eBook Embargo on Libraries is Only the Tip of the Iceberg
As of November 1st, 2019 McMillan Publishing, one of the largest print publishers in the world, placed an 8-week embargo on libraries purchasing more than one copy of new release eBooks limiting an entire branch to loan out one eBook at a time to library patrons. This coupled with the publishing community beginning to limit perpetual access to eBooks and audiobooks, in general, should serve as a warning for what is about to come with the continued siloing and commoditization of information. A new reality favoring publishers and aggregators over creators and consumers closing in not only on the expressions of authors but the reportage of journalists, songs of artists, and the visions of filmmakers.
Stiefvater revealed that she is now writing three more books set in the Raven Cycle world, but that the new trilogy “nearly didn’t exist because of piracy”. “And already I can see in the tags how Tumblr users are talking about how they intend to pirate book one of the new trilogy for any number of reasons, because I am terrible or because they would ‘rather die than pay for a book’,” she wrote. “As an author, I can’t stop that. But pirating book one means that publishing cancels book two. This ain’t 2004 anymore. A pirated copy isn’t ‘good advertising’ or ‘great word of mouth’ or ‘not really a lost sale’.”
The book worm has turned.
Local libraries are making noise about eBook prices, saying that they pay multinational publishers up to five times more than average consumers do for the same titles.
And libraries — including ones in Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax and Vancouver — say they’d like things to change, so that they can pay according to their size and needs, rather than using the current one-size-fits-all model.
The chief executive of publisher Faber & Faber has challenged the book publishing industry to respond to the rapid increase in smartphone use, particularly by young readers.
“Perhaps in the 21st century the zero-law of publishing will be understand mobile. Because without expert understanding of it, we may not be able to create the new audiences,” said Stephen Page, speaking at the FutureBook publishing industry conference in London.
Of course, Kindles and Christianity are different beasts. But the fundamental posturing can feel eerily close. Those of us who work in technology tend to take religious-like stances over its ability to change the world, always for the better.
The problem with their legacy universe is that you just can’t *control* digital things the way you can paper things, and that’s the real reason the traditional publishing industry is cutting off its nose to spite its face when it comes to ebooks. It’s precisely what DRM represents: an absurd and pathetic attempt to recreate in the digital realm a command-and-control system that profits off the characteristics of *paper.*
To be clear, what I’m saying is that traditional publishers actually make their money not from the traits of novels, or biographies, or any other kind of *text:* they make their money from bundles of paper that can essentially be seized or held up at the border, or be pulped, or burned, or just deteriorate in ways a digital file can’t.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on September 23, 2015 - 10:52pm
It’s not so easy to offer a Netflix-like experience.
The Oyster e-book subscription service that launched with much fanfare in 2013 has posted a note on its blog stating it will be exiting that business over the next few months and offering refunds to subscribers who request them. The service provides access to more than 1 million e-books on an all-you-can read basis for $9.95 a month.
Submitted by Blake on September 19, 2015 - 10:19am
Use of a light-emitting electronic book (LE-eBook) in the hours before bedtime can adversely impact overall health, alertness and the circadian clock, which synchronizes the daily rhythm of sleep to external environmental time cues, according to Harvard Medical School researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. These findings of the study that compared the biological effects of reading an LE-eBook to a printed book are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on December 22, 2014.
“The full contents of almost all other book titles may be read online, searched, or downloaded as a PDF.”
Teacher alert: Select Educator Publication to see all the Resource for Educator titles.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on April 8, 2015 - 7:19pm
Oyster, the subscription e-book service, announced Wednesday that it will be doing something that's a little bit retro: selling e-books the old-fashioned way, just one at a time.
Since its launch in 2013, Oyster has founded its brand — and earned the auspicious nickname "Netflix of books" — on a monthly payment model not unlike an all-you-can-eat buffet. Now, if readers would like to order just one of those dishes, so to speak, they can. Oyster has expanded its service to include an e-bookstore, which can also be accessed by those without a subscription.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Oyster CEO Eric Stromberg said the move into retail is a response to the shifting habits of readers. As more people have begun to read their e-books on tablets and phones — not just dedicated e-readers — they are less tied to specific platforms to buy those digital books, Stromberg tells the Journal. In turn, he says, this opens doors for retailers.
"So how can I be confident that paper books are going to be with us for a long time to come? First of all, because they're lovely and I refuse to believe they'll ever disappear. But also because paper books are still a fantastic and irreplaceable piece of technology.
Believe it or not, paper book sales have made a modest comeback in the past year. Ebooks are mainstream. But paper books have too many benefits to simply die out anytime soon."
"As someone who’s dropped a Wheel of Time novel on my face, I can tell you the debate on reading experience is well over. Modern e-readers hold thousands of novels, weigh next to nothing, have built in lights, high resolution screens and don’t give you a concussion when they hit your nose. Books hold a single novel (or occasionally a couple of shorter ones), weigh way more, have to be angled towards a light, rely on manual screen refresh and can give you a black eye for weeks."