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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."
Perma-Bound books let go of 23 employees this week. Company president Jim Orr says about the same number of people were furloughed last year. He says some of this week’s layoffs were people who were brought back.
The company focuses on public and school library reading materials and school curriculum texts. Orr says part of the reason for the layoffs is due to the economy, but he notes that school districts aren’t ordering as much material as they used to.
BiblioLabs' new app may redefine libraries and help Charleston become a high-tech hub
Move over, Random House. Step aside, Penguin. Get the hell out of the way, Knopf. The publishing world has a new king, Charleston-based BiblioLabs.
"Today, we are the largest publisher in the world," BiblioLabs CEO and co-founder Andrew Roskill declares inside the Flagship 2 offices on Alexander Street. And he has the numbers to prove it. BiblioLabs has five million books, articles, and applications in their arsenal. According to Inc. magazine, that translated into $17.5 million in revenue for the 25-employee company in 2011.
Interesting... Google Scholar reveals, however, one factor that exerts a massive impact on whether a paper is cited or not: whether it appears in a journal or an edited book.
"My own solution would be for editors of such collections to take matters into their own hands, bypass publishers altogether, and produce freely downloadable, web-based copy. But until that happens, my advice to any academic who is tempted to write a chapter for an edited collection is don't. "
By the time the libraries realize how badly they’re in hock to you, their faculty will depend on all your journals, and the libraries will have no choice but to cough up the money for your extortionate fees.
But you’re losing sleep when libraries complain about your journals’ prices. Relax. Librarians are whiners. All fuss and bother; no action.
What are they going to do? Cancel the journals you acquired? Imagine the hue and cry from the faculty who rely on them. Most librarians won’t contemplate such action, devoted as they are (poor, well-meaning saps) to the needs of faculty and students. You think they’ll band together with other libraries and mount a boycott? If they can’t bring themselves to disappoint faculty and students at their own institutions, how can they imagine disappointing those they serve at multiple institutions?
I suppose it is theoretically possible that the Association of Research Libraries or the Association of College and Research Libraries (yes, they are two different institutions, thus making my point about libraries’ inability to coordinate on this or any other movement) might someday make noise about a boycott. If so, just make some noise in return about the unfortunate possibility of a lawsuit alleging restraint of trade.