Ten Thousand Signatures – what’s next?

Our Ebooksforlibraries campaign did it. We reached our goal of 10,000 signatures (it’s actually at 10,644 right now)! Watch the video to find out what’s next.

Want more info about our Ebooks for Libraries project? There’s a great write-up about iton my library’s website. I love how the article starts out: “If your business received 10,000 requests for a product you had in stock, would you sell it to them? In just seven weeks, the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, through ebooksforlibraries.com, has collected 10,000 signatures requesting publishers provide ebooks to libraries by developing a business model that allows publishers and authors to thrive. The goal of 10,000 signatures was reached today at 9:05 am CDT.

While sales of ereaders and tablets skyrocket, libraries are having trouble getting ebooks to fill up these popular devices. Some of the largest publishing companies are creating barriers to delivering library customers the books they want in the format they want them.

The library encouraged readers to send a message to publishers about the limits they are imposing on supplying ebooks to libraries. A petition was set up on www.ebooksforlibraries.com. Readers – from as far away as Australia and Spain – responded to help surpass the goal.” (read the rest here).

And here’s a link to my original post about the project, too.

Enter the Library Market & Drive Sales with Lessons from Patron Profiles #BEA

BEAThis is a presentation all about book research and the library market… could be interesting…

Rebecca Miller, Editor in Chief, School Library Journal

giving an overview/breakdown of public library book budgets

2011 – public libraries carried an average of 4000 ebooks.

ebook budgets spiked in 2011 over 101%

Kelly Gallagher at Bowker Market Research

talking about their Patron Profiles study…

9046 US public library ssytems

16,698 public library buildings

169 million public library users …

Meet the power patron – customers who visit the library at least weekly (physical visits):

  • 61% female, average age – 48
  • average income – $61,000
  • 62% with a college degree or higher
  • 39% with kids under age 18
  • what do they do at the library? 65% borrow books and media. 59% browse shelves. 40% search the catalog. 43% place holds on stuff.
  • clear link between borrowing and buying: 61% – purchased books by an author whose works were previously borrowed from the library. 37% – purchased book previously borrowed fromt he library. 35% – used the library to discover new authors or genres
  • library patrons are also buyers

Ebook users read more.

Ebook users – 67% purchased books by an author whose works were previously borrowed from the library. Wow.

Takeaways – libraries are a win-win system for marketing, sales, and discovery for books and publishers.

Skip Dye (Random House)

wants to encourage discoverability – this research helped them

wants to be format-agnostic

Said it’s up to the consumer how they want to read/listen. However they want to do that, that’s what is important.

future of print – Skip is old-fashioned. Thinks the format will survive, but change.

George something from Baker and Taylor

talking about exploding digital content in libraries

He also said they should be device agnostic

66% of public libraries experienced a “dramatic” increase in ebook requests

average holdes-to-copy ratio target is 6:1, but actual is closer tro 12:1

Hmm – claimed their Access 360 desktop reader is format agnostic. To that I’d say no it’s not. Can you open up a book from Overdrive through it? I’m guessing not.

showed Orange County Library’s Axis 360 ebookstore – an example of buying the book through a library

Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading #BEA

BEAPresenters – Len Vlahos, Executive Director of BISG

October 2010 – ebook sales exploded.

hardcovers, paperbacks, etc – taking a huge dive at the same time

last year, the ebook curve flattened out quite a lot – it’s more incremental.

But – think of it more like a bowling average – it’s still fluctuating. Adult fiction is huge in ebook formats, other types of books not so much.

“Power buyers” are the ones buying ebooks – they buy 4 books a month, have a good income, and are younger.

What keeps people from buying ebooks?

  • lack of a good eroding device – some
  • difficult downloading process – some
  • biggest – prefer print, and difficult to share with others

He thinks the market is maturing and becoming more predictable

Value of power buyers – 53% of books purchased, 60% of ebooks purchased

trying to compare music to books – he’s missing the point. me here – can’t really compare. There’s one format in music. There are a ton of ebook formats and devices.

