The Big Six – where we stand at the moment

I’m headed to BEA next week (I’m on the conference advisory board for the BEA Bloggers part of the conference), and will have a good three days of listening to publishers talk about ebooks (and hopefully libraries).

So I thought it would be a good idea to see where we stand right now with ebooks, the Big Six, and some of our current ebook vendors.

Here’s a list of the major ebook vendors, and what they offer in relation to the Big Six publishers:

3M, Baker & Taylor Axis 360:

  • Hachette
  • Simon & Schuster (but only if you’re a large NYC-area library – they’re still in pilot project mode)
  • Macmillan
  • Penguin
  • HarperCollins
  • Random House
  • … and No Kindle formats.

OverDrive:

  • Hachette
  • Macmillan
  • HarperCollins
  • Random House
  • doesn’t have Penguin or Simon & Schuster
  • … OverDrive has Kindle versions of some titles (and that’s probably why they don’t have Penguin).

What does each publisher offer?

  • Hachette: Full catalog, released simultaneously with print, ebooks will cost 300% more than the print book. Unlimited number of checkouts, one copy per user model.
  • Simon & Schuster: started a 1-year pilot project on April 30 with New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and the Queens Library. Full catalog, a one year purchase/lease, unlimited checkouts, one copy per user model.
  • Macmillan: 1,200 backlist ebooks from its Minotaur Books imprint. Two year, 52-lends lease model. Ebooks cost $25. I’d say they’re still in pilot project mode too.
  • Random House: Our ebook friends, for a price – entire catalogue available for “perpetual access” at a higher price to libraries (upwards of 300% over the print book cost).
  • Penguin: all titles available, one-year licenses. Except if you’re OverDrive.
  • HarperCollins: 26 checkouts per title lease model.

So – at this point, we have all Big Six publishers willing and able to sell [at least some] ebooks to [at least some] libraries. With wildly varying models and price points:

  • Checkout models include: unlimited use, 26 checkouts per book, or 52 checkouts per book.
  • Time limits include: No year limits, one year limits, and two year limits per book
  • Title availability includes: All titles available, some titles available, hardly any title available.
  • Pricing: an even $25, a variety of more normal pricing. And two publishers who markup ebooks by 300%. If this was gasoline, we’d call it price gouging.

Pic by pazca

Ebooks for Libraries Update – mailing the petitions to publishers!

Remember the Ebooks for Libraries campaign that my library and Library Renewal are running? Here’s our final video installment (for now). On Wednesday, we mailed the names of all our petition signers – on HUGE rolls of paper – to the big six publishers. Library Journal even mentioned it!

Next goal (already started via Gina Millsap and the wonders of email) – make initial contact with each publisher and hopefully start some conversations about ebooks, readers, and libraries.

Missed our first two videos? Here are some links to them (and a little more info, too):

Stay tuned for more info as I have it!

CIL2010: Transforming Publishing & Purchasing

Speaker – Stephen Abram

Do you need containers for information? It’s a real question…

What does Open mean?

– there’s line-ups in front of a movie theater? Because they’re engaged
– why do you read? entertainment, relaxation, be successful, learn info, etc
– open source, open infrastructure, open bar, open standards, etc…

Does Open require a container? It shouldn’t

What does Social change?

Think about it.

We all work in social institutions, we work in a transaction-based organization. Counting transactions, clicks, etc – we don’t actually know what they did.

Suddenly, the software and the activity aligns.

How does your library deal with visual material? For visual learners?

Ex – do you want your surgeon to have reviewed videos of successful operations, or do you want them saying “don’t worry – I read an article” ??

What’s driving the need for Open?
– user expectation
– architecture
– the cloud
– APIs
– social media
– experience trends
– personalization

The API cloud … lots of API possibilities…

“You shouldn’t have to dust something that people want…”

What about Apps?
plugins, itunes, etc. first app is usually facebook – for connecting with actual people.

What’s your experience look like?

University experience – what’s it look like? We used to shove people in carrels now we create more meeting and interaction spaces.

Old Containers –
– these are not going away!
– but they are always physical
– physical formats are losing market and mind share
– especially in the discovery and learning space

Traditional experiences:
– school, continuing education – how is it changing?
– open library hours – in the academic world, there’s a second peak between 10pm and 2am – anyone staff for that? Similar to a public library and people getting home from work and school …

New Containers:
– mostly virtual
– ecourses, lessons, websites, portals, sessions, events, digital photo albums, etc
– how do these objects fit into a positive transformational experience?
– we shouldn’t be measuring only transactional clicks.

Measure did the user find what they wanted, and did they enjoy the experience?

types of containers, revised: paragraphs, chapters, clips, graphics, pictures, etc.

Container success – focus not he end user in context. Where are they? In the shower? Driving? Sitting at a desk? Etc.

Content is not enough

focus on the results of the experience

support readers, not authors. learners, not teachers. collectors, not collections. etc.

design for use, not clicks.

Try writing a game that has only three clicks. They engage because there is something happening that engages them every step of the way. The get a coin, get a clue, find a monster, etc.

design for transformations, not transactions.

design for learning styles.

techflash.com e-book universe graphic…