Ebooks

Should Libraries Get Out of the Ebook Business

Or get out at least until there is a better system?

I know what you are going to say, I can hear it already – “We can’t! Our patrons demand ebooks!” Except the truth is our patrons want a lot of things we can’t give them – to always be first on the waiting list for the new James Patterson, to not pay fines when their books are late, for the library to be open earlier or later, or to have a system besides Dewey because despite using it their entire lives they still cannot figure it out.

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U.S. reportedly warns Apple, e-book publishers about price-fixing

U.S. reportedly warns Apple, e-book publishers about price-fixing
The U.S. Justice Department has warned Apple Inc. and five top book publishers that lawsuits over alleged e-book price fixing might be in the offing, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Citing "people familiar with the matter," the Journal said the Justice Department has told publishers and the Cupertino tech giant that lawsuits could be filed accusing the companies of colluding to keep e-book prices high for both Apple users and rivals such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Justice Department Threatens Lawsuits, Alleging Collusion Over E-Book Pricing

From today's Wall Street Journal.

"The Justice Department has warned Apple Inc. and five of the biggest U.S. publishers that it plans to sue them for allegedly colluding to raise the price of electronic books, according to people familiar with the matter."

Full article here.

Random House Sharply Increases Library E-Book Prices

As promised, Random House will continue to offer its e-books to libraries but as of March 1 has raised many e-books’ wholesale prices significantly—in some cases by as much as 300 percent.

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Harry Potter e-books coming soon to schools and libraries

Harry Potter e-books coming soon to schools and libraries
Harry Potter e-books are coming to schools and libraries, at a date to be determined. OverDrive Inc., a leading distributor for the school and library markets, announced Monday that it has reached an agreement with J.K. Rowling's Pottermore website to make downloads of the seven Potter books available for students and library patrons

Libraries and publishers don’t have symmetrical interest in a conversation

Because libraries are, at most 5% of a general trade publisher’s business and far less of the ebook business, and because the market is changing so rapidly and because every retailer except Amazon can be said to be struggling to carve out a sustainable position in the global ebook marketplace, there are many legitimate reasons for the biggest publishers to take a wait-and-see attitude about libraries and ebooks. The fear is of a “shopping and consuming” experience at the libraries which is comparable to what the retailers can offer. That potential is largely mitigated now because most of the big books don’t go to them. But, if they did, publishers fear the market could shift away from retail.

That fear is not just about a “lost sale”. It is also about a “lost channel” of sales, or a pipe to the consumer that runs entirely through Amazon.

Full article:Libraries and publishers don’t have symmetrical interest in a conversation

Author Discovers Bots Competing To Sell His Book

Author Discovers Bots Competing To Sell His Book
What was happening was that a bot had found the book and priced it at some ridiculous level – $45 at last count. Bueno was bemused, at best, and realized that bots had found the book and were essentially running a price war amongst themselves in order to offer the same print-on-demand book Bueno was offering at a massively inflated price. They were, in short, going to buy the $14 book and resell it for forty dollars more.

"My reaction to this algorithmic whipsawing has settled down to a kind of helpless bemusement. I mean, the plot of my bookis about how understanding computers is the first step to taking control of your life in the 21st century. Now I don't know what to believe."

Amazon Pulls Thousands of E-Books in Dispute

Amazon pulled more than 4,000 e-books distributed by the Independent Publishers Group off its site this week after it failed to exact better terms from the distributor.

Full article

Download the Universe

Excerpt from article by David Dobbs - I’m pleased to announce a new site I’m part of. I’m one of an otherwise distinguished handful of reviewer-editors for Download the Universe, a site conceived by Carl Zimmer in an off-hand remark last month during a ScienceOnline session on e-books. We aim to meet a simple but stark and urgent need: While lots of new science books are coming out in e-book-only form, it’s hard to find reviews of those books or a single site or publication where such books are noted. Download the Universe is that new place, and along with Carl Zimmer, my fellow editors (listed below) include some sharp minds and some of our best science writers. We’ll be regularly posting both short and long reviews of new (and existing) science books that are published only in e-book form — usually 2 or 3 a week — as well as occasional comments or essays on trends in science books and e-book publication.

Full article at Wired.com: Download the Universe Right Here: A New Site for Science E-Book Reviews

An Open Letter (and a Challenge) to Jonathan Franzen

Open letter from Diesel ebooks in response to Mr. Franzen’s recent comments as reported by The Telegraph.

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