Kept mentioning a maturing market – again, he’s only thinking of sales. Format-wise, ebooks is still int he betamax/8-track phase. Me here

Excellent – just said that 57% of people who borrow from the library then go out and buy – same author, same genre. So sharing does drive sales.

Next presenter – Kelly Gallagher at Bowker Market Research

What about the global ebook experience

Comment from second speaker – definitely NOT a mature market – mentioned devices. Thank you!

Gave a global view of ebook sales

Lots of people globally like free content. Go figure!

US – 59% still have no interest in digital content.

In US and other anglo countries, fiction and leisure reading is driving sales. On other countries, like Brazil or India, the professional/business genre is HUGE. They have a growing middle class, etc.

Doing Your Part in the Library Ebook Wars

ebookWhen talking to librarians about ebooks and econtent, I often hear things like this: “we can’t do anything – we’re just a small public library going up against Amazon/Apple/Barnes & Noble/fill in the blank.” Or “we don’t have the right connections” or maybe “we don’t have the resources we’d need to do something.” Etc.

I think we CAN do something. Many somethings. From my library alone, here’s what we’re currently doing:

  • Our Ebooks for Libraries campaign – going for 10,000 signatures on a petition that will be mailed to the big six publishers, asking for books in all formats for libraries.
  • Our community novel project – our community is writing a serialized novel, and we plan to publish the finished novel in print and in ebook formats. This is a small step in teaching our community that they can “do it themselves.”
  • We have two staff members on the Library Renewal board – we’re giving time and expertise to organizations that are trying to make a difference.
  • We have staff members on ALA boards – this one is indirectly related, but it gives us a say at the table when ebook-related issues get raised. And again, it’s giving time and expertise to organizations that have the potential to make a difference for libraries.

Other libraries and organizations that are trying to make a difference?

  • Douglas County Libraries – you might have read about they are purchasing ebooks directly from publishers, and serving them back out to customers? Here’s an article with more info on that.
  • Califa, a California-based library consortium, is doing a similar thing.

And those are just six examples – I’m guessing there are many others out there (and please – if I missed a major one, share the details in the comments!). My point? You CAN do something about it. Whatever “it” is to you and your organization, there are definitely ways to start successfully tackling the issue.

Why tackle this particular issue? Read Jason Griffey’s recent post about Amazon’s Lending Library. Amazon wants your customers to borrow from THEM. For free (well, after the purchase of a Kindle and an Amazon Prime subscription, anyway).

Sound like a challenge to you? Let’s meet that challenge head-on, folks!

ebook pic by nikkorsnapper

We’re Writing a Novel!

book and ebookMy library is heading up a really cool project that I thought I’d tell you guys about.

In short, we thought we’d write a novel.

A community-driven novel, that is. Here’s a blurb about the project: “A community novel is one that is written collaboratively by members of your community. The library invites writers to each contribute a chapter to advance the group’s story. The story is set in Topeka and will use landmarks and a setting that all will recognize. Writing and publication began in April and continues through August with a chapter added each week (just like any other serial novel you’ve experienced). Each chapter will appear here so you may read them in order, with a new chapter published each week.”

Here’s a link to the main page for the project, and here’s chapter one. Please read it!

When we’re done writing the novel, we plan to throw an author book signing party! We also plan to publish the book in both ebook and print formats, and sell it online. And we’ll put the book in our collection, so people can check it out.

We have two goals:

  1. We want to showcase content creation in our local community, and this type of focused writing project provides us with a fun way to start doing that.
  2. We also want to get our feet wet in content creation. Libraries traditionally house books, help customers find books, and create programs around books and authors, etc. Why can’t a library and a community … create a novel?

Anyway – check it out – chapter two comes out this week!

book pic by Remi Mathis