the sharpest minds in publishing and they all had provocative things to say. Recollection of detail is not my strongest suit and I didn’t take any notes, but all of them said things that stuck with me and which struck me as ideas that deserve more attention than they get.
Speaking at a private gathering of publishers organized by the Association of American Publishers, Sullivan was explaining why earlier this week the ALA sent a strongly worded open letter to publishers about the need to figure out way for publishers to sell libraries e-books for “equitable use at a reasonable price.”
Publishers in the room, however, were not so conciliatory.
An executive from Perseus Book Group who did not identify herself said, “our executives are confused as to what is a library?” She cited concerns that the free and wide availability of e-books to library patrons could undercut publisher business.
But the most pointed questioning came from Wiley’s director of digital business development Peter Balis.
“When will the ALA start proposing to us some best practices on what models you think will work from your digital solutions working group? You put a lot on us and it’s created a lot of chaos and clearly it’s [e-book library lending] broken. We have twelve different models,” he said. “You have to come back to us with more than just ‘equitable access at a fair price.’”
As the question was being posed, many heads in the publisher-heavy audience were nodding in ascent.
Gary Price at Infodocket presents documents for both sides in the disagreement over e-lending.
The entire field of particle physics is set to switch to open-access publishing, a milestone in the push to make research results freely available to readers.
Particle physics is already a paragon of openness, with most papers posted on the preprint server arXiv. But peer-reviewed versions are still published in subscription journals, and publishers and research consortia at facilities such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have previously had to strike piecemeal deals to free up a few hundred articles.
Print-on-demand (POD) books could soon be everywhere, according to a major announcement made today.
On Demand, the makers of the POD Espresso Book Machine currently installed in fewer than a hundred bookstores nationwide, have announced new partnerships with Eastman Kodak and ReaderLink Distribution Services.
Under the arrangement, the company's POD technology will be made available to retailers who have Kodak Picture Kiosks, currently installed in 105,000 locations according to Publishers Weekly, including drugstores and supermarkets.
Digital and print-on-demand technology has made self-publishing much easier. But for every self-published work that gains traction, the overwhelming majority of books don't.
"Most self-published books sell fewer than 100 or 150 copies, many authors and self-publishing company executives say."