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Tim Coates’ speech at the Frankfurt Book Fair:
Ebooks, Publishers and Public Libraries
Every week we read in the publishing trade press and in the newspapers of arguments between senior publishers and the administrators of the public library service about the supply of ebooks to libraries. The language is fierce, the problems appear unsolvable and the progress is very slow. But such arguments and such news stories cannot make sense to the public who believe and assume that both publishers and librarians hold the joint responsibility of providing a library service and for producing the books they want to read. Authors create the books – publishers and librarians are the enablers who give a service.
In this room we, who work in the industry, know of the importance of publishing and the wonderful things it creates as a media industry.
And we know and understand better than anyone why public libraries are so important.
In the UK we are forever seeing Government studies being conducted to find out whether libraries are still relevant, in a way that makes one suspicious of their motives, but I can explain to them in two minutes.
The good thing about Unglue.it as I see it is that everyone is a winner. The author gets paid for his work and the world gets unlimited access to the book – What’s not to like about it? I think Unglue.it is the most democratic book project you can imagine.
The first book has already been unglued and is therefore yours too – it is “Oral Literature In Africa” by Ruth H. Finnegan – 278 world citizens participated in unglueing this book raising 7500 dollars – The e-book version is available for download from the Unglue.it website. You can go to Unglue.it to learn more and make your own pledge to give the gift of a book to the world.
Amazon has been sending out this email as a result of legal settlements between several major e-book publishers and the Attorneys General of most U.S. states.
Dear Kindle Customer,
We have good news. You are entitled to a credit for some of your past e-book purchases as a result of legal settlements between several major e-book publishers and the Attorneys General of most U.S. states and territories, including yours. You do not need to do anything to receive this credit. We will contact you when the credit is applied to your Amazon.com account if the Court approves the settlements in February 2013.
Hachette, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster have settled an antitrust lawsuit about e-book prices. Under the proposed settlements, the publishers will provide funds for a credit that will be applied directly to your Amazon.com account. If the Court approves the settlements, the account credit will appear automatically and can be used to purchase Kindle books or print books. While we will not know the amount of your credit until the Court approves the settlements, the Attorneys General estimate that it will range from $0.30 to $1.32 for every eligible Kindle book that you purchased between April 2010 and May 2012. Alternatively, you may request a check in the amount of your credit by following the instructions included in the formal notice of the settlements, set forth below. You can learn more about the settlements here:
In addition to the account credit, the settlements impose limitations on the publishers’ ability to set e-book prices. We think these settlements are a big win for customers and look forward to lowering prices on more Kindle books in the future.
Thank you for being a Kindle customer.
The Amazon Kindle Team
Opinion piece on the NYT: Long Live Paper
LAST week, Education Secretary Arne Duncan declared a war on paper textbooks. “Over the next few years,” he said in a speech at the National Press Club, “textbooks should be obsolete.” In their place would come a variety of digital-learning technologies, like e-readers and multimedia Web sites.
Such technologies certainly have their place. But Secretary Duncan is threatening to light a bonfire to a tried-and-true technology — good old paper — that has been the foundation for one of the great educational systems on the planet. And while e-readers and multimedia may seem appealing, the idea of replacing an effective learning platform with a widely hyped but still unproven one is extremely dangerous.
A letter to the Editor from the director of the Harvard U. Library, Robert Darnton via The New York Review of Books on the anticipated changes to the Rose Reading Room of the Main Library. LISNews reported on the story this past spring.
"Polemics rarely lead to happy endings. They usually produce hard feelings and a hardening of positions, rather than mutual understanding and mutually acceptable results. The loud debate about the Central Library Plan (CLP) of the New York Public Library may, however, be an exception to this rule—not that it has come to an end, but it has reached a turning point, which should satisfy both sides.
Critics of the CLP were especially incensed about its provision to remove books from the seven levels of stacks under the Rose Main Reading Room and ship them to offsite storage in order to make room for a circulating library to be installed on the lower floors. They petitioned, they provoked a debate—some of it conducted in these pages [Letters, NYR, July 12—and they were heard.
After studying the problem further, a committee of the library’s trustees has made the following recommendations, which were accepted by the full board on September 19:
• Another level of stacks under Bryant Park will be developed, creating room for onsite storage of another 1.5 million books.
• Books shipped to ReCAP, the offsite storage facility in Princeton, New Jersey, from the onsite collection will mostly be works that are already digitized and available online. -- Read More
This week's episode features a chat with Dan Lynch of Sixgun Productions in Liverpool about changes in the UK library world relative to the UK government reviewing the possibility of e-book lending there. Madam Producer also discusses a new report by Freedom House about Internet Freedom in the context of this week being Banned Books Week.
Download here (MP3) (ogg), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. Support and subsistence items for the production team can be purchased and sent from here.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.
Related Links: -- Read More
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.
Reaching out to the academic market in time for the new school year, the Library of Congress and Copia Interactive today announced the free eBook release of Jefferson's Legacy: A Brief History of the Library of Congress, the Library's hallmark publication, as well as a collection of rare lectures.
Read more here
Two powerful entertainment moguls, Scott Rudin, the film and theater producer, and Barry Diller, the chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp, are joining together to enter the turbulent world of book publishing.
Mr. Rudin and Frances Coady, a longtime publishing executive, have formed a partnership with Mr. Diller in a new venture called Brightline. It will publish e-books and eventually physical books in a partnership with Atavist, a publisher based in Brooklyn with expertise in producing electronic books and articles